If you’re diagnosed with a serious illness like cancer, or you have a heart attack, it’s obvious you need to make some immediate health changes. However, there are often many subtle warnings of health issues long before something reaches the life threatening stage.
By making changes now, before you end up facing a potentially life-threatening illness, you’re likely to bring your body back into balance, and into a better state of health before it’s too late.
If you’re not getting enough sleep, it may be because your cortisol levels are too high at night due to stress. This stress hormone is supposed to decrease at night, which allows your body to rest and recharge. When the stress response is on all the time, you’re likely to get sick because your body isn’t able to repair itself.
If you snore loudly enough that it’s keeping your partner awake, your snoring could be damaging your heart. You may have sleep apnea, which is linked to a higher risk of cardiovascular disease and heart attack.
Cracks at the corners of your mouth
If you have a nutritional deficiency, it often shows up in the tissues that turn over the quickest, like the tongue and the lips. Research has found that cracks or sores at the corners of the mouth, also known as cheilitis, could be a sign that you’re not getting enough B-vitamins. A B-vitamin deficiency is common, particularly in people who eat a lot of refined and processed foods, sugar or alcohol.
If you’re getting shorter, it’s most likely because your bones are beginning to degenerate due to osteoporosis. Bone loss isn’t something that comes naturally with aging. For healthy bones, it’s important to get enough vitamin D, natural calcium and weight bearing exercise.
Sore or bleeding gums aren’t just a symptom of periodontal disease, they can also be an early sign of cardiovascular disease. It’s not only important to see a dentist to treat potential gum disease, but to talk to your doctor about your symptoms.
You have an “apple shape”
If you’re overweight and have an “apple shape,” which mean your extra weight is carried around your abdomen and waist, you have an increased risk of heart disease compared to those who are pear shaped, or carry extra pounds around the hips and thighs. Do keep in mind that no matter what shape you are, being overweight is a sign of poor health.
If your fatigue isn’t related to a particular activity, such as staying up too late or running a marathon, it could be caused by numerous different health problems. Your thyroid may not be functioning properly, or you may be exhausted because your body is experiencing toxic overload due to a diet of processed foods, alcohol, cigarettes or environmental exposures.
Fatigue can also be caused by being overstressed. Your immune system could be working in overdrive trying to protect you from a host of serious conditions like cancer or infection.
Swollen legs or feet
If your feet are swelling enough to make your shoes feel tight, or if you notice that your fingers, wrists or ankles look puffy, you could be experiencing edema, or fluid retention. This can be a sign of heart failure or coronary artery disease.
Your pee is dark yellow
Getting enough water is essential for good health. If you’re well-hydrated, your urine should be almost clear, or a very pale yellow. If it looks dark yellow, you’re probably not drinking enough fluids. It’s important to drink lots of water and limit or avoid caffeinated and alcoholic beverages, which are dehydrating. Herbal teas, coconut water and water with a squeeze of lemon are all tasty and healthy alternatives to plain water.
Everyone experiences some anxiety now and again, but if you’re anxious all the time, it could be the result of a health condition like hyperthyroidism, adrenal tumors or a sex hormone imbalance. Not addressing anxiety can predispose you to heart disease and other problems. If you feel like you’re often anxious for no reason, you may want to ask your healthcare provider to test your hormones.
If you’re frequently constipated, you’re probably not getting enough fiber in your diet. The bowels are key to the body’s elimination process, and when things get backed up, toxins from the bowel leach back into the body and can result in a wide range of inflammation-based health issues. These can affect everything from your heart, brain and skin to your digestion, in addition to disrupting immunity and hormonal balance.
If you seem to catch every cold that comes around, it may be a sign that your immune system isn’t functioning like it should. A weakened immune system can put you at risk for all types of infectious diseases, and even serious life threatening conditions.
If your skin frequently breaks out with acne, eczema or other types of rashes, it’s likely a sign that your health is out of whack. It could signal allergies, or that you’re under a lot of stress.
By addressing any and all of these signs now, you’re not only likely to notice an improvement in your overall health over the short term, you’re likely to help ensure a better future for yourself for many years to come.
-The Alternative Daily