12 Things Your Body Is Telling You (That You Probably Never Realized)

Sometimes, the physical signs of illness are pretty straightforward. An upset stomach can point to food poisoning. Chest pains and a tingling in the left arm can be a sign of a heart attack for men. There are some things, however, your body is telling you that may not be so cut and dry. For example, did you know that swollen feet might be a hint that you should head over to the cardiologist?

Your entire body, logically enough, contains clues to your health. From your head to your toes, body signs can help predict future ailments or point out when you should visit a doctor, stat. Continue below to discover the surprising things your body is telling you.

Photo: Cjottawa / Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY-SA 3.0

  • Swollen Feet Could Show Heart Problems

    The human body is an amazing interconnected system. One part of the body can do something that affects another part in an unexpected way. For example, a person suffering from swollen feet and legs may be experiencing congestive heart failure. That's because heart failure obstructs blood flow, especially in the extremities. The condition also impacts the liver and digestive system. 

  • Going Bald Could Be Bad News For Your Ticker

    Aside from marking a man's age, going bald may also indicate something is going wrong with the ol' ticker. A study looking at men, baldness, heart disease, and cholesterol showed that bald men with high cholesterol were at higher risk for heart disease. Unexpectedly, the study showed that men with a full head of hair but similar levels of cholesterol as their bald counterparts were not as likely to have heart disease. So, men who are going bald would be wise not to reach for the Rogaine, but to visit their cardiologist instead.  

  • Nail Pitting Could Indicate Arthritis

    Arthritis is a condition that  that causes pain in joints for 50 million people in America. The disease is obviously painful, but it can also be signaled by conditions other than stiff joints. For example, nail pitting can indicate that someone is suffering from the painful disorder. Nail pitting, or when finger nails have small depressions in them, also shows if a person has psoriasis. 

  • Bad Gums Could Mean A Bad Heart

    It's strange to think that the mouth and heart could be related, but that does seem to be the case. Gum disease makes the gums inflamed and can cause gums to recede, but that's not all. Periodontal disease has been linked to more than an unsavory smile. The chronic infection has been linked to an increased risk of heart disease and stroke. It has also been linked to a lower birth weight for pregnant woman. If you've ever needed more incentive to brush and floss daily, this is it.

  • Going Number One Can Be A Sign Of Type Two

    Type 2 diabetes is a condition that impacts millions of people. It is caused when the body has a difficult time utilizing insulin. Although there are several signs that someone has the disease, one in particular might be more noticeable. The disease causes frequent urination. Diabetes makes people feel thirstier than they really are, so they compensate by drinking more, because water is diverted away from less useful parts of the body to thin the blood to process glucose. The intense intake of fluids leads to more urination.

  • Long Limbs, Low Risk Of A Brain Disorder

    Everyone has heard that eating fish is good for the brain, but few probably know that so is having long limbs. According to one study, people with longs arms and legs are less likely to develop Alzheimer's and dementia. The study, put together by scientists at Johns Hopkins University, showed that women with long legs were 16% less likely to get dementia for every inch longer their legs were. However, women with short arms have a risk 50% higher than those with long arms. Men in the study didn't have quite the same results, with those who have longer arms only 6% less likely to get a brain disorder. Scientists don't exactly know why this is the case, but it could have to do with nutrition in early life.