The GP, who also started cooking on ITV’s latest episode of Cooking with the Stars, first noticed something was wrong when he started to experience a sore mouth. After the pain subsided after a month, Singer treated it as a toothache and began to have frequent “brief attacks” twice a year until he was around age 35. The symptoms in his mouth were caused by seemingly simple things, and soon his pain level became unbearable, and even talking would cause him great discomfort.
Ranj, 42, explained: “Then I started having a brief soreness in my mouth that lasted about a month and then gradually eased, so I dismissed it as a toothache and got on with my business.”
“The pain came back with vengeance and got worse, lasting months at a time, and was triggered by the tiniest of things. If something touches my mouth, or brushes on my gums or teeth, especially It’s on the left side of my face and it starts to hurt.
“Just stroking the side of my face lightly triggered the attack, which felt like an electric shock.
“Eating can cause it, brushing teeth, laughing and even talking, so I stopped talking. I would be outraged if people started talking because the pain was so severe.”
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After seeking the help of a dentist due to the pain, the star underwent root canal surgery and was able to resolve some unrelated issues. However, that didn’t bring Singer any closer to finding out the reason for his unusual “attack.”
He continued: “The painkillers didn’t work, and at peak it happened 60 to 80 times a day, so I couldn’t sleep well and was exhausted all the time.”
Singer, who used his medical training to almost diagnose himself, suspected a type of neuralgia — pain in nerve pathways. In the case of “urgent” help, he turned to a neurologist at King’s College London who was able to arrange some urgent blood tests and MRI scans.
“At that moment, I was desperate. I needed help soon and the pain was relentless and cruel,” Singh recalled the gravity of his situation.
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“Patients often describe this pain as suicidal because it makes some people feel so depressed that they want to take their own life. I didn’t get to that point, but my existence felt like a living nightmare and I There is an urgent need for answers.”
Singh’s suspicions were proven correct after further testing by King’s College oral surgeon Professor Tara Renton, as he was diagnosed with trigeminal neuralgia, which occurs when the trigeminal nerve is compressed. This is the nerve within the skull that transmits pain and touch from your face, teeth and mouth to your brain.
Detailing his diagnosis, Singh added: “She [Renton] Explains that the trigeminal nerve — as it emerges from the brain toward the back of the brain — has a blood vessel on it.
“In my case, the blood vessel rubbed against the nerve, causing it to fire, causing pain.”
As the NHS explains, one of the main causes of trigeminal neuralgia is damage from other diseases, such as multiple sclerosis (MS) or tumors. Singer later found out something about himself was true because his brain scans showed abnormalities consistent with multiple sclerosis.
“It was a huge blow,” Singh added. “I remember thinking, ‘I have a neurological condition that I thought was relatively straightforward to treat, and got a potentially life-changing, debilitating MS diagnosis that could put me in a wheelchair .'”
A second opinion supported the fact that Singh’s abnormality was consistent with MS, but several other tests were inconclusive and did not meet all MS diagnostic criteria, leaving the star’s diagnosis unknown and ambiguous.
However, doctors began treating his neuralgia, first with anti-seizure drugs, and then with a second prescription of pregabalin, which soon caused serious side effects such as weight gain, insomnia and depression. Dissatisfied with his treatment, Singh went back to his medical professionals.
He explained: “I got to the point where I couldn’t tell if my problem was the condition or the medication, so I ended up going back to the consultant and saying, ‘I’ve read that surgery is an option for trigeminal neuralgia, I can give it a shot, whatever What’s the risk, because I can’t live like this anymore.”
Desperate for surgery, Singh underwent a procedure called microvascular decompression, which he explained, involves surgeons using a special drill to open a window in the skull and access the nerve. From there they could glue a bit of Teflon between the nerves and blood vessels that caused the irritation and replace the skull plate.
“It’s not like Hannibal Lecter, but I do have a 10cm scar behind my left ear,” Singer went on to explain the aftermath of his surgery.
“The effects were almost immediate. I felt groggy for a few days after the surgery, but then the symptoms disappeared completely, and after five years I have no medication and no pain at all, and now I can fiddle with my face to the fullest. I use Mouth eating, screaming, shouting, laughing and talking a lot – touching wood – that’s it.”