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Tongue – Pale, Smooth, Burning

Swollen Tongue Causing Tooth Indentations. GFW

Swollen Tongue Causing Tooth Indentations. Notice the Accompanying Denuded Area Due to Riboflavin Deficiency and Mild Candida Overgrowth. GFW

What Is A Pale, Smooth, Burning Tongue?

A pale, smooth, burning tongue is an alteration in tongue tissue characteristic of iron deficiency. The tongue is also swollen.1

Additionally, the sore tongue surface may be invaded by candida yeast which takes advantage of the sore tissue.

Iron deficiency itself increases susceptibility to infection.

Q: What is iron deficiency?

A: Iron deficiency results when the level within cells is too low to meet metabolic needs of the body for this mineral.

Deficiency is characterized by impaired red blood cell formation, free-radical disposal, oxygenation of cells, immune response to infection, enzyme activity, cognitive performance, digestion, nail structure, and fetal health.2

Iron is an essential mineral that is required for normal body function. Almost two-thirds of iron in the body is found in hemoglobin, the protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen to tissues. Smaller amounts of iron are found in myoglobin, a protein that helps supply oxygen to muscle, and in enzymes that assist biochemical reactions.

Iron is also found in proteins that store iron for future needs and that transport iron in blood. Iron stores are regulated by intestinal iron absorption.3

What Is A Pale, Smooth, Burning Tongue In Celiac Disease and/or Gluten Sensitivity?


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  1. Krause’s Food, Nutrition, & Diet Therapy. 10th Edition. Kathleen Mahan, Sylvia Escott-Stump. 2000. W.B. Saunders Company. 

  2. Kathleen Mahan and Sylvia Escott-Stump, ed. Krause’s Food, Nutrition & Diet Therapy, 10th Edition. Philadelphia, PA. USA: W.B. Saunders Company, 2000. 

  3. http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Iron-HealthProfessional accessed 12/11/12 

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