We all know that addressing health issues means detecting them early, but it’s easy to overlook some signs of ill health or to think they are too trivial to matter. Instead, we wait until we have symptoms that absolutely can’t be ignored, and in many instances, that complicates the treatment of the underlying issues. These warning signs from your body are among the “minor” problems that could develop into major trouble – if you don’t take steps to correct them early on.
1. Sore Gums
You notice it when you’re brushing your teeth. “Why are my gums sore?” you ask yourself. A closer look shows that your gums are redder than usual, and there may even be a little blood. You shrug your shoulders, rinse out your mouth and get on with business as usual. But sore gums are a sign of gingivitis – an inflammation of the gums that can develop into periodontitis. It’s a gum disease that makes your gums recede and it could ultimately cause tooth loss. Dentists can solve periodontitis, but it’s not a pleasant procedure. It’s much easier to treat its precursor, so prioritize your next visit to the dentist.
2. Bad Breath
Bad breath is usually, but not always, caused by dental issues. However, it could be caused by much more serious health problems including gastrointestinal issues or even liver or kidney failure. Whatever the cause, you need to pin it down and have it seen to. Start by visiting your dentist, and if the cause of your bad breath isn’t a dental issue after all, your doctor is the next port of call.
3. Changes in Your Bowel Movements
In your granny’s day, this was referred to as being “regular,” and you’ll have noticed that you usually have a fairly set routine in this regard. There’s no need to panic about occasional constipation or mildly runny tummies, but if changes in bowel movements persist, you may need medical help. Gross as this may sound, examine your stool before flushing. Look at the color as well as the consistency because these are things your doctor will ask about.
4. Suddenly Losing or Gaining Weight
Your habits have remained the same, but you’re tipping the scales differently. Either you’ve suddenly gained weight, or lost it – and the latter is not necessarily a windfall to be thankful for. Weight gain or weight loss that can’t be attributed to changes in physical activity or diet could be a symptom of several serious illnesses. It could also be something fairly mild – but you won’t know until you have had it checked out. Your doctor is the person to do this for you, and if he or she thinks there may be a significant issue, you will be sent for medical tests to find out exactly what it is
5. Your Appetite Changes
Most of us know that sustained appetite loss can be a symptom of illness – but feeling hungrier than normal is also a sign of potential trouble. A few days of altered appetite isn’t necessarily anything to worry about, but if you don’t return to normal, something might be going wrong with your health. What that may be is up to your doctor to find out. Go for a checkup and report what you’ve been experiencing.
6. You Feel Tired for no Obvious Reason
If you had a bad night’s sleep, it’s natural that you should feel a bit run down for a couple of days afterward. But if you’re tired all the time despite sleeping regular hours, you could be experiencing a far more serious health problem. For example, fatigue can be a sign of diabetes – an illness that’s becoming all-too-common in modern times. Are you afraid that your doctor might think you a hypochondriac? Don’t be! He or she will know that something as simple as feeling unusually tired could be a symptom of illness. Go for that examination and follow up with any tests your doctor may recommend.
7. Swollen Feet
Feet can become swollen in very hot weather or after sustaining overuse or injury – but if none of these causes are probable reasons for your swollen feet, it could be a symptom of something far more serious. That’s especially true if swelling is severe, if it’s long-lasting, or if it affects one foot but not the other. Swollen feet are an indication of circulatory problems, and could even be a sign that you have heart, kidney, or liver issues. Try a few home treatments for swollen feet, by all means, but if the swelling lasts more than a few days or is painful, get help.
Be Mindful of Your Body
Mindfulness is an important contributor to your physical and mental wellbeing. That includes being mindful of what your body is telling you – what’s normal, and what isn’t. If physical changes have no apparent reason, recur, or won’t return to normal, it’s wise to get a medical opinion. Once you have the mainstream diagnosis, it’s up to you whether you want to follow conventional medical treatments, see an alternative healer, or try a bit of both – after all, it’s your body, and your health.