Woke up this morning with another sore throat. It happened to me 2 weeks ago and what I thought was just the flu, the doctor told me was an oral thrush infection in my mouth and throat. It is caused by the lithium dry mouth. Yes, can you believe. A side effect has its own side effect. I hate bipolar.
A side effect of lithium is a dry mouth. A dry mouth means little to no saliva. Since saliva protects our teeth, gums and soft tissue from bacterial infections, the mouth becomes a breeding ground (ughh!) for infections. A simple thrush infection in your mouth can move on to your entire respiratory system. It also fills my nose and mouth with ulcers that make it painful to eat. So some cortisone, gels, sprays, pills, mouthwash and drops, two days off work, and I was right as rain. Until this morning that is.
To prevent the oral thrush, drink lots of water and keep your mouth hydrated. Uhh, right doc, I do that already. I drink about 3 liters of water daily. She tells me there’s nothing else really, as long as I take lithium I’m going to be prone to getting oral thrush and will just have to treat the symptoms. There’s no question of coming off lithium. It’s been my magic kinda-cure for bipolar.
All I can say is thank god it’s Friday. I feel like a misery and I HATE BIPOLAR.