What colour is your tongue? Certain shades may be indicative of 'high' cholesterol levels


Share post:


High cholesterol levels will cause an onslaught of complications over time, but symptoms are non-existent for a great number of patients. Over time, collateral damage may include a build-up of plaque in the arteries. This can entail further complications like blood stasis, or stagnant blood flow, which is known to colour the appearance of a person’s tongue.

Last year, the medical journal Frontiers in Medicine warned that in tongue diagnosis, a dark purple tongue and enlarge sublingual vein an important finding of blood stasis.

Science Direct explained: “Signs of blood stasis relating to the Heart include bluish or dark red lips, palpitations of tachycardia, stabbing pain and feeling tight in the chest.

“The tongue tip has a purple bluish colour or these may be blood stasis spots on the tip. The sublingual veins are dark or crooked and thick.”

Li Guang Jun, a registered TMC physician with the Eu Yang Sang TMC Clinic, explained that blood stasis is a symptom of high cholesterol.

READ MORE: Cholesterol-lowering juice may significantly lower blood pressure

In simple terms, it describes a situation where blood is not able to flow properly through the tissues.

This can be characterised by a drop in the speed of blood flow, partial obstruction, and raised pressure in the vessels.

In most cases where the tongue has turned purple, blood is not circulating properly.

More specifically, it may indicate the blood is failing to deliver enough oxygen to the body’s tissues.


However, it could also signal that oxygen-depleted blood – which is dark red as opposed to bright red – is circulating through the arteries.

Several conditions relating to vascular health are also recognised causes of purple discolouration of the tongue, central cyanosis being one of them.

Central cyanosis, which causes poor arterial oxygenation, tends to reflect underlying health issues like heart failure, or lung embolism.

It is associated with clubbing and bluish discolouration of the mucous membranes (particularly warm areas such as the tongue and lips), skin and nails.

READ MORE: Erectile dysfunction could signal high cholesterol, doctor warns

The condition is also closely related to peripheral cyanosis, which causes the extremities to turn purple.

“Rarely, a blue tongue has been observed in patients with peripheral cyanosis,” explained medical experts writing in the journal Cureus in 2019.

According to Healthline, other conditions that contribute to blue hands and feet include atherosclerosis or plaque in the arterial walls.

Conditions like atherosclerosis, are less likely to cause a purple tongue, however.

It should also be noted that not all cases of tongue discolouration relate to poor circulation.

According to the Oral Cancer Foundation, some tumours, including cancers of the tongue, may produce a dark red or purple colour on surfaces in the mouth.

Additionally, a purple tongue or one with a blueish tint could signal a vitamin deficiency or an issue with the adrenal glands.

According to the Department of Health and Human Services, the tongue sometimes turns purple due to Kawasaki disease.

This rare, but serious condition occurs when the blood vessels, become inflamed.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here


Related articles

Selena Gomez, 30, says ‘I’m a little big’ as she hits back at Golden Globe outfit trolls

Selena, 30, hit back at online trolls who wrote nasty comments about her weight, despite oozing confidence...

Dancing On Ice’s Ekin-Su details ‘supportive’ gestures from partner Davide

“It's great, I’m happy I’m doing it, no regrets at all, see you later to the curse!”Ekin...

Kate wore stunning full length gown with a trendy twist – shows off her enviable legs

The royal turned heads in a silver chain with lots of geometric shapes attached to it, and...

Nick Kyrgios risks trouble with Aussie police after scooter ride before Australian Open

Nick Kyrgios could find himself in hot water ahead of the Australian Open after he was pictured riding an e-scooter...