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29 Nov 2004

Advise needed.
Hi Doc,

I have a close family friend who drinks excessively and the other night he showed me his tongue (thinking it was a big joke) only to see that his tongue is a blue / purple colour! I know it has been like this for quiet some time and i mentioned to his wife that i would post a question on Health24.

Do you have any idea what would cause this? Is this from to much alcohol or could there be something else that could cause this?

Many Thanks
Answer 418 views

01 Jan 0001

Cyberdoc might have more ideas, but there could be many different causes for this, and only a full history and examination could make sure. One possibility, for instance, is that alcoholics often for various reasons, develop a vitamin deficiency, and depending on which vitamin is most missing, one can get what the textbooks used to call a "raw beefy" tongue, or a red and shiny tongue lacking the sort of slight roughness we normally have.
The solution would in any case lie in serious treatment for the alcoholism, and probably multivitamin boosts during detox, preceding proper rehab to help him stay off the booze.
The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical examination, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.
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