In the age of the internet, more and more people are turning to the web to diagnose their potential illnesses and injuries.
While it is always best to see a medical professional to make the final call on your health, there’s likely no one who knows your body quite like you do. That’s why you should be aware of these common cues that your body can give off that most would pass off as nothing to worry about, as they could warn you about various silent killers. If you’ve noticed one of these 12 things about your body, you might want to schedule an appointment before your health takes a turn for the worse.
1. Rapid and unintentional weight loss
If you’re losing large amounts of weight without diet or exercise, go see your doctor for a checkup. Severe weight loss for no apparent reason often helps diagnose lung, stomach, pancreatic, and esophageal cancers.
2. Blistering skin rashes
While rashes on your arms, knees, elbows, and other parts of your body could be the result of eczema, they could potentially lead to a far more serious diagnosis. Nearly 25 percent of those with Celiac disease report having itchy, blistering rashes after consuming even the smallest trace of gluten.
Traditionally, a doctor performs a biopsy of the rash in question to determine its cause.
3. Inflamed gums
In a University of Florida study, researchers discovered a link between the types of bacteria that cause gum disease and those that cause heart disease. Older adults with these bacteria in their mouth also typically have a larger carotid artery, which is linked to stroke and heart attacks.
4. Unexplained bleeding
Any unexplained bleeding could be a sign of cancer. Depending on the location of the bleeding, you could be at risk for lung, cervical, colon, rectal, bladder, kidney, or breast cancer.
5. Bladder or bowel changes
If you’re noticing an increase or decrease in your trips to the bathroom, it could be a sign that you have developed cancer. Frequent peeing could be the result of bladder or prostate cancer, while constipation or diarrhea could be caused by ovarian or colon cancer.
Frequent peeing could also mean that you have Type 2 diabetes. As the disease develops, it becomes increasingly difficult for your body to break down food into sugar and energy. This can result in the buildup of sugar in your bloodstream, which your body will try to rid itself of by flushing it out in your urine.
6. Impotency problems
According to a 2013 study, men over the age of 45 who suffer from moderate to severe erectile dysfunction are 60 percent more likely to be hospitalized for heart problems. A family history of heart disease further increases their risk.
While snoring is often a symptom of sleep apnea, it could also tell you that you may develop heart disease down the road, as a 2013 study revealed that snoring is linked to an enlarged carotid artery.
8. Damage to your teeth
Heartburn and acid reflux are commonly responsible for tooth damage. This is because acid in your stomach slowly wears down and dissolves the enamel of your teeth, making them more susceptible to damage and decay.
9. Severe and prolonged coughing
Coughing is often a sign of allergies, asthma, or even the common cold, but severe and prolonged coughing fits could mean lung cancer. If your cough is accompanied by hoarseness, you may be at risk for cancer of the larynx or throat as well.
10. Changes in handwriting
Handwriting that becomes smaller and more bunched together over time could be an early sign of Parkinson’s disease. In a 2013 handwriting analysis study, patients in the first stages of Parkinson’s were able to be identified more than 97 percent of the time. Other symptoms of the disease include loss of smell and an increase in intense dreams that cause kicking and thrashing about in your sleep.
11. Trouble remembering names
While forgetfulness is often linked to dementia and Alzheimer’s, it may also be because of a thyroid problem. If your brain feels fuzzy or you have trouble remembering small pieces of information such as names, you might be experiencing hypothyroidism, which is a decrease in your thyroid hormones. More than half of the 30 million Americans who suffer from a thyroid problem do not realize that they have anything wrong with them.
If you suffer from what you believe to be severe hemorrhoids that don’t respond well to treatment, it might be best to make an appointment with a specialist. A rare form of Crohn’s disease can result in the inflammation of the anal cavity, as well as swelling, sores, and ulcers that many mistake as hemorrhoids. If left untreated, the disease can cause bowel obstructions and even colon cancer.
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