If only your body could talk to you, because often, an unusual symptom – like tingly thighs or shoulder pain – has an unexpected explanation. Here are the surprising secrets behind a few common complaints, courtesy of Health magazine.
- You have shoulder or torso pain. It could mean that you have gallstones. Dr.Joel Levine is a professor of gastroenterology at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. He says that a backache, severe chest pain and shooting pains in the right shoulder all signal a gallbladder attack. Here’s what happens: Your gallbladder stores bile that gets released into your intestines to break down fat. Painful gallstones can form when the bile doesn’t empty properly into your gut. To prevent this, avoid eating high-fat, high-cholesterol foods, which have been linked to gallstones. Also, fatty foods contract the gallbladder more forcefully, which can cause pain. If you experience those symptoms, get to a doctor. They’re also the same ones that can indicate a heart attack.
- Do you have neon-pink gums? It could mean that you clench your teeth. Pale pink is a sign of healthy gums, but if they’re bright pink, bordering on red, that signals gum damage – and clenching your teeth is a surprising culprit. Maybe you do it in your sleep, or when you’re stressed during the workday. Well, it puts a lot of pressure on your gums, causing them to redden. Your best defense is finding a regular activity that allows you to de-stress – whether it’s jogging, reading or yoga. Talk to your doctor about getting a mouth guard if you grind your teeth in the night.
- What if you have tingly thighs? It could simply mean that your jeans are too tight. Dr. Michael Port is a pain-management specialist in California, and he calls it “skinny jeans syndrome” – which means that your jeans are compressing the nerve that runs along the outside of your thigh, causing it to tingle. The solution? If you have a few pounds to lose, doing so can stop the tingling. Otherwise, get bigger jeans.