10 Unusual Warning Signs of Disease

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Gray hair could be an early warning sign of heart disease. Hiccups that won’t go away may foreshadow cancer. Sometimes your body sends seemingly unrelated signals that something is wrong.

Since the key to treating most health problems is to catch them early, it can pay off big time to spot the tip-offs. And the first thing to check out is your skin.

“Skin is the only organ of the body that you wear on the outside,” says dermatologist Dr. Robert Brodell. “Since it’s connected to internal organs through blood vessels, nerves and other things, it can be like a window to see what’s going on inside.”

Here are 10 symptoms and what they may really mean:

Rash on shins: Formally called necrobiosis lipoidica diabeticorum (NLD), a raised red-brown patch with yellow blotches could mean that you have diabetes or are poised to get it. “Sometimes we see this in patients and know they are diabetic before they know it themselves,” says Brodell, chairman of the dermatology department at the University of Mississippi Medical Center. “In some cases, their blood sugar is normal, but over the next six months to two years, they develop diabetes.”

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