What every part of your body from your hair to your nails is trying to tell you about your health.
When you stop to think about it, your body is an amazing thing. Every day, you’re able to think, breathe, eat, and move, thanks to all of your systems working together. But while the body is typically a well-oiled machine, sometimes issues do arise—whether that’s in the form of disease, infection, or injury. Fortunately, there tend to be signs when something is off with your machine. To help you notice them more easily (and follow up on them quickly with your doctor), we’ve rounded up 40 subtle signs of disease that are simple to spot once you know what you’re looking for.
Your eyes are always super dry.
While there are many different reasons for dry eyes—including staring at your computer screen all day—a more serious culprit is Sjögren’s syndrome, an autoimmune disease that causes inflammation of the tear-secreting glands in your eyes, leading to a reduction in tear production and chronic dry eye issues, according to the Sjögren’s Syndrome Foundation. It can also cause your mouth to become dry.
You have white patches inside your mouth.
The white patches inside your mouth or white spots on your tongue could be leukoplakia. According to the American Cancer Society, this condition often occurs in those who smoke or use tobacco, and if it’s not treated, it can turn into mouth cancer.
You always feel cold.
Are you usually searching for an extra sweater or a blanket to wrap yourself in? When you have low thyroid production, it can result in feeling cold. According to Harvard Medical School, that’s due to the fact that your slowed-down cells are burning less energy, resulting in your body producing less heat. Because of that, you might often find yourself reaching for a sweatshirt when everyone else seems to be happy with the temperature.
You’ve been having really intense dreams.
Your dreams might seem unimportant, but sometimes they can tell you a lot about your health. According to the American Parkinson Disease Association, having super intense and vivid dreams or nightmares—especially if you act them out in your sleep—can be an early sign of Parkinson’s disease.
Your fingers change color after being out in the cold.
If your fingers change color after being exposed to cold temps—typically turning white, then blue—it could be due to Raynaud’s disease. According to the Mayo Clinic, the discoloration occurs when the arteries that supply blood to the skin become too narrow. That can also cause your fingers to feel cold and numb until you warm up.
You always feel spaced out.
If you’ve been feeling tired, forgetful, and spacey, it could be yet another sign of hypothyroidism. According to the Mayo Clinic, these symptoms can occur when your thyroid gland is underactive and not producing enough of the hormones your body needs to function properly.
You always feel bloated.
Bloating can occur due to what you’re eating, but it could also come about because of something more serious. One of the most visible symptoms of ovarian cancer in women is bloating, which occurs due to the buildup of excess fluid in the abdominal cavity, according to Ovarian Cancer Action.
Your face looks puffy.
This could be a sign of hypothyroidism, which often results in a puffy or swollen face—as well as thinning hair and muscle weakness—due to your thyroid gland not producing enough hormones, according to the Mayo Clinic. It can lead to serious issues like infertility and heart disease if left untreated.