Signs & Symptoms of Ill Health

Hearing loss linked to diabetes? Eye sight decline linked to dementia?

Studies now show that these seemingly unrelated heath issues can indicate a future chronic health issue. So keep an eye out for these somewhat innocent yet gradual physical changes that may actually pinpoint a health hazard down the road…

1. Hair Loss and Thyroid Problems

While some hair loss is arguably hereditary, according to the British Thyroid Foundation, sometimes hair loss has to do with an underlying thyroid issue. While a properly working thyroid (the endocrine gland in your neck) maintains healthy hormone secretion—a faulty thyroid (either hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism) can cause issues with metabolism, weight gain, body temperature, and even hair loss.

In addition to hair loss, thyroid issues can also cause thinning eyebrows, dry hair, and coarse hair that breaks easily several months after the onset of the disease. Luckily, if hair loss is tied to hormone levels, hair can regrow with proper thyroid medication.

hair loss

2. Loss of Smell and Alzheimer’s Disease

Even though the senses can suffer due to the natural aging process, research from the American National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) notes that issues with smell (the olfactory system) can also be an early signal of Alzheimer’s disease.

The NINDS research found that lab mice with Alzheimer’s disease also showed increased rates of nerve cell death in their noses compared to healthy mice. That means if you notice sudden changes in your sense of smell, it’s time to consult with your doctor.

smell apple

3. Hearing Loss and Diabetes

You might never have guessed that a hearing impairment could indicated the onset of diabetes. That was until scientists at Japan’s Niigata University found a link between damaged blood vessels in the ears, and, you guessed it, high blood sugar levels.

Researchers found that patients who developed diabetes doubled their risk of hearing impairment compared to those without diabetes. This was particularly so for diabetes patients under the age of 60-years old.

Hearing Loss Women

4. Bad Breath and Erectile Dysfunction

A 2012 study from Turkey, and published by notes that men with chronic bad breath may suffer from erectile dysfunction. Study researchers monitored a group of 80 men aged 30- to 40-years old who suffered with erectile dysfunction and compared them to a control group of 82 men with no erection issues.

Findings indicated that 53-percent of the men with erectile difficulties also suffered from inflamed gums (drastic periodontal disease), a chronic gum disease that also causes bad breath.

fresh breath gum

5. Brittle Nails and Lupus indicates that “spooned” or concave fingernails (also known as koilonychia) are commonly a sign of lupus, a disorder that causes the immune system to attack healthy tissues.

Researchers also note that the sudden appearance of a rash on the fingers and backs of hands, swollen nail beds, and redness under the fingernails as other signs that you may have lupus.


6. Eye Issues and Dementia

A 2016 study out of New Zealand has discovered a shocking link between the size of the blood vessels in the retina and the onset of dementia. The researchers examined the retinal blood vessels of roughly 1,000 people as a means to predict future brain health.

Researchers found that patients starting as young as 38-years old with smaller retinal veins were prone to a decline in brain health years before the onset of their dementia. According to study scientists, “…knowledge about retinal vessels may enable [science] to develop better diagnosis and treatments to increase the levels of oxygen into the brain [in order to] prevent age-related worsening of cognitive abilities.”

eye doctor


Emily Lockhart

Emily Lockhart is a certified yoga instructor and personal trainer. She believes that being healthy is a lifestyle choice, not a punishment or temporary fix to attain a desired fitness or body image goal. Anna helps her clients take responsibility for their own health and wellness through her classes and articles on ActiveBeat.