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Have swollen tongue. Can it be allergic reaction to beets?

Aug 2013
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Answered by

ENT Specialist
Practicing since : 1996
Answered : 1025 Questions
I just woke up with a swollen tongue. Other than that I feel fine. I ate a lot of beets last night and was wondering if it could be an allergic reaction or an indication of something more serious.
Posted Wed, 9 Oct 2013 in Asthma and Allergy
Answered by Dr. Sriram Nathan 14 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Most probably allergic reaction

Detailed Answer:
Hello and welcome to XXXXXXX

I am Dr Sriram Nathan, an ENT consultant and I have seen many such cases having similar problem that you are facing.

At the offset let me assure you that since you do not have any other problems such as breathing difficulty and difficulty in swallowing you have nothing to worry about.

However since a swollen tongue is quite uncomfortable, you should do the following:
1. Take warm water and if you have no difficulty in swallowing then you have no problem. Remember though to drink in small sips.
2. Take an antihistamine or anti allergy medication such as levocetrizine for about a week. Your doctor will know about this.
3. Take only non spicy and non oily food stuffs and try to avoid whatever you may have felt could have caused the allergic reaction (in this case, probably beet although there is no way it can be surely confirmed)
4. Try also steam inhalation to relieve the swelling

Now wait for a day or two for the swelling to subside or at least reduce in size. If that does not happen and also if you get signs to watch out for then you must immediately consult an ENT for proper treatment. The signs to watch out for which indicates distress and emergency consult are:

1. Swelling increases in size
2. Difficulty in breathing
3. Difficulty in swallowing
4. Swelling does not reduce even after two weeks
5. Other symptoms develop such as fever, body pain etc

But as I mentioned before, in all probability you have nothing to worry about

If you have any other doubt I would be glad to help you out


Dr Sriram Nathan
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