If you’re living a generally unhealthy lifestyle, you’re probably clued-in. Most of us are aware that we shouldn’t be shoveling garbage down our throats at every opportunity, reaching for sodas, completely ignoring our bodies’ primal urges for exercise — but we do it anyway. And we somehow are able to shut down the nagging voice in the back of our minds that tell us to knock it off and get ourselves into shape.
Here are seven tell-tale signs that you’re unhealthy, and that it’s time to do something about it.
1. Bad skin
The quality of your skin is a sure-fire way to get a reading on your overall level of health. Of course, some people struggle with skin issues like acne and are otherwise perfectly fine — but skin quality can clue you into some bigger problems. A poor diet can really impact your skin quality, and if you’re noticing blemishes like stretch marks? That should tell you that something is wrong.
2. Sleep issues
Can’t seem to fall asleep at night? That can be an indication that some aspects of your life need adjusting. Whether it be that you’re eating the wrong foods, ingesting too much caffeine late in the day, or not expelling enough energy during the day, not being able to sleep presents an issue — which cascades into further issues.
3. Bathroom problems
Yep, we’re getting down and dirty. Take note of the color of your urine, and even how frequently you’re going No. 2 — those could both provide important insight into the state of your overall health. Since you’re going to ask, your urine should be a pale yellow color — and hopefully odorless. As for your bowel movement frequency, there’s a wide range. But if you’re going regularly, you’re probably fine. And don’t ignore the grimy details during your investigation.
4. Lip balm reliance
If your lips are constantly chapped, and you find that you can’t live without lip balm, that’s your body’s way of telling you that something’s wrong. Specifically, your lip condition is an indicator of your vitamin levels. If your lips are chapped, you may be vitamin strapped — so diversify your diet, and get the nutrients you need.
5. Bad fingernails and toenails
If the condition of your lips wasn’t a solid enough indicator, your finger and toe nails can also give you a heads-up if you’re unhealthy. You’re going to want to be on the lookout for ridges, discoloration, and bumps — all of which should be red flags. Your nails can tell you a lot about your overall state of health, so if something is strange, don’t ignore it.
6. Body temperature fluctuation
Icy feet and hands aren’t normal. Yes, there could be environmental factors at play, but if you’re consistently finding that your extremities are ice cold, it can be a sign of cardiovascular problems. Specifically, cold hands or feet might mean that you’re having circulation issues and that your body isn’t getting blood where it needs to go. If this is a chronic issue, have it checked out.
7. A cloudy mind
It’s becoming quite clear that our cognitive ability and brain health are closely tied to our physical condition. That means that obesity and elevated levels of body fat can have a significant impact on our ability to think and reason. It’s kind of scary, but also a very promising area of research. So, if you can’t formulate a potent thought, it may be a sign that it’s time to drop some weight.
8. You’re consistently itchy
If you’re not acutely aware that you have an itch, you probably won’t notice. But if you’re thinking about whether or not you have an itch? You’ll be itchy. It’s weird. However, if you’re seemingly always itchy and it’s disrupting your day, that may indicate a bigger problem. It could be your body’s way of telling you you’re allergic to something nearby. Or it could be a skin disorder, as we covered earlier. One big worry? Excess itchiness could be a sign of liver trouble.
9. You’re shrinking
Have you noticed you’re getting shorter? Most of us don’t give much thought to our height, but as we age, we can actually shrink. We’re talking very small amounts here — nothing like Ant Man. You should take this seriously, though, as this can signal serious health problems. Commonly, this is associated with bone loss. Or, it could mean you’re not getting enough vital nutrients like protein and calcium. That, down the line, could lead to fractures as bones lose density.
10. Premature graying
Going gray at an early age? Sometimes that’s just a part of getting older. Other times, it can be a sign of health problems. While you shouldn’t panic just because you’ve found a stray gray, if you’re noticing a pattern, it may be worth talking to your doctor. It could be a simple genetic quirk, but it can also be related to a number of other health conditions, including certain deficiencies and thyroid disorders.