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8 surprising signs that you might not be healthy

If you suffer from any of these conditions, see your doctor for advice and treatment. 

5 October 2017
4 minute read

woman looking in mirror

Most of the time, small unusual symptoms are nothing to worry about. 

The human body works in mysterious ways – some of those ways so mysterious, in fact, that we often don’t know what our bodies might be trying to tell us. An odd sign like an earlobe crease or odd shaped nails could indicate an illness or deficiency. Most of the time, small unusual symptoms are nothing to worry about, but if you have a collection of symptoms or one that persists, it is worth speaking to your doctor.

Here are some of the unusual symptoms that you should pay attention to:

1. Cracks at the corners of your smile

It’s not just the dry winter air that makes your lips crack – little splits at the corners of your mouth could be an indication of a vitamin B-12 or riboflavin deficiency. Fortunately, other than the unsightly cracks, the deficiency doesn’t make you ill. You can treat the deficiency by eating more dairy, whole grains and dark leafy vegetables. Some breads and cereals are fortified with riboflavin and it is also included in a vitamin B complex supplement.

2. Creases in your earlobes

According to Time Magazine, a study in the American Journal of Medicine revealed that a diagonal crease in your earlobe can be an indicator that you are at greater risk of heart disease. A crease on one side ups your risk of developing heart disease by as much as a third, and a crease on both sides increases your risk by up to 77%. Apparently, this line indicates a lack of elasticity, which is an influencing factor in heart disease.
So, if you have creased earlobes, take the necessary steps to protect you and your family from heart disease and make sure you know the early warning signs of a heart attack.

3. Love handles and a beer belly

While it’s great to be body positive at any size, be aware of the fact that where you carry that weight can put you at greater risk of developing heart disease, diabetes and dementia. Unfortunately, extra kilograms around your midriff contribute to your risk of developing these diseases, so if you are carrying some love handles or a tummy, do what you can to get them under control – the more they grow, the harder they are to get rid of and the greater your risk factors become.

4. Caught red handed

Red palms, which can also be itchy or inflamed, can be an early symptom of liver disease. Chances are you will have other symptoms as well, like feeling ill and tired. If the red palms persist, or occur along with some of the other symptoms of liver disease, then it’s best to see a doctor to try to get to the root of the cause.

5. Shortening eyebrows

Thick luscious eyebrows are all the rage now – but some people struggle to keep their brows looking bushy, especially at the outer edges. In some people, hair loss in the eyebrows and on the head can be an indicator of an underactive thyroid. Again, a number of other symptoms like tiredness, weight gain and sensitivity to cold might indicate that you have this condition, so if your eyebrows are thinning, keep an eye on the other signs of thyroid disease.

6. Strange nails

Your nails are a surprisingly good indicator of your overall health. Clubbed nails, when your nails become more rounded or dome like, can suggest emphysema or other lung problems. Small pits or indentations in the surface of the nail could be a sign of arthritis or eczema. And nails that are pale at the cuticles and brownish-red at the tips could be a sign of kidney disease.

7. Don’t get cold feet

If you have abnormally cold feet and hands, you could have Raynaud’s syndrome, which causes the blood vessels in the hands and feet to overreact to cold temperatures. Raynaud’s syndrome can exist on its own, or it can be a secondary condition that results from smoking, carpal tunnel syndrome, or diseases of the arteries. It’s a good idea to get this condition seen to (don’t just wear thicker socks!) because severe constriction in the arteries can result in deformities – and there are treatments to prevent this.

8. Diminishing sense of smell

While your sense of smell does decrease as you get older, a sudden or steep loss can be an early sign of Alzheimer’s disease. The disease causes changes in your olfactory system that are similar to the changes that happen in other parts of your brain – but the results show up much sooner. So, if you lose your sense of smell, consult with your doctor.

If you are worried, see a doctor

As we’ve already mentioned, many of these symptoms can simply be a sign of some passing ailment or allergy and are nothing to worry about. But if a niggle or a discomfort is starting to worry you – or if you have a collection of such irritations – be sure to see your doctor for diagnosis and treatment.

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