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Warning Signs You're "Wrecking Your Body"

Don’t ignore these symptoms of illness.
FACT CHECKED BY Emilia Paluszek

It's normal to feel under the weather now and then—but ongoing symptoms of illness should never be ignored. "People will cognitively avoid things they don't want to be real; it's a natural defense mechanism," says Dr. Kim Lavoie, co-director of the Montreal Behavioral Medicine Center and a psychology professor at the University of Quebec at Montreal. "People worry about wasting doctors' time, but they're there to help." Here are five signs you are wrecking your body, according to experts. Read on—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had COVID.


Excessive Snoring

tired exhausted stressed woman

Chronic snoring could be linked to sleep apnea, a serious health condition where breathing repeatedly stops and starts. "It's very common for spouses and bed partners to be the one who drags their significant other, who's kicking and screaming en route, to see the sleep doctor," says Pakkay Ngai, MD, a pediatric pulmonologist and sleep medicine specialist at Hackensack University Medical Center. "It's estimated that one half of people who regularly snore would turn out to have documented obstructive sleep apnea, if they went on to further testing."



Sad woman on a sofa.

Unrelenting fatigue could be a sign of illness, including type 2 diabetes. Because the body is unable to receive energy from glucose, it can cause excessive tiredness. "Your body isn't getting the energy it needs from the food you're eating, so you may feel very tired," says Amy Hess-Fischl, MS, RD, LDN, BC-ADM, CDCES.


Dark Urine


While dark urine is commonly caused by temporary dehydration, it could also be a sign of something more serious, like liver disease. "It's completely normal for the color of your urine to vary a little day by day," says urologist Petar Bajic, MD. "But it should stay within a certain range of yellow. If you see something really unusual, don't just ignore it."


Excessive Abdominal Fat

shred belly fat

Too much fat around the waistline is linked to serious health conditions such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes. 35 inches or more for women and 40 inches or more for men is considered the danger zone. "Fat around the belly makes you more likely to have a heart attack," says Johns Hopkins Medicine. "It also makes you more likely to have a stroke. These are the leading causes of death in diabetes. "This type of fat makes it hard for your body to use its own insulin ("insulin resistance"). And, it may even lead to certain cancers."


Stomach Ache

Young woman suffers, writhes in abdominal pain lying on couch in living room at home interior

Stomach issues could be a sign of unchecked stress, doctors say. "We know through research there is a strong connection between our brain and our gut through the central nervous system," says gastroenterologist Nina Gupta, MD. "The enteric nervous system — an out-branching of the central nervous system — serves the GI tract, making a direct connection between our brain and gastrointestinal system. That connection can cause normal physiologic processes to be interpreted as painful under stressful or anxiety-provoking situations.

Ferozan Mast
Ferozan Mast is a science, health and wellness writer with a passion for making science and research-backed information accessible to a general audience. Read more about Ferozan
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