If you listen hard enough, you’ll hear that your body does indeed talk to you! And sometimes, common symptoms – like bloodshot eyes, for example – say a lot more than, “Hey buddy – you need to get more sleep!” Here are a few body signals you shouldn’t ignore, courtesy of Woman’s Day magazine.
- Bleeding gums. If you’re a regular brusher and flosser and your gums are swollen or you have unusual bleeding, it could be a sign of LEUKEMIA. This is a group of cancers that cause your body to make too many abnormal white blood cells instead of healthy cells, including the platelets your body needs to make your blood clot. Other common signs of leukemia include easy bruising, unexplainable fatigue, infections that don’t go away, and joint pain. Have your dentist check for your garden-variety gum disease. If that’s not the problem, have your doctor check you out.
- Another body signal you shouldn’t ignore: pale, graying skin. If you look like Casper the friendly ghost – but you’re too tired to say “boo” to anyone, you might be suffering from ANEMIA. This also has to do with your blood cells. When you have anemia, your body doesn’t have enough red blood cells, and it can leave you feeling pale, fatigued and short of breath. Other symptoms include a rapid heart beat, feeling cold and a decreased appetite. If these ring a bell, have your doctor take a blood test. Something as simple as changing your diet can get you back on track.
- Bloodshot eyes. Most likely they’re the result of allergies, pollution or lack of sleep, but if they’re routinely bloodshot - be concerned. There’s a disease called “sarcoidosis” that affects tens of thousands of Americans. It creates tiny granules, like little pieces of sand, that collect in your lungs or lymph nodes, and then spread to other organs. Many cases clear up by themselves, but some require the long-term use of steroids. So if you develop small red bumps on your skin, headaches and shortness of breath in addition to your red eyes, get a hold of your doctor.