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Can Your Tongue Reveal Your Health?


Acupuncturists and Chinese Medicine doctors would never dismiss your tongue. It’s the first thing they want to see because it assists them in their diagnosis. Hey, I’d rather stick out my tongue and say ahhh, than get needled for blood and biopsies, wouldn’t you? And yes, I’ve had a tongue reading myself, just for fun.

To find a solution, you have to determine the cause. Geographic tongue may indicate a hormonal imbalance, low thyroid, liver disease, yeast overgrowth or a weakened immune system. Poor intestinal health, antibiotic use, liver disease, a bile disorder and digestive disorders (like Celiac, Crohn’s, IBS) all impact the color and texture of your tongue. People with methylcobalamin (B12) deficiencies, and other B vitamin deficiencies have tongue issues. Let me tell you, there are hundreds of drug muggers of B vitamins. Among them are antibiotics, antifungals, antacids, heartburn medications, certain blood pressure pills, female hormones and most anti-inflammatories. Geographic tongue is not the only situation of the tongue. Read below, and if you are curious, visit my website to see actual photographs:

Scalloped tongue - It’s usually thick or swollen and has a scallop design around the outer edge. This is usually related to sluggish spleen or thyroid function.

Pale Tongue - This could be tied to pernicious anemia, or iron deficiency anemia.

Vertical Crack - May signify difficulties in the stomach or heart. If the crack extends down the middle, but doesn’t reach the very tip, it’s most likely related to digestion.

Black Hairy Tongue - Dark-colored bacteria/fungus build up on the papillae and instead of shedding, they grow longer creating the hairy appearance. The ‘hair’ color may be white, yellow, green or brown colors depending on the color of your invading organism.

Glossopyrosis - Also called “Burning Mouth Syndrome” it may be related to Candida albicans overgrowth, B12, riboflavin or folic acid deficiency, insufficient probiotics and imbalanced hormones.

You may be able to prevent episodes by supplementing with high-quality immune-boosting supplements, probiotics, activated B complex, in particular methylcobalamin and 5-MTHF and digestive enzymes.

Did You Know?

If you are allergic to lactose, you should avoid anything with caramel color.

Suzy Cohen, RPh is a graduate of the University of Florida and have been a licensed pharmacist for nearly 20 years.  People call her “America’s Most Trusted Pharmacist” because she has spent the last 10 years writing a syndicated column on health which reaches millions of people each week.


May 13, 2010

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