Understanding What Your Body Is Telling You

The body is likely a finely tuned, self-regulating machine. However, it is not entirely self-maintaining. It needs some help from you to accomplish that, but if provided with the proper tools, the body has a remarkable capability to fix itself. It also has a sophisticated warning system to let you know that something is wrong and maintenance or repair is needed. Learning how to interpret the different warning signs that your body may be sending out can help keep you healthier.

White Spots on Your Tongue

Small white spots on your tongue are normal, but large white patches in your mouth are a sign that something is wrong. It may be a sign of an oral Candida infection, a cancerous tumor, or a symptom of celiac disease. If it is accompanied by a persistent brain “fog,” it might mean that you are intolerant or sensitive to gluten. You may have to have a gluten test to find out for sure. If you do have celiac disease, you will have to go on a strict gluten-free diet.

Persistent Hiccups

It is normal to have hiccups once in a while, and they usually last only a few minutes. However, if you have hiccups more often, or they last a whole day or more, it could be a sign of cancer. Esophageal or lung cancer sends out antibodies that trigger a part of your central nervous system that controls your diaphragm. This is a muscle between your chest and torso that causes your lungs to move up and down, drawing air in and out of the lungs. The part of the central nervous system triggered by the cancerous growth could cause your diaphragm to spasm, resulting in persistent hiccups.

Jaw Pain

Jaw pain can indicate different things depending on where it occurs. Dental problems can cause jaw pain in the area around the teeth, but if the pain is occurring around the joint where the jaw connects to the skull, it could be something else. Misalignment of the joint or damage to the cartilage could cause temporomandibular joint disorder, sometimes referred to as TMJ or TMD.

Jaw pain could also be a sign of Lyme disease. This is a condition transmitted through tick bites and affects the neurological system. It can cause a lot of mysterious symptoms, such as fatigue, irregular heart rhythms, and mental health changes. In particular, it can affect the nerves around the jaw. If you spend a lot of time outside, you may be more susceptible to tick bites and therefore more likely to contract Lyme disease.

Weird Taste in Your Mouth

The tastes of certain foods may linger for a while after eating, but if you have an unidentifiable taste in your mouth and it has been a while since you have eaten anything, and the taste is unpleasant, it could be a sign of a bigger problem.

If you take vitamins, a weird or metallic taste in your mouth could be a sign that you are getting more than you really need … overdosing on supplements as it were. Vitamin deficiency can be dangerous but so can a vitamin surplus. You should talk to a doctor about adjusting your dosage.

If you do not take supplements, an underlying medical condition could be responsible for the weird taste. Your senses of taste and smell can be affected if there is a tumor compressing your cranial nerves. A weird taste in your mouth could also be a symptom of sinus problems.

Persistent Cough

An occasional cough is nothing to worry about, but one that lingers for weeks without any apparent cause, such as an upper respiratory infection, could be a sign of any number of lung conditions. For example, a bad cold could cause you to develop post-bronchitis syndrome. This is a condition that acts on the tubes in your lungs similar to the way asthma would, making them smaller, but unlike asthma, it is temporary.

Even if your symptoms seem minor, see a doctor if they are persistent. If allowed to develop, a serious condition may be more difficult to treat.


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