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10 Signs that Your Health is Deteriorating & How to Restore It

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Cover Image: Towfiqu Barbhuiya

If you’re concerned about your health, or just want to ensure that you’re maintaining the best health possible, then this list of 10 warning signs that your health is deteriorating and how to restore it should be very helpful to you. While there are plenty of other warning signs as well, these are some of the most common ones that many people have ignored in the past but realized later that they needed to pay attention to instead.

1. Constipation

This can have a wide range of causes, from food and drink to prescription drugs. If you’re experiencing regular constipation or any painful stomach issues, see your doctor as soon as possible. While it could just be a side effect of your medication, there’s also a chance it’s an early sign of something more serious like colorectal cancer. (Note: Men are much less likely than women to notice these symptoms.) Constipation is most common in those who are inactive or those who eat low-fiber diets. To restore good bowel health and relieve constipation: Eat plenty of fiber—especially fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and seeds—as well as foods high in calcium like milk and yogurt.

2. Weight Gain

Obese Man - Obesity
Image Credit: Ehimetalor Akhere Unuabona

Most of us don’t like gaining weight, but we can usually live with a few extra pounds. But if you start gaining weight and your body doesn’t seem to be absorbing nutrients properly anymore, it might be an early warning sign of degenerative diseases such as arthritis, osteoporosis, diabetes, or high blood pressure. Or maybe you just need more sleep. If you think your health is deteriorating in any way and want to find out what’s going on before it becomes serious or chronic.

3. Depression

Depressed Girl
Image Credit: Anthony Tran

Depressed people often have a compromised immune system because they tend to get less sleep, exercise less, and eat poorly. To restore your health and feel better overall, start seeing a therapist who can work with you on managing your depression. If you’re not able to find a therapist in your area, try online therapy services like 7 Cups of Tea or Talkspace. A study published in Lancet Psychiatry suggests that online therapy may help curb depression symptoms as effectively as face-to-face appointments. Or, use cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) techniques on yourself: When you feel sad or depressed, ask yourself what you are saying to yourself that makes you feel so bad—and then question those thoughts.

4. Lack of Appetite

If you’re not eating regularly, your health is bound to decline. Depriving yourself of food will make it more difficult for your body to function and repair itself; with fewer resources, it’s harder for your cells and body tissues to work at their optimum levels. You might even start experiencing early symptoms of nutrient deficiencies because you simply aren’t taking in enough nutrients. If your appetite becomes severely diminished, see a doctor—there may be a physical cause of your lack of appetite rather than simply an emotional one. Remember: no matter how much you want or need a change in diet, starvation isn’t healthy for anyone, so don’t attempt crash diets or fasting as methods for weight loss unless advised by a medical professional.

5. Energy Levels are Dropping

Girl Lying Down - Low Energy
Image Credit: Mel Elias

A lack of energy isn’t necessarily a sign of poor health—it could be a temporary result of other factors, like diet or sleep habits. But if your energy levels are consistently dropping and you’re not able to bounce back, it may be time to pay attention. If your heart rate is lower than normal if you feel weak or tired after mild exertion, or if you generally feel lethargic throughout each day, these can all be symptoms of a larger problem—and something needs to change immediately. It could be as simple as focusing on better diet choices (maybe ditch sugary drinks) or as serious as seeing a doctor about certain health conditions.

6. Numbness in the Hands or Feet

Pain in any part of your body should be a cause for concern. At times, it can be a sign of serious health issues such as congestive heart failure and cancer. Most often, however, it is related to muscle pain or other sources such as illness and lack of sleep. Try these simple tips when you’re experiencing a few aches and pains:

  1. Get enough sleep
  2. Exercise regularly
  3. Don’t smoke4
  4. Eat well 5.
  5. Practice meditation6.
  6. Drink lots of water7.
  7. Keep stress at bay8. D
  8. Don’t drink too much alcohol9.
  9. Pay attention to your body
  10. Talk with your doctor about your symptoms.

7. Muscle Pain

Girl in Muscle Pain
Image Credit: Sasun Bughdaryan via Splash

According to an analysis published in Arthritis Care and Research, muscle pain—which can include joint pain—can be a symptom of osteoarthritis. As a result, if you have chronic muscle pain, you may want to consider your diet and overall health. Maintaining a healthy weight, getting regular exercise, and eating healthy foods such as fruits and vegetables are all things you can do to reduce your risk of arthritis-related muscle pain. (1) A study conducted by researchers at Wake Forest University School of Medicine found that people with higher dietary intakes of omega-3 fatty acids (found in fish) had significantly less joint swelling as compared with people who consumed smaller amounts. (2) Supplements can also help; Bose Corp.

8. Shortness of breath

Shortness of breath, or dyspnea, is a common but serious symptom. Shortness of breath can be caused by an obstruction in your lungs, heart failure, anxiety, asthma, and many other medical conditions. If you experience shortness of breath regularly it’s important to consult with your doctor and have it evaluated as soon as possible. There are many underlying causes for shortness of breath and if left untreated could lead to more severe symptoms in some cases.

9. Trouble sleeping

Man with Sleeping Problem - Anxiety
Image Credit: Christian Erfurt

Sleep deprivation can cause many health problems, from stress to weight gain. However, poor sleep doesn’t just make you tired—it also affects your overall health in other ways. If you have trouble sleeping for more than a week or two at a time, talk with your doctor about possible causes and solutions. The most common reasons for insomnia include poor sleep habits, anxiety, depression, and chronic pain. However, if your difficulty sleeping persists long-term and begins to interfere with daily life and routine tasks (work, family life), visit your doctor again because it may be a sign of an underlying condition. Don’t let a lack of sleep affect your overall wellbeing; make sure you know how to get better sleep so you can stay healthy all year long!

10. Memory loss

One of the most common early signs of memory loss is misplacing things. You might forget where you put your keys or realize you didn’t remember where you parked your car. While these can be frustrating, they’re not necessarily serious—unless you notice other memory problems, like a loved one repeating themselves often or no longer being able to follow a favorite TV show. Memory issues are generally easier to spot in those we love rather than ourselves, but if both starts happening frequently, it may be time for medical help. If your doctor finds out any kind of cognitive decline, he will probably ask about family history and do more tests for dementia (this disease is sometimes called Alzheimer’s disease) and thyroid dysfunction as well as treat whatever underlying cause was identified.

Disclaimer: This is not a medical advice but is meant to provide general awareness only. If you have any of the complications or problems mentioned above, please do consult your doctor. The Author or the On Fire Lifestyle Magazine is NOT responsible for any action taken (or the consequences arising out of the same) by the readers based on the information provided in this article. We do not take any responsibility for the accuracy or factualness of the information provided in this article.  

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Sahil Kohli
Marketing Professional. Writer. Loves Cricket.
Sai Shipra
Writer. MBA. Loves To Play Batminton & Basketball. Foodie. Traveler.