5 Things Your Tongue Can Tell You about Your Health
Regular check-ups on your health don’t have to be costly or time-consuming. While scheduling a full medical check-up including lab tests is very important, the average person who just wants to get a sense of how well they digested last nights dinner or how well they are handling the stress of working overtime, there’s a simple self-check that you can do yourself in the bathroom mirror. Just poke out your tongue!
Within a couple of seconds, it’s possible to get an idea about what’s going on inside your body by just sticking out your tongue. While it takes years of experience to be able to read tongues accurately in a clinical setting, you can start checking your own body at home by looking for these five key signs:
- Thick White Coating
Coated tongues are often a signal that your digestion system isn’t performing at its optimum efficiency. A rapid change in the coating of your tongue can also indicate that you are fighting an infection, such as a cold or the flu.
Try modifying your diet with the help of a dietician, or adding herbs like fennel, caraway, ginger, and cardamom to your diet to aid digestion.
You can try gently brushing your tongue with a scraper available from most grocery stores or pharmacies, and drinking plenty of water to help it improve.
However, sometimes an ongoing coated tongue indicates infection or more serious medical conditions. You should seek medical advice if any of the following signs occur:
- You’re concerned about changes to your tongue’s appearance
- Your tongue develops pain
- The coated look of your tongue persists for longer than two weeks
- Bumpy Surface
Healthy tongues are supposed to appear a little bumpy, so if yours is smooth, it could be a sign of a B12 or iron deficiency.
- Dark Discoloration
As scary as this term sounds, the black appearance occurs because secretions have accumulated on your tongue’s surface and turned dark. It’s an indication that your oral hygiene may need improvement. Always be careful with long term oral health deficiencies because it can lead to a higher risk of heart disease.
It’s also worth noting: A black tongue can be a sign of fungal infection, possibly brought on by an underlying medical issue. Always seek medical advice if your tongue begins to have a dark coloration.
- Swollen Tongue
If your tongue feels swollen or appears larger than usual, it could indicate that you have hypothyroidism. This means you’re not producing enough thyroid hormone, which also causes a slowdown in your metabolism and a feeling of exhaustion.
Make sure to seek medical advice if your tongue feels swollen or painful
- Red Tip
Over history Traditional Medicine practitioners have linked the tip of your tongue to your heart’s organ system. Visible redness at the tip of the tongue indicates excessive “heat” in your body, and often occurs along with symptoms such as insomnia, anxiety and heart palpitations.
If the tip of your tongue appears red, it’s could be a sign that your body needs more rest and relaxation in your daily routine. Try incorporating meditation or yoga into your schedule in order to relax your mind and body.
How to Inspect Your Tongue
- Avoid food and drink for 30 minutes prior to inspection. Also, don’t scrape your tongue beforehand
- Move to a location with ample natural light
- Stick your tongue out in a way that feels natural. Look at your tongue for a maximum of 15 seconds at a time, if you keep it out longer the color of your tongue will begin to change and affect your reading
Follow up with a medical professional if you have any questions or concerns about your observations. Remember not to use tongue reading as a substitute for a qualified medical diagnosis.
Most importantly, take action to improve your daily routine and diet according to what you learn by inspecting your tongue. Inspire yourself to make the necessary lifestyle changes so that you feel fantastic. Enjoy watching your body improve in response to your new healthy habits!