Strange cravings and weird sensations all over your body are symptoms that could indicate a health problem. It could be your body trying to tell you something is wrong. Of course, you know your body the best. When you see something amiss, do not ignore the symptoms–especially if they persist for more than several days. The symptoms you see could be an early indicator or another underlying condition.
Here are 10 unusual symptoms you shouldn’t ignore
You may have a health problem and not realize it.
1 – The sensation of insects running over your body
A feeling of stinging or crawling insects on your body has baffled doctors. At first, it was thought people with these symptoms were because of a delusional problem, but further study revealed this as a tick-borne illness called Morgellons disease. This spirochetal infection causes an overproduction of keratin and collagen skin cells that cause weird sensations on your skin. It was thought at one time there were actually fibers embedded in your skin because that’s what it feels like. It’s a rare disease, and because few doctors are familiar with this disease, it can take years to diagnose.
2 – Chewing ice
Chewing ice is often a sign of an iron deficiency. It’s a common disorder in young menstruating females or people who have lost a lot of blood from hemorrhaging or in blood donors because they are at the highest risk of iron deficiency. If you’re diagnosed with an iron deficiency, you will be prescribed iron supplements.
3 – An itching and creeping feeling in your legs
Aching, itching, or throbbing feeling in your legs are symptoms of restless legs syndrome. You may feel these symptoms on one side of your body or both. Restless legs syndrome (RLS) usually occurs in the evening or at night when you’ve been sitting a lot or from lying in your bed. It’s a neurological disorder that affects your brain. The exhaustion from not being able to sleep at night affects your mood, ability to concentrate, and eventually leading to anxiety. Studies show that 10% of the United States population have Restless Leg syndrome, with both men and women getting it, but generally, it occurs more often in women. It’s unknown what causes RLS, but it can be genetic or an indication of a brain function disorder. People who have Parkinson’s disease are more likely to have RLS. It’s also more apt to occur because of these factors:
- Lack of iron
- If you’re taking medications such as antipsychotic drugs, antidepressants, antinausea drugs, and some cold and allergy drugs
- Overuse of alcohol
- Too much caffeine
- Last trimester of pregnancy, around 4 weeks before delivery
- Once diagnosed, RLS can be treated through medications.
4 – Strange salt craving
Do you put salt in your coffee? Strange salt cravings can be an indication of a serious medical problem. One serious disease associated with unusual salt cravings is Addison’s disease, a life-threatening autoimmune disease. Other symptoms of Addison’s disease include:
- Dark skin pigment
- Muscle aches
- Weight loss
- Low blood pressure
This rare disease is hard to diagnose, mostly because many doctors aren’t familiar with it. If you notice any of these symptoms, talk to your doctor. Most people with Addison’s disease are diagnosed during an adrenal crisis, which can lead to death. You know your body. If you feel something is wrong, don’t hesitate to ask your doctor to run tests.
5 – Gray ring around the cornea of your eye
A weird grayish colored ring around the cornea of your eyes may or may not be something to worry about. It could be a sign of high cholesterol in younger people, but in people older than 45, it’s not that big a deal. If you’re concerned, it’s worth making an appointment with your doctor. They will do a blood test to check your cholesterol levels.
6 – Bloodshot eyes
Having bloodshot eyes after a night out on the town isn’t a big deal, but if your eyes are constantly bloodshot, take notice. Bloodshot eyes could be an indication of an eye infection called conjunctivitis. It often shows up after a cold. Conjunctivitis is highly contagious, so get your eyes checked by a doctor. They’ll give you a prescription for antibiotic eye drops, which can quickly clear up conjunctivitis. If you have eye pain or vision problems, it could indicate something more serious like glaucoma, which, left untreated, can lead to blindness. Don’t hesitate to get your eyes checked if you have any concerns. Many eye diseases can be prevented if caught soon enough.
7 – Excessive sweating
If you find you have an excessive amount of sweat even when you don’t exercise, it’s more than embarrassing. It could be a sign of a condition called hyperhidrosis. It’s a treatable condition, but in rare situations, it could require surgery to remove your sweat glands. A disease may trigger it, but not necessarily. Excessive sweating could also be a sign of a serious disease called non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL), a type of cancer that attacks your lymphatic system. Other symptoms of NHL include:
- Night sweats
- Weight loss
- Skin rash
- Swelling of your lymph nodes
8 – Black lines on your fingernails
It’s easy not to see strange lines and colors on your fingernails, especially if you regularly get your nails manicured. If you notice a black spot or black line underneath one of your nails, it could be a sign of skin cancer called acral lentiginous melanoma (ALM). This type of cancer shows up under fingernails, on the palm of your hands, or soles of your feet. It’s most common in African Americans or people with an Asian heritage.
Another condition that causes black or brown lines on your nails is called Melanonychia. This condition is more prevalent in people with a darker complexion. It’s caused by pigment cells depositing melanin into your fingernails. The deposits group together, and as the nail grows, brown or black stripes show up. The causes of Melanonychia include
- Trauma to the nail like nail-biting, carpal tunnel syndrome
- Nail infection
- Lichen planus
- Viral warts
- Addison’s disease
- Cushing disease
- Too much iron
- Chemo treatments
Diagnosis involves examination and sometimes a biopsy to rule out cancer or more serious causes.
9 – Sudden or unexplained bruising
Seeing bruises once in a while is no big deal, but if you see a lot of bruises suddenly showing up on your legs and arms, take notice. It could be a sign that you’re iron deficient, or it could be something worse. It could be cancer of the blood and bone marrow called Acute myeloid leukemia or AML. When the myeloid cells interrupt your body’s ability to produce white and red blood cells and platelets, it’s serious. Your first symptom could be bruising easily. The American Cancer Society says that AML shows up as red or purple spots on your skin. Other symptoms include:
- Fatigue and tiredness
- Low-grade fever
- Night sweats
- Weight loss
- Loss of appetite
A shortage of red blood cells causes AML. Don’t hesitate to see your doctor if you have any of these symptoms. They can do a blood test to determine if you have this deadly disease.
10 – Pale stools
What your poop looks like is an awkward topic but an important thing to talk about. Normal bowel movements should be brown and smooth and snake-like. Pale, foul-smelling poop could be a sign of celiac disease. Celiac disease is a serious auto-immune triggered by gluten. When a person with this disease eats gluten, it damages the villi in your small intestines, so your body can’t absorb nutrients. This can lead to malnutrition, anemia, thyroid disease, osteoporosis, and other autoimmune diseases. Other symptoms of celiac disease include
- Bloating and gas
- Discolored teeth
- Joint pain
- Liver disease
- Mouth sores
If your bowel movements are white or clay-like in consistency, this means you have a lack of bile, which may indicate a serious liver problem. You should get to your doctor right away. This could be a life-threatening disease.
It’s good to pay attention to any symptoms. Talk to your doctor about these symptoms, and if they don’t seem concerned. But if the symptoms still persist, don’t hesitate to go back again or find a doctor who will listen to you. You know your body best, so you know when something is not right or unusual. Often, doctors are unfamiliar with a rare disease, so you need to be diligent to get the proper tests and care you need.