Thinking that you are healthy and actually being healthy are two very different things. You can go to the gym every week, floss after every meal, and go to sleep every night before 10 pm and still you might be suffering in silence without even realizing it. But now is the time to learn abut the silent health symptoms that could indicate a serious issue is going on. Because when it comes to your health, knowledge is power.
1. You have chronic neck pain
Just because you have to be at work for eight hours every day does not mean that you can not do so in a healthy manner. You might not even realize it, but sitting at your desk all day in a hunched posture can cause back and neck pain as well as tight muscle knots, explains Leon Turetsky, NASM-CPT, NASM-CES, a certified personal trainer and corrective exercise specialist. Instead of slouching, make a conscious effort to sit up straight or even better, invest in a standing desk that you can use to get off your feet every few hours.
2. You are losing more hair than usual
According to Amanda Sylvie, MPH, RD, LD, a registered dietitian with Wellnicity, this subtle symptom is often the result of inadequate protein in the diet. If left untreated it can further lead to everything from chronic fatigue to an impaired immune system.
3. You are getting wrinkles
As we age, our skin has a tendency to crease and lose elasticity. However, Dr. Eugene Charles, director of The Applied Kinesiology Center of New York and author of Journey To Healing. The Art and Science of Applied Kinesiology, notes that wrinkles can also be a silent sign of something that is in our control, a protein deficiency.
4. You have skin tags
Are you dealing with unsightly and uncomfortable skin tags? If so, you might have your cholesterol to blame. According to Mark Menolascino, MD, a functional medicine doctor and author of Heart Solution for Women, certain skin growths called xanthelasmata can be related to abnormal cholesterol metabolism. These yellowish skin tags are especially a concern when seen around the eyes.
5. Your fingernails are changing
One of the surprising places where health problems manifest is your fingernails. Changes in your fingernails and toes can be related to diet and bad habits like smoking, says Peter Bidey, DO, assistant professor and vice chair of family medicine at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. It can also be an early sign that problems are occurring with your circulation or other internal systems.
6. You are constantly thinking about food
Food is delicious, and so it is only natural to have your meals at the top of your mind every now and again. However, if monitoring your intake seems to be the only thing you think about then Molly Bahr, LMHC, a licensed mental health counselor with an eating disorder specialty, warns that this could be a silent sign that you are not eating enough.
7. You are always thirsty
Craving a glass of water after an intense workout is normal. Feeling like you absolutely need one while sitting at your desk. A little bit less so. Excessive thirst can be an indication of a blood sugar imbalance, explains Caitlin Self, MS, CNS, LDN, a licensed dietitian and nutritionist. It can be an early sign of insulin dysregulation or even diabetes.
8. Your breathe smells
Bad breath is not always a sign of an onion-filled lunch. Rather, it is often associated with gingivitis or gum disease, says Joshua S. Yamamoto, MD a cardiologist and co author of You Can Prevent a Stroke. It might not seem like a big deal, but Yamamoto notes that “there is a correlation between poor gingival health and vascular inflammation, which can lead to heart disease.
9. Your cuts never heal
If it feels like your wounds are taking longer than they should to heal, it could be a silent sign of a vitamin D deficiency. One 2011 study published in the Journal of Dental Research measured how long it took for patients to recover after a dental procedure. They found that vitamin D deficiency negatively affects treatment outcomes for up to one year.
10. You snore
Snoring is not just annoying. According to Yamamoto, it is also potentially a not so silent sign of a serious health issue like sleep apnea. It is similar to being choked to death, only you do not even wake up to know it is happening, Yamamoto explains. This causes a variety of problems, especially in terms of heart disease.