Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"What would cause the tongue to feel swollen?"
This morning I woke up and my tongue felt very heavy and swollen. I'm a woman in my 30s and I've always been very healthy. I've never felt anything like this. What could possibly cause my tongue to swell?
This is a problem that you should get looked next time you see your doctor. Your primary care doctor should be the first to evaluate your tongue and depending on the cause, he or she may refer you to a specialist. Of course if the swelling gets worse or you begin having trouble breathing, you should seek medical attention sooner. The tongue can swell for a variety of reasons. It is possible that you irritated it in some way and that caused some edema (fluid leakage) into the tongue. Perhaps it was something you ate the night before, or were exposed to very recently (alcohol, spices, a virus, a new medication etc). If you recently were started on a medication known as an ACE Inhibitor (such as Lisinopril) you should notify your doctor right away because the condition can be dangerous. If you have an allergy to a certain food you ate, then it is possible the main symptom you feel is tongue swelling. Other causes of tongue swelling are more rare. For example a deficiency in vitamin B12 can cause "Glossitis" which can result in a swollen, often red tongue. This does not usually happen overnight. Only your doctor can determine the cause of you tongue swelling. Good luck.
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