When it comes to taking care of yourself, there are the obvious things that you can do; visiting your doctor for your annual physical, eating healthy, exercising, and getting enough sleep are the usual suspects, but sometimes being health conscious requires a bit more vigilance and out-of-the-box thinking.

For instance, never ignoring odd and mysterious symptoms that seem to have popped up out of nowhere. You might think that changes, like new wrinkles or weird cravings, are just part of life, but they can also be warning signs of dangerous conditions.

Here are 5 unusual ways your body may be trying to tell you that something is awry on the inside…

  1. Leg Swelling

    If you’ve been noticing swelling on your body, in particular around your lower half, you may be experiencing the first signs of edema, a risky condition that is caused by poor diet, lack of exercise, pregnancy, or side effects from certain medications.

    While edema itself can be treated with the help of prescription drugs, it has also been known to reveal itself as a symptom of much more serious conditions, like congestive heart failure, thyroid problems, kidney disease, and cirrhosis, among other things.

  2. Longer than average ring finger

    Ok, we know this one may sound a bit silly, but there is actually a strong link between long ring fingers (ones that outmeasure the pointer) and osteoarthritis.

    In a study conducted at the University of Nottingham, researchers found that people, particularly women, who have this digital abnormality are more likely to develop the disorder in their knees and pelvises. Strange, but true!

  3. Bizarre food cravings

    Unless you are expecting a little one, you really shouldn’t be yearning for exotic flavors—especially when the items are not meant to be eaten in the first place!

    If you find yourself dreaming of big plates of dirt, paper, or ice, it’s time to pay a visit to your doc as these bizarre cravings could mean that you may be suffering from low iron or even a dangerous hormone imbalance.

  4. Sudden appearance of wrinkles

    We’re not talking the fabulous fine lines that come with age, such as crow’s feet, the wrinkles that are the most troublesome are the ones that pop up on unexpected parts of the body, namely the ears.

    Though scientists aren’t sure why a crease in the earlobe called ‘Frank’s Sign’ is linked to heart disease, the fact is that there are strong parallels between the two. Good to know!

  5. Dark-colored waste

    Alright, we know this isn’t necessarily the most appetizing topic, but it is an important one! If you have noticed that going either ‘number one’ or ‘number two’ has yielded darker than usual results, it’s time to see your doc right away.

    The gross bathroom trip could be due to ingesting things like beetroot or even Pepto-Bismol, but it could also be a sign of internal bleeding. Don’t chance it with this one!

Who knew that these fairly common signs could be indicators for such troublesome problems? To get more in-depth info on these curious medical red flags, as well as what you can do to help curb the symptoms, be sure to watch the video below.

We’d like to hear your thoughts on these sneaky symptoms. Have you ever dealt with any of these before? If so, did you end up with any health problems? Do you know of any other warning signs that you would like to share?