Special Report

Warning Signs That You Are in Bad Health

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16. Coughing: Lung, larynx, upper respiratory tract cancer

A dry, persistent cough is usually a symptom of a respiratory tract infection. It may also be a sign of an allergy. However, a cough that lasts several weeks and only seems to be getting worse may be a sign of lung cancer, one of the most common cancers in both men and women, according to the CDC.

The cough may be caused by the tumor stimulating receptors in the airways, or by the inflammatory response of the body, which also stimulates the airways. Lung cancer is associated with fluid build-up in the chest cavity, which can also cause a persistent cough. Coughing up blood may also be a symptom of lung cancer and is an alarming sign regardless of the underlying disease.

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17. Persistent cramping: Colon, ovarian, endometrial cancers

Abdominal discomfort such as cramping and gas pain may be a sign of colon cancer if it is persistent and gets worse over time. When these symptoms occur, the cancer is usually advanced. Because most symptoms of colon cancer don’t normally appear until the tumor has spread, and because more young people are diagnosed with the disease, the American Cancer Society recommends screening for colon cancer to start when people turn 45.

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18. Numbness and tingling in hands and feet: Diabetes

Common symptoms of diabetic neuropathy are pain and numbness in the feet and hands (peripheral neuropathy). High blood sugar and fat levels damage the nerves and the blood vessels that bring nutrients to them. The feet, hands, legs and arms may also feel weak or like they are burning. Up to 50% of people with diabetes have peripheral neuropathy.

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19. Tearing sensation: Rupture of the aorta

A tearing sensation in the back is often assumed to be the result of pulling a muscle. But if a person has not been involved in a physical activity that is strenuous enough to cause a muscle injury, the tearing sensation should be checked out by a doctor because it could be an aortic dissection, which can be lethal. An aortic dissection, which can lead to rupture of the aortic wall, feels like a sudden and severe stabbing pain in the back.

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20. Heavy sweating: Thyroid problems or heart disease

Excessive sweating can be the result of many issues, including excess weight and stress. But it could also mean thyroid problems or heart disease.

A 2018 study published in the journal Circulation suggested that just over half of nearly 3,000 heart attack patients had experienced profuse sweating as a symptom of their condition. People with a thyroid condition may sweat excessively because the body is producing too much thyroxine, a hormone the thyroid gland secretes into the bloodstream. The hormone imbalance speeds up the metabolism, resulting in a higher body temperature.

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