Symptoms of serious illness, Signs of unhealthy body, Signs symptoms of unhealthy person, What are signs of poor health

Each year, more than 12 million adults in the U.S. who seek medical care on an outpatient basis are misdiagnosed. That’s equal to 1 in 20 patients. In half of those cases, that lapse results in severe harm, including disability or death. During an average visit with a primary care physician, Americans see the doctor for approximately 18 minutes. In that time, the doctor must review his notes, listen to new complaints, deduce a possible reason for the complaint, order any necessary tests to confirm the diagnosis, and prescribe a remedy, if one is available.

It is no surprise that less than obvious symptoms may be overlooked, or dismissed as insignificant, particularly if the patient doesn’t bring them to the attention of his or her physician. Observing these six subtle signals of an ailing body more closely can prevent months and years of suffering.

1. Skin Issues

Skin problems, such as rashes, acne, dryness, and sensitivity are often dismissed as being insignificant, unless accompanied by other noticeable complaints, such as fever and joint pain. Skin problems are often more than just a cosmetic issue though.

The skin can mirror what is happening inside the body, and rashes, itching, changing freckles or moles, bumps, cysts, or acne may be indicative of underlying food sensitivities, autoimmune disorders, vitamin deficiencies, high cholesterol, and even cancer.

2. Mouth Problems

Many disease conditions affect the mouth in the form of eroded teeth, inflamed mucous membranes, and the smell of your breath. These symptoms can provide valuable clues to what is happening inside your body.

Mouth sores, such as canker sores and cold sores, are often assumed to be a harmless virus; however, chronic sores that won’t heal, or that heal and reappear every few weeks may be a symptom of vitamin deficiency, a medicine or food allergy, systemic infection, anemia, cancer, or autoimmune disorders such as celiac disease, Crohn’s disease, Behcet’s syndrome, and lupus.

Eroded tooth enamel can point to acid reflux, an eating disorder, celiac disease, or chronic dry mouth. Sweet smelling breath is a hallmark of diabetes, and foul smelling breath that doesn’t improve with brushing often originates in the gastrointestinal tract.

3. Hair and Scalp Changes

Hair thinning, baldness, changes in growth pattern, and dry or fragile hair may be signs of hypothyroidism, autoimmune disease, diabetes, anemia, or vitamin deficiency. A dry, flaking scalp, or greasy, crusty scalp sores shouldn’t be dismissed as simple dandruff either. Allergies, fungal infections, nutrient deficiencies, infections, or disease may also be at fault.

4. Eye Discomfort

Gradual changes in vision, eye pain, tearing, dryness, redness, or stickiness might only require over-the-counter eye drops; however, it could be a symptom of serious illness. Diabetes, Grave’s disease, AIDS, high blood pressure, and several autoimmune disorders all cause ocular symptoms which not all physicians may be aware of.

5. Nail Abnormalities

Fingernails and toenails can reveal clues about your health too. The color of the nail is often an indicator of blood supply. Very pale, white, or blue nails may indicate anemia, congestive heart failure, or a lung disease such as emphysema. Nails that are discolored, pale with dark rims, or yellow could be a sign of liver disorders, lung disease, psoriasis, thyroid disorders, or a fungal infection, and very dark lines under the nails are a hallmark of melanoma, the most deadly form of skin cancer.

Ridged, dented, or pitted nails are often the result of nutrient deficiencies, psoriasis, arthritis, or other inflammatory disease. Nails with splits or ones that crack easily are linked to both thyroid disorders and fungal infections. Red, inflamed tissue around the nail bed might be a mild infection; however, persistent inflammation of the area may be the result of a connective tissue disorder such as lupus.

6. Mood Disorders

While many physicians are making an effort to screen for depression and anxiety in patients, the temptation is often to treat those symptoms without investigating possible causes. Many illness can cause mental health symptoms, such as underactive thyroid gland, autoimmune disorders, hormonal changes, Parkinson’s disease, Multiple Sclerosis, infections, food allergies, vitamin deficiencies, and genetic disease, such as Huntington’s.

Much of a patient’s health is his or her own responsibility, yet many are uncomfortable telling their physician about embarrassing symptoms, or feel they shouldn’t waste their time on something that seems unimportant. However, a physician is limited by what he is told and what he observes, and the brief time allowed for an exam can easily miss many less than obvious symptoms unless a patient brings them to the doctor’s attention. Making notes about what you want to discuss and what physical symptoms you are noticing prior to your next doctor visit can not only save time and money, but may prevent misdiagnosis and unnecessary suffering.