6 Silent Signs of Illness

signs of illness

Life is busy, and it’s easy to ignore the signs of illness your body sends. There are subtle clues, such as snoring and handwriting changes, that can signal changes in your health.

Review six silent signs as featured in Reader’s Digest:

1. Handwriting – Changes in writing style can be an early sign of Parkinson’s disease. According to the National Parkinson Foundation, as people with the disease write, each sentence becomes smaller and smaller, with the words more crowded together. Research shows that 97 percent of people with this change are in an early stage of Parkinson’s.

2. Blistery, itchy skin rash – It may look like eczema, but doctors say a rash on the elbows, knees, butt, back or scalp may be an early sign of celiac disease, an autoimmune condition. Ingesting even a small amount of gluten may cause the body to attack its own intestines. Approximately 25 percent of people with celiac develop this rash, called dermatitis herpetiformis.

3. Worn tooth enamel – People with reflux and heartburn often don’t recognize the symptoms, but the acid can erode the protective enamel off of teeth. Other subtle signs are a persistent sore throat, coughing, unexplained wheezing or a frequent bad taste in the mouth.

4. Bursts of anger – Common signs of depression are weeping or lying around on the couch. However, 50 percent of people with depression may be irritable and angry, especially men. For some, being mad is easier than being sad.

5. Inflamed gums – Oral bacteria that causes gum disease also has been linked to heart disease. Research shows that people with high levels of harmful oral bacteria have thicker carotid arteries, which can be a predictor of stroke or heart attack.

6. Snoring – A common symptom of sleep apnea, snoring also may indicate an increased risk of heart disease. Snoring can damage the carotid arteries in the neck, causing them to thicken and lead to stroke and heart attack.