Eat your green vegetables, get seven to nine hours of sleep, brush and floss twice a day — you’ve heard these health tips, and then some, too many times to count. What about the actions you could be taking for your health that you didn’t even know existed?
You may be aware of how to avoid major mistakes, but these sneaky indicators of bad health could affect even the most trained experts. Don’t let these hidden signs of bad health slip by.
Yes, snoring can simply be the cause of a fight between you and your partner over who got the least amount of sleep last night. However, it could also be the symptom of an underlying health issue. Excessive snoring may be a sign you’re overweight, or could be a result of sleep apnea.
People who snore as a result of sleep apnea are 40% more likely to die earlier than their unaffected peers. Sleep apnea can indicate cardiovascular problems like high blood pressure and coronary artery disease.
Everyone feels bloated once in a while from ingesting excess salt or a large meal. If you’re constantly feeling weighed down and puffy, it’s a cause for concern. A swollen or bloated abdomen may indicate gastroesophageal reflux disease or irritable bowel syndrome.
You have bad breath
Very few people wake up with minty fresh breath (for those of you who do, we’re jealous); however, if you have chronic bad breath, it’s definitely a sign your health is at risk. Bad breath may be a symptom of bacterial and yeast infections in your mouth, throat, nose, sinuses or digestive tract.
Serious underlying diseases can cause bad breath as well. Some cancers and metabolic disorders can cause a distinctive breath odor as a result of the chemicals they produce. Chronic reflux of stomach acids can produce bad breath as well.
You get regular headaches
Most people can just pop an aspirin or two to cure a headache. If your headache persists, it may be a cause for concern. Sometimes, head pain can be more than an annoying hangover effect; a headache can be an early warning sign of more complicated health issues such as a stroke, infection, or high blood pressure.
Conditions such as meningitis, brain tumors, or inflammation around the brain can all cause non-primary chronic daily headaches. You should see your doctor if your constant headaches have further systemic or neurologic symptoms if you’re older than 50.
You have difficulty sleeping
It’s common to have a restless night’s sleep every once in a while. If you’re consistently unable to catch some shut-eye, it may be time to see a sleep specialist. Underlying medical conditions that cause insomnia can be harmless, like allergies, or more severe, such as Parkinson’s disease.
Insomnia can be a sign you’re depressed or have high anxiety. The Sleep Foundation notes it’s important to know that symptoms of depression like low energy, loss of interest or motivation, and feelings of sadness or hopelessness can be linked to insomnia, and one can make the other worse.
You have a low sex drive
A few bad sexual experiences aren’t the only thing that may lower your desire to hop back in the sack. Some men and women have a naturally low libido, while others take prescription medications that are known to cause a decrease in sex drive.
A low libido can be totally normal, but it can also be caused by serious underlying health conditions. Numerous nonsexual diseases can also affect your desire for sex; arthritis, cancer, diabetes, depression, or hormonal imbalances may also be to blame.
You have weak hair and nails
The color and strength of your nails can say a lot about your health. Yellowing nails may indicate thyroid disease, lung disease, or psoriasis. Extremely pale and brittle nails are a sign of anemia, malnutrition, and even liver disease.
It’s crucial to pay attention to your hair’s health as well. Everyone will lose a few strands in their hair brush, but if you’re noticing above average hair loss, you may want to see a doctor. Losing large amounts of hair can indicate an overactive or under-active thyroid gland and its associated hormonal imbalances.