Have you ever accidentally bitten your lip, cheek, or tongue while chewing your food? If so, then you know how painful it can be. Some people think that they are eating too fast, or just being clumsy, but I don’t think that is the case. The process of chewing is like the beating of your heart: it’s not something that you have to learn and practice. There was no “Chewing Food 101” class in school.
I think this phenomena is caused by a malfunctioning nervous system due to an electrolyte deficiency. Your nervous system needs sodium, potassium, and calcium to work properly. (Yes, that’s right, you need salt – salt is not evil.)
If your electrolytes are out of whack, then your body can’t control your muscles properly because it is either sending the wrong signals, or all the signals are not reaching the muscles, or both.
How does this happen? Here are some possibilities:
- Chemically-induced dehydration – Caffeine and alcohol are well known to dehydrate you. If you stay out late drinking, and then guzzle coffee in the morning to stay awake, don’t be surprised if you start biting yourself. Adding some Gatorade to the mix might help.
- Eating a diet that is too acidic – This depletes your calcium. See the post I wrote on the cause of stiff necks and back pain for the full explanation and instant cure.
- Mineral Supplements – Taking extra mineral supplements can create a mineral imbalance. For example, when my skin breaks out, I take some extra zinc, which usually helps. However, one day, I must have taken too much because I started biting myself like crazy during lunch. I had been keeping a good acid-alkaline balance with my diet, sticking to one Dr Pepper per day, and a beer or two, so I’m pretty sure it was the excessive zinc.
- Getting Low-Sodium Religion – While your body can adapt to a lower sodium intake, going cold-turkey is not a good way to get there. If you suddenly reduce your normal sodium consumption, you just might start biting yourself for a day or two while your body adjusts.
Of course, I am a programmer, not a doctor, so if you don’t get a quick cure by adjusting your diet with the steps above, you should definitely see a doctor. If your nervous system is telling you to chew on yourself, then we can only imagine what other wrong things it is telling the rest of your body to do.