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Think of this blog as a diary preoccupied with getting thin, staying thin and understanding thus sharing pro-ana tips and tricks, thinspiration, fasting, celebrity weight loss secrets, effective diet pills, effective diets, effective exercise equipment and effective exercise dvds? No matter your size or plan and what you plan on doing about that this place will not judge... xo


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Friday, September 19, 2008

Is Your Tongue Healthy?

When you go to the hospital and get examined the doctor usually as you to stick out your tongue to get a telling picture of your health. One thing I love about BBC's "You are What You Eat" is that the first thing the doctor looks for signs of a vitamin deficiency on parts of your body like the nails, eyes and our friend the tongue. "You are What You Eat" is a great show to check out!

If you have a white coating on the tongue: or looks sort of white and pasty—in patches or in its entirety—it’s an indication that there’s probably some sort of infection present on the tongue, such as a bacterial overgrowth or an autoimmune-related inflammatory disease. One possible cause: Thrush, which is an overgrowth of candida (also called yeast) bacteria. Once the infection is treated with anti-fungal drugs (either topical or oral) and the infection clears up, the tongue will return to its healthy pink shade.

If the tongue is too dark: it's not healthy for a healthy tongue should have a warm, pinkish color, so when it looks dark brown or black, you need to find out why. Chances are, the answer will be in your diet, lifestyle or your medicine cabinet. “The filiform papillae on the top of the tongue, especially if they're elongated, can be stained or vary in color from the foods, drinks, antibiotics, lozenges, etc. you consume. A side effect of taking bismuth medications (like Pepto Bismol) is that the tongue may turn temporarily black and drinking lots of coffee, smoking or chewing tobacco can stain the tongue a brownish shade. The good news is that in both cases, it’s probably just stained from food or medicine, and simply brushing your tongue a few times should help it fade back to its normal shade. While the staining may not be permanent, beware that any kind of tobacco use increases your risk of oral cancer.

If the tongue is hairy or getting hairy: the little projections on the top of the tongue called filiform papillae under certain conditions can become elongated, giving the tongue a “hairy” appearance. Several factors could be responsible for causing the filiform papillae to grow, including a bacterial infection, taking antibiotics, or having a very dry mouth.

If the tongue has sore spots on the tongue: like canker sores or mouth ulcers (which can occur anywhere in the mouth) can be extremely painful. Generally, those with a genetic predisposition to getting cankers will see them crop up when other factors fall into place—such as having a cold or fever, eating an excess of citrus fruits, or biting your tongue. But keep an eye on those spots. A normal canker will heal up and vanish in a week to 10 days but if they last longer and doesn’t seem to be going away that could be a sign of oral cancer. Go to the doctor immediately.

If the tongue has a bumpy surface: can be the filiform papillae projecting out on the top of the tongue, along with the taste buds but some times one will get temporarily inflamed, red, and a bit sore. As with canker sores, as long as the area returns to normal within a time span of a few days, the inflammation is most likely harmless. On the other hand, if the area turns very red or white, is painful and tender, and doesn’t go away it could be a sign of oral cancer.

If the tongue is red and in pain: and no longer a healthy pink color that can be due to a lack of niacin (also called vitamin B3), a condition known as pellagra, a sign of anemia or a diet lacking in folic acid or a lack of vitamin B12. A temporary redness and pain in the tongue is most likely caused by something you ate or drank. Sensitivity to certain flavors of toothpaste, mouthwash or gum (like cinnamon) and acidic foods (like pineapple) are potential culprits.

If your tongue is yellow: its probably a some sort of fungal or bacterial infection in the mouth. Another possible cause is gastric reflux. Occasional changes in the tongue’s color in patches is a condition known as “geographic tongue." Some people who have geographic tongue also have psoriasis, but doctors are unsure why this is the case. Also, geographic tongue often occurs in conjunction with fissured tongue — a condition in which deep grooves form on the tongue's surface. Fissured tongue, like geographic tongue, isn't a serious medical condition but at times can be seen with other skin conditions. Other factors that may trigger geographic tongue include stress, hormonal changes and allergies.

A burning sensation on the tongue: or burning mouth syndrome, also called oral dysesthesia, is a specific, not well-understood condition that goes far beyond simply eating certain foods that cause a temporary stinging sensation. The condition is characterized by pain and burning that can affect just the tongue or the entire mouth; the sensation may be constant or it may come and go throughout the day. For reasons that are not clear, burning mouth syndrome most commonly afflicts post-menopausal women. Other possible causes include bacterial infections, dry mouth (a side effect of some medications), or nutritional deficiencies. A cure is elusive, but some of the current treatments for managing burning mouth syndrome include drinking water more frequently, chewing gum (to combat dry mouth), or taking anti-anxiety or anti-depressant drugs.

If the tongue is pale and smooth: that's a sign of an iron deficiency anemia. When the blood lacks iron, the blood doesn’t have the necessary oxygen-carrying capacity to keep the tissues red resulting in the tissues becoming pale and look, well, anemic.

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