My wife will not eat. She is 69 with early onset dementia and has type 2 diabetes. About a year and a half ago, she started complaining that some foods tasted too spicy for her to eat. At that time we ate out a lot and during the pandemic mostly carry out. Gradually her complaints increased. She complained that her mashed potatoes or roast beef were loaded with pepper and made her mouth burn. The situation continued to deteriorate until around mid-March 2021. At that time she decided that the only thing she could eat that would not make her mouth burn or upset her stomach was two medium size cups of soft serve vanilla ice cream each day. She would not eat anything else.
Our family doctor prescribed magic mouthwash and one try of that she thought would make her puke (she didn’t vomit, of course). We went to a periodontist, and he had her use a perio mouthwash. She reluctantly brushed her teeth and used the mouthwash. This did not help her eating. The only thing she could eat without irritation was the ice cream. We asked her dentist and periodontist about Burning Mouth Syndrome, and it was something they were aware of but didn’t know of a treatment.
We are now approaching four months of this scary eating habit. She is losing weight, but I cannot tell how much because she refuses to step on a scale. She does not look good, lacks energy and stamina. She is taking Centrum multi vitamin and one Glucerna protein shake each day. She rejects any food item I provide: mashed potatoes, banana, yogurt, chicken. With each food item she claims it will either burn her mouth or make her puke.
I am at a loss for finding a way to get her to eat. What happens to someone like this? Do they eventually become so malnourished that they end up in a hospital and fed with an IV? I am also concerned about her diabetes. Her morning glucometer readings tend to be in the 160-180 range. When she was eating normally they were 102-108.
When I try to discuss this situation with her, she claims that she does eat normal food (not just ice cream), that she doesn’t care about her glucose readings (she used to be a model diabetic who did everything right), and that she isn’t losing weight (everyone comments that she has lost a lot and doesn’t look healthy).
Does anyone encountered this situation or one like it? Does anyone have any suggestion for overcoming this problem? Everyone (doctors, friends, family) think I should have the answer to this but I don’t.
Thank you for your input.