Martin Lewis health: Star’s ‘agonising’ ulcer that made speaking and eating ‘impossible’

Martin Lewis warns against opting out of a Workplace Pension

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The live one-hour programme tonight will also offer tips for the summer, take a look at how to prepare for Christmas without breaking the bank, and critical advice on how to talk more openly about household finances. The information-packed programme will undoubtedly help many, but back in 2019, Lewis was left struggling to even speak after developing a throat ulcer that lasted for multiple days.

Posting updates via social media, the star revealed how the condition was affecting not only his job on TV but his ability to eat properly.

After four days of the condition he posted to Facebook: “Throatgate day 4. Thanks for all the well wishes.

“I wanted to give you an honest update as so many of you have been asking and been so kind.

“Sadly, I’m no better – you’ll have seen I couldn’t do Good Morning Britain today – live TV is impossible.”

The star went on to say that he sought specialist medical help in order to understand the condition more, and what he could do in order to aid his recovery.

He continued to say: “I saw a specialist who confirmed I’ve a large, vicious ulcer in my throat (I won’t post a picture of it) – not a cold/flu.

“Unfortunately eating and speaking are truly agonising, causing the left of my face and neck to go into spasm – leaving me close (or sometimes in) tears.

“There is no treatment but to wait, though I’m finding that tough as there’s no sign of improvement and sleeping is hard.”

Throat ulcers commonly cause pain and discomfort. Often whitish with a reddish outside in appearance, they can affect not only the throat but the oesophagus and voice box also.

In some cases, it can be accompanied by other symptoms such as fever, general malaise and swollen lymph nodes in the neck area.

For throat and mouth ulcers that are particularly large, it could be an early sign of human immunodeficiency virus HIV. In fact, between 70 to 90 percent of people with HIV will have mouth sores at some stage in the disease.

There are many other factors that can cause throat ulcers, including chemotherapy, a common and effective treatment for cancer. Radiotherapy, fungal, bacterial or viral infections, cancer, stomach acid reflux, ingesting acidic foods and other conditions that cause inflammation and irritation can also cause these ulcers.

Although treatment for throat ulcers usually depends on what has caused them, Lewis was given “special local anaesthetic” in order to try and get through filming links for his show.

Despite being in pain the star powered through, albeit nervous about the prospect of heading back to work. He said: “The team are very considerate – I won’t be able to do retakes – and will have to rest 20 minutes before each take.

“I must admit to literally shaking with nerves about leaving the house to do it.

“But I’m doing it as I want to, as sitting in the house in pain has made me rather low.”

Doctors may first advise individuals to cut out acidic foods from their diet in order to aid recovery of the ulcer. Another common recommendation is gargling warm water with salt to help relieve discomfort.

However, for larger and more complex throat ulcers, medication may be needed. Specifically, a combination of corticosteroid and anti-inflammatory ointments can be applied using a cotton swab or a finger.

Laser treatments can be used if the throat sore is greater than one centimetre in diameter or if inflammation is causing difficulty with eating or drinking over a prolonged period of time.

At-home remedies that could help “speed-up” the healing process of the ulcer include the following:

  • Rinsing your mouth with mouthwash after brushing your teeth, as this can help to eliminate bacteria and cleanse the area
  • Eating more foods rich in B complex vitamins, folic acid and iron such as banana, mango, low-fat yoghurt or apple juice (vitamin deficiency can cause throat ulcers)
  • Avoid worsening the ulcer by not eating hard or crunchy foods such as toast, peanuts, nuts
  • Using a toothbrush with soft bristles
  • Avoid oral hygiene products with irritating ingredients like sodium lauryl sulphate.

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