My Tongue Has Started Getting Wider And Thickening, Why?


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Cormac Reynolds answered
You need to see your GP to be sure, but your tongue getting thicker and wider could be a symptom of an underactive thyroid gland, otherwise known as hypothyroidism. This condition affects over five per cent of the population, with four times as many women being affected as men. The usual age group for this disorder is 30 to 65 years of age.

The thyroid gland’s function is to regulate metabolism, as well as having other important biological functions.

The most common symptoms of an underactive thyroid, besides a thick tongue, are a low basal body temperature, fatigue, weight gain, difficulty in losing weight, depression, difficulty in concentrating, sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures, hair loss, constipation, fluid retention which causes puffiness around the eyes and/or the ankles, menstrual problems, particularly scanty periods or no periods at all, infertility, dry skin, reactive hypoglycaemia, yellow palms, raised serum cholesterol, protruding eyeballs, insomnia and indentations on the tongue.

These symptoms can all be caused by other conditions, and can develop slowly, gradually becoming worse over months, so sometimes diagnosis is not obvious.

Treatment is usually medication that needs to be taken for life in order to replace the hormone (although some people look to homeopathy as an alternative treatment). It is vital that you do not ignore hypothyroidism, as if it is left untreated you may have an increased risk of developing heart disease. This is because an underactive thyroid gland causes the blood lipids (cholesterol) to rise.

If you are pregnant, and don’t get treatment for this you could develop complications, such as pre-eclampsia, anaemia, premature birth, low birth weight, and even still birth and serious post-natal bleeding.

The good news is that with treatment, the outlook is excellent; your symptoms should disappear and it is unlikely that you will develop any complications.

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