Swollen Tongue

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Swelling of the tongue can occur due to inflammation of the tongue (known as glossitis), the presence of abnormal substances (such as amyloid protein) in the tongue, the collection of fluid in the tongue as a result of different disease processes, or tumors that infiltrate the tissues of the tongue. An enlarged or swollen tongue can also occur as an allergic reaction to medications or other substances. In this case, the swelling is due to fluid accumulation in the tissues of the tongue, medically known as angioedema. A dramatically swollen tongue can lead to breathing problems and may be a medical emergency. Treatment of allergic reactions that include swollen tongue can include epinephrine, antihistamines, and/or steroid medications.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 5/5/2014

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REFERENCE:

Guy, Allysia M., and Richard H. Sinert. "Angioedema." eMedicine.com. Jan. 8, 2010. <http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/756261-overview>.

Causes of Swollen Tongue
    • Allergy (Allergies) An allergy refers to a misguided reaction by our immune system in response to bodily contact with certain foreign substances. ...learn more »
    • Amyloidosis Amyloidosis is a group of diseases resulting from abnormal deposition of certain proteins (amyloids) in various bodily areas. The...learn more »
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      Amyloidosis Article
      • Amyloidosis facts
      • What is amyloidosis?
      • What causes amyloidosis?
      • What are risk factors for amyloidosis?
      • What are amyloidosis symptoms and signs?
      • How is amyloidosis diagnosed?
      • What is the treatment for amyloidosis?
      • What are complications of amyloidosis?
      • What is the prognosis of amyloidosis?
      • Can amyloidosis be prevented?
      • Where can people find more information on amyloidosis?
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      Anaphylaxis Article
      • Anaphylaxis facts
      • Introduction to anaphylaxis
      • What is the history of anaphylaxis?
      • How common is anaphylaxis?
      • What are common causes of anaphylaxis?
      • What are the signs and symptoms of anaphylaxis?
      • What happens after the symptoms begin?
      • Are there any disorders that appear similar to anaphylaxis?
      • How is anaphylaxis diagnosed?
      • How do we manage anaphylaxis?
      • What are emergency measures used in the treatment of anaphylaxis?
      • Can anaphylaxis be prevented?
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      • What conditions mimic food allergy?
      • How is food allergy diagnosed?
      • What is the treatment for a food allergy?
      • Are allergy shots effective in preventing or decreasing food allergy?
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      In This Article
      Hives Article
      • Hives facts
      • What are hives (urticaria) and angioedema?
      • What causes hives and angioedema?
      • What are the different kinds of hives?
      • What are the symptoms and signs of ordinary urticaria (ordinary hives)?
      • What are the causes of ordinary hives?
      • What are the causes of chronic hives?
      • Are there other conditions that mimic hives?
      • What is the treatment for hives?
      • What is the prognosis of hives?
    • Hypothyroidism Hypothyroidism is any state in which thyroid hormone production is below normal. Normally, the rate of thyroid hormone...learn more »
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      • Hypothyroidism facts
      • What is hypothyroidism?
      • What are thyroid hormones?
      • Thyroid hormone regulation- the chain of command
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      • How is hypothyroidism diagnosed?
      • How is hypothyroidism treated?
      • What is subclinical hypothyroidism?
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      • Leukemia facts*
      • What is leukemia?
      • What are the types of leukemia?
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      • What are symptoms of leukemia?
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      Pernicious Anemia Article
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Other Causes of Swollen Tongue
  • Abscess
  • Acromegaly
  • Bacterial Infection
  • Beckwith-Wiedemann Syndrome
  • Congenital Micrognathia
  • Lymphangioma
  • Medications
  • Myxedema
  • Neurofibromatosis
  • Pellagra
  • Rhabdomyoma
  • Trauma
Examples of Medications for Swollen Tongue
  • diphenhydramine, Benadryl
  • epinephrine auto-injector, Auvi-Q, Epipen, Twinject
  • methylprednisolone, Medrol, Depo-Medrol, Solu-Medrol


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