Warning Signs on Your Tongue: When to Stop Drinking Coffee According to Experts

For many, drinking a cup of coffee daily is a cherished habit. However, a doctor has recently cautioned that certain symptoms may signal the need to stop drinking coffee altogether.

Anis Khalaf, a doctor specializing in Chinese medicine, shared with his 457,000 followers on TikTok a simple test to check if coffee consumption might be harming their health: “Look in the mirror and examine your tongue. If you notice a lot of cracks and a thick yellow layer, it may be a sign that you should avoid coffee.”

Dr. Khalaf attributes this condition to a “potential imbalance in the body,” which caffeine intake can exacerbate. He refers to this imbalance as “yin deficiency,” a concept in Chinese medicine where the body’s yin (cooling and nourishing aspects) is depleted, leading to increased body temperature, heightened anxiety, and dryness of the mouth and throat.

Dr. Lawrence Cunningham, a general practitioner with the UK Care Guide, provided additional insights, stating that “yin deficiency” indicates a physical imbalance where the body’s nourishing aspects are depleted. This condition can lead to symptoms such as insomnia, heart disturbances, and other discomforts. His comments were reported by the British newspaper “Mirror.”

Digestive System Dysfunction

Dr. Cunningham also explained the significance of a thick yellow layer on the tongue: “In my experience, a thick yellow layer generally points to a dysfunction in the body’s digestive system rather than a specific aversion to coffee. Factors such as poor oral hygiene, dehydration, or the presence of bacteria and yeast can contribute to this condition.”

While coffee itself is not usually the direct cause, it can worsen conditions that lead to the formation of this layer. “Coffee is acidic and can alter the hydrogen balance in the mouth, which may promote the proliferation of bacteria and yeast, leading to a yellow layer on the tongue,” Dr. Cunningham added.

Other Warning Signs

There are several other signs that indicate coffee might be negatively affecting your health. Stomach pain and acid reflux are common symptoms, as coffee is known to increase the production of stomach acid. Dr. Cunningham pointed out that “frequent headaches or migraines can sometimes be associated with excessive coffee consumption, especially if one drinks large amounts throughout the day.”

Expert Recommendations

Medical experts generally advise moderation in caffeine consumption due to its potential health risks. Excessive intake of caffeine, particularly from coffee, can lead to various health issues, including:

  • Increased heart rate: High caffeine levels can cause palpitations and elevate heart rate.
  • Sleep disturbances: Caffeine can interfere with sleep patterns, leading to insomnia or poor quality sleep.
  • Anxiety and restlessness: High caffeine intake can increase anxiety and induce feelings of restlessness.
  • Digestive issues: Coffee can irritate the stomach lining and lead to digestive discomfort.

To maintain good health, it is essential to monitor your body’s reactions to coffee and adjust your intake accordingly. Incorporating other healthy habits, such as maintaining proper hydration, practicing good oral hygiene, and following a balanced diet, can help mitigate some of the adverse effects associated with coffee consumption.

For those experiencing the symptoms described by Dr. Khalaf, it may be wise to reduce or eliminate coffee intake and consult with a healthcare professional to address any underlying health concerns.

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