Lauren’s List: What Your Tongue Can Tell You About Your Health

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) — Open wide and say “aaaahhhh.”

Doctors aren’t just telling you to do this to check your throat.

They’re also looking at your tongue.

Did you know your tongue can be an indicator of health issues elsewhere in the body?

Today’s “Lauren’s List” explains what your tongue may be trying to tell you.

  1. Color: If your tongue is really red, it may indicate heat in the body like a fever. Doctors say it may also mean you have a vitamin deficiency. A glossy, bright red tongue may be a sign your body is lacking iron or B12. A purple tongue could be tied to circulation problems and a white coating could be a yeast infection like thrush (Candida).
  2. Shape: Oral surgeons say if a tongue is puffy with scalloped edges, it may indicate a lack of nutrient absorption. There could be blood stagnation and toxic buildup in the body as well.
  3. Coating: This may sound a bit strange, but almost every tongue has a coating. If that coating is too thick, doctors say it could be a sign of poor gut health. If it’s too thin or absent all together, it’s usually a sign of dehydration or over exertion.
  4. Areas: Some eastern medicine practitioners say different areas of the tongue correspond to certain organs. They believe issues in the middle of your tongue correlate to your stomach and spleen, while problems on the very tip may be tied to your heart.

The information above should not be considered medical advice, so be sure to talk to your doctor if you have any tongue concerns.

If you have an idea for a future “Lauren’s List”, send it to lpastrana@cbs.com.

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