48 Strange Symptoms—and What They Mean

Daily Health Solutions, Featured Article, Healthy Living, Multiple Sclerosis
on January 28, 2013
Woman getting a check up on strange symptoms at the doctor.
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Odd twitches, tics, rashes, bumps and pains—strange symptoms happen to all of us at one time or another. While it’s easy to get spooked by a mysterious mole or unexplained rash, there is usually no need to immediately hit the panic button when physical quirks strike. However, certain bodily oddities should not be ignored, as they might indicate a more serious problem. Many medical conditions manifest themselves in strange symptoms, and it’s best to catch these warning signs sooner rather than later. You, after all, know your body best. If you have a nagging feeling that something is off, it never hurts to see a doctor.

  1. Foot cramps at night: Could signal dehydration and electrolyte imbalances. See a doctor if cramps recur nightly or during the day upon walking—nerve damage or a blood clotting disorder could be to blame.
  2. Dry eyes: common side effect of contact lenses, environmental conditions, age and other factors; also early symptom of rheumatoid arthritis. If eye problems persist, consult an ophthalmologist to assess your symptoms.
  3. Eye twitches: (a.k.a. lid myokymia) associated with stress, too much caffeine, or staring too long at a computer screen. If your chin thrusts forward when you blink, it also could be an early sign of Meige’s syndrome, a rare but treatable neurological disease.
  4. Cold for no reason: possible sign of hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid gland). Other symptoms include fatigue, dry skin and unexplained weight gain.
  5. Body twitches while sleeping: could signal sleep apnea or periodic limb movement disorder, a sleep disorder characterized by rhythmic movements of the limbs during sleep.
  6. Pitted nails: common sign of psoriasis, a skin disease that causes patches of dry, red, itchy scales to form across the body. Also related to alopecia areata, an autoimmune disease causing patchy hair loss.
  7. Sore breasts: (a.k.a. mastalgia), normal in menstruating women during monthly hormonal changes. Also associated in rare cases with benign growths (tumors) in the breasts (including cysts) as well as breast cancer.
  8. Bright red stool: associated with eating beets, cranberries or tomato juice; could also signal bleeding in the lower intestinal tract, often from hemorrhoids.
  9. Leg pain with swelling: a calf that is swollen, red and extremely tender to the touch could be caused by deep vein thrombosis (DVT), a blood clot in the lower leg or thigh. If you are experiencing symptoms of DVT, call your medical provider immediately.
  10. White tongue: can occur due to a build-up of bacteria and debris caused by mild dehydration, illness or dry mouth. White patches with a cottage cheese-like consistency could signal oral thrush, a yeast infection of the mouth that arises in infants or the elderly, especially denture-wearers and individuals with compromised immune systems.
  11. Sore tongue: usually cased by canker sores, painful yet innocuous mouth ulcers. Excessive smoking, anemia and diabetes, can also cause a sore tongue.
  12. Excessive facial hair in women: polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), a condition affecting women of reproductive age, causes hair to grow on the face, chest, stomach, back, hands or feet. More than 70 percent of women with PCOS, which is marked by menstrual irregularities and infertility, experience this excess hair growth, or hirsutism.
  13. Excessive sweating: constant perspiration without cause could mean a medical condition called hyperhidrosis, the excessive sweating that often accompanies thyroid problems, diabetes or infection.
  14. Red eyes: a broken blood vessel (a.k.a subconjunctival hemorrhage), usually harmless and often caused by a severe sneeze or cough. More likely to occur in individuals with diabetes or high blood pressure.
  15. Dry mouth: in combination with dry eye, might signal Sjogren’s syndrome, an autoimmune condition that interferes with the body’s ability to produce tears and saliva.
  16. Floaters or specks in the eye: typically harmless bits of cellular debris that move across your line of vision. Caused by age-related degeneration in the eye’s vitreous. Could be a sign of retinal detachment if accompanied by flashes of light, eye pain, or vision loss.
  17. Aching big toe: an early sign of gout, a painful form of arthritis caused by the build-up of uric acid.
  18. Unquenchable thirst: a classic sign of Type 1 or 2 diabetes, when coupled with frequent trips to the restroom. If you’re also experiencing blurred vision, fatigue or weight loss, see a doctor immediately for a blood sugar test to rule out diabetes.
  19. Retina freckles: (a.k.a. choroidal nevi) usually harmless, but should be monitored by a doctor for the development of choroidal melanoma, a tumor found in the eye. In some instances, retinal freckles can also be a sign of colon cancer.
  20. Unusual urine odor: absent a dinner of asparagus or new vitamin supplement, could be a symptom of medical conditions including diabetes, cystitis, urinary tract infections (UTIs) and, in rare cases, liver failure.
  21. Painless lump in armpit: most likely an enlarged lymph node due to infection or illness. If persists post-recovery, see a doctor. Enlarged nodes in the armpit, neck and groin are a common warning sign of lymphoma, cancer of the lymph glands.
  22. Green stool: indicates rapid transit through the intestines. Possible causes include Crohn’s disease, antibiotic use, iron supplements or consumption of leafy green vegetables.
  23. Craving and chewing ice: common symptom of iron-deficiency anemia. Some studies suggest that the chewing of ice relieves glossitis, the inflammation of the tongue brought on by iron deficiencies.
  24. Bulging eyes: a sign of hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid). With this condition, the eyes blink infrequently and appear to have a staring quality.
  25. Black vertical streak on nails: black or bluish-black streaks on the nails can be a sign of melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer. See a dermatologist as soon as possible.
  26. Thinning eyebrows: classic warning sign of hypothyroidism. A simple blood test can detect thyroid hormone levels.
  27. Difficulty swallowing: (a.k.a. dysphagia) often associated with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Also an early warning sign of esophageal or throat cancer. See a doctor if it persists.
  28. Unexplained bruising: if in strange places such as on the fingers or hands might point to leukemia.
  29. Unexplained feeling of fullness: could be a tip-off to ovarian cancer if accompanied by pelvic pain and abdominal bloating that comes on fairly suddenly and occurs on and off over a long period of time. If you suspect something is off, call a doctor.
  30. Itchy skin all over: if dry skin ruled out, often a symptom of pregnancy and menopause; could also be caused by liver disease, celiac disease and certain cancers (including leukemia and lymphoma).
  31. Persistent hiccups: if lasting longer than 48 hours, could be a sign of central nervous problems (cancer, infection or stroke); decreased kidney function; or irritation of nerves in the head, neck, and chest. Seek medical attention.
  32. Dizziness when standing: (a.k.a. orthostatic hypotension): caused by a rapid decrease in systolic blood pressure. If experienced frequently, see a doctor; it might indicate heart problems or Parkinson’s.
  33. Ringing in the ears: (a.k.a. tinnitus) associated with age-related hearing loss, exposure to large noise or earwax build-up. Sometimes a symptom of allergies, head and neck tumors, or problems in the jaw, neck or blood vessels. Certain medications can also cause tinnitus.
  34. Tingling in hands and feet: (a.k.a peripheral neuropathy) often caused by diabetes (up to 30 percent of cases). Also related to nerve entrapment disorders such as carpal tunnel syndrome, B-vitamin deficiencies, alcoholism or certain systematic diseases such as liver disease, blood diseases and kidney disorders.
  35. Heat intolerance: possible side effect of anxiety or too much caffeine. Menopause and hyperthyroidism can also cause a feeling of being overheated, as can multiple sclerosis (MS).
  36. Heart fluttering: can be due to anxiety or caffeine intake. Also related to hormonal changes, such as when pregnant, undergoing menopause, or overactive thyroid gland (hyperthyroidism). Also a sign of an underlying heart condition. Seek medical attention if palpitations are accompanied by dizziness, chest pain, or fainting.
  37. Loss of taste: common in older adults, especially after age 60; also associated with Alzheimer’s, nasal and sinus problems and cigarette smoking. Nutritional deficiencies of vitamin B12 or zinc might also be implicated.
  38. Hearing loss in one ear only: (a.k.a. unilateral deafness) often an early symptom of acoustic neuroma, a slow-growing, benign tumor of the nerve that connects the ear to the brain. Can cause nerve damage; see a doctor if you experience any unusual hearing loss, ringing in the ear or trouble with balance.
  39. Thin, brittle nails: typically a sign of nutritional deficiencies, including iron deficiency anemia, biotin deficiencies and insufficient protein intake. Also related to hypothyroidism.
  40. Blood in urine: often caused by urinary tract infections and kidney stones. Bladder cancer and kidney cancer can also cause blood to appear in the urine. See a doctor right away.
  41. Scaly or crusty patches on the scalp: often indicative of psoriasis, a common autoimmune disease.
  42. Chicken bumps on skin: (a.k.a. keratosis pilaris) a common, harmless skin condition causing rough patches and small, acne-like bumps, typically on the upper arms, thighs, cheeks, and buttocks. Usually disappears on its own.
  43. Dark under-eye circles: allergies (including food allergies and sensitivities) and hay fever are common causes; iron deficiency anemia, lack of sleep and dehydration might also be to blame.
  44. Yellow nails: commonly caused by a fungal infection, although can also be a sign of diabetes, severe thyroid disease or lung disease.
  45. Butterfly rash: a red rash spreading across the cheeks and bridge of nose, often a tell-tale sign of lupus, or rosacea, a harmless skin condition that causes facial redness and swelling. See a doctor if accompanied by fatigue, fever and joint pain or stiffness.
  46. Vertigo: due in most cases to inner ear disturbances; other causes include labyrinthitis, a viral infection of the inner ear, or Meniere’s disease, a common inner ear problem that causes ringing or roaring in the affected ear. Migraines or dehydration might also be to blame.
  47. Bluish fingernails: indicates that the body is not receiving enough oxygen, often because of pulmonary obstruction, emphysema or lung disease. Consult a medical professional immediately.
  48. Cracking and popping joints: (a.k.a. crepitus) thought to be caused by air bubbles in the synovial fluid—the liquid surrounding and lubricating the joints —and by tendons snapping over tissues. Harmless unless accompanied by injury, swelling or pain.
  • candy

    I have had night sweats for sometime now. I have terrible pain in my lower back left buttock and in my left hip several car accidents. I also have itching spells with no rash. It’s not dry skin. Then I found a large lump in my arm pit. I have horrific muscle cramps in my calves ankles and feet and toes. I know I have enough potassium. Drink plenty of water, I even have medicine for restless legs, but to no avail. Haven any ideas?

    • Rachael

      i would go to the doctor, it could be a type of lymphoma (hodgkins or non hodgkins) or infection in your lympnodes If you are also experiencing chest pain and difficulty breathing i would suggest going to the doctor asap.

      • candy

        Thank you Rachel, I told my husband and let him feel it,but he pretty much blew it off. I don’t have money to go to the Doctor yet. I have to re wait until we do. But once again thank you, I feel very much alone.

      • Britt Cone

        Candy, have you had a chance to get checked out yet and do you feel better? I’m hoping you’re doing well.

    • Darcy Milestone

      are you taking any type of pain medication? it sound like symptoms from that. it would also explain the feeling full and weight-loss

      • Darcy Milestone

        also to rule out the obvious—menopause or perimenopause….

  • Guest

    i have had similar symptoms, chest pain, swollen armpit and neck, sore throat, feeling full and loss of appetite. im getting constant fevers, sweats and cramps with alot of difficulty in breathing. i suffered from acute appendicitis and have had rapid weight loss while eating a normal diet. what should i do ?

    • candy

      Go to the Doctor asap. It’s nothing to fool around with. And I will pray for you that it is something not terrible.

    • Darcy Milestone

      check for hyper-thyroidism

  • Guest

    I been having this pain on the back low side of my right head. I thought it was a pimp but it’s been there for a while.. It’s small. Every time I mess with it, it bleeds and dries up.. About 3 weeks I mess with it and ever since I been having a pain..(never had pain before) Went to a doctor and he said it doesn’t look like a cyst or cluster or It’s probably sinus that it causing pain.. When the doctor rubbed on it it was hurting.. I just try to brush it off but the pain it getting a little worst.. There are time I feel dizzle.. Doctor gave me Morton 3 and flexril.. Meds is not working.. Should I just wait for 2 weeks to give the Meds time or should I just go and see a doctor right away?

    • Victoria

      I don’t understand why you are taking Flexeril for this, as Flexeril is a muscle relaxer. Maybe go see a dermatologist next time.

      • Regina Jay

        Exactly..

  • Melissa Dawn Streight

    Fainting bruising mostly legs and feet extreme tiredness sometimes feel drugged repeated flu joint and bone pain itchy skin especially in the heat or bath night sweats heart flutter caused numbness then tingling in fingers goes up my arms pains in top of breast arm pit abdomen painless lump behind ear started in December sometimes im extremely moody cry angry started in December I’m 38

    • Victoria

      I hope you saw a doctor for these symptoms.

  • Star

    Heat intollerance, fatigue, weakness, excessive thirst/urination, bloating, abdominal pain, also have nerve damage in right arm. I’m 22.

    • Victoria

      Best go see a doctor. No one can diagnose you over the internet.

  • KamonSence1951

    I am a 64 yo woman with diabetes. A year ago I slowly began to have hard pulsating and pounding in my chest, the it grew into internal vibrating like a large tuning fork is going off inside me, sometimes in my torso, sometimes from the waist down. It grew worse with dizziness, a bit off balance when walking & loud hissing in my ears. Now the internal shaking never stops 24/7, cannot be seen on the outside of me, and I have had a series of heart tests, my thyroid med has been lowered 4 times, and I have been to 3 doctors & a neurologist last week .. none have any clue what has happened to me, but it has diminished my life to almost nothing. Nothing has been done to find out what this is.

    • Victoria

      Keep on seeing doctors until someone figures it out. Maybe it is a side effect of a medication you are taking?

  • Janette

    I am a 66 year old woman and I have been having very strange feelings and they are hard to explain. It’s like someone is pouring ice water over my head and it travels right through my body to my toes. It doesn’t last long but is the weirdest feeling. Have explained to doctor a few times but get no answers. It’s happening more often now.

    • Darcy Milestone

      Hi,

      I’ve read online that the icy tingling is a symptom of lyme disease. Lyme disease is exceedingly hard to detect and patients who have it, but who are not diagnosed for years are treated as if they are experiencing psychological issues instead of actual symptoms.

      Please look up the forums on this disease to see if anything resonates with you. Best of luck to you!

      Love and blessings too!

  • disqus_YsXeLSJpEd

    I am so desperate at this point to find out what is wrong with me and I have been to every eye doctor in town, searched like a mad woman over the net and nothing….I have chronic red eyes….2 years of this…from the time I wake up, till the time I wake up the next day. I have had every eye drop known to man, seen every doc in town and nothing…?????Is it cancer, allergies…saw them too….stress test, heart doctor, asthma doc, allergy doc, lung doc….nothing…today I am reduced to wearing tinted glasses for the rest of my life, I guess….does anyone have a link, something I can turn too….Help!!

    • Jessica Treadwell

      Is it effecting your vision? Iritis?

  • Shawn Dittrich

    Pimple type bumps all over body, canker sores, bleeding gums, and what feels like bad breath, really painful shoulders(rotates from one arm to the other, never both at same time) trigger finger on pinky finger right hand, feeling anxious. I have never had any of these symptoms before I my life. I am 39 yrs old, please help

    • Regina Jay

      Geez.. I surely hope you found the help that you needed four long months ago…

      • Regina Jay

        I just read that and felt your anxiety.. It was distressing to say the least.

  • Ashley

    I have heat intolerance and a lot of the time my face feels like it’s on fire or like I have a fever but I don’t and my hair has been falling out to the point I have small millimeter spots on my head that have no hair. When I’m not using my hands and arms enough the tend to go numb like they’re about to fall asleep but they don’t…it’s hard to explain. Is there any clues that someone could hint in what I might have? I’m only 21 years old and it worries me. Please help!

    • Regina Jay

      You really need to see a doctor and I hope that you did.. The same things have been happening to me and they’re having a tough time figuring out what it is because my thyroid is off but not by much.. I personally think that it may be Perephereal Artery Disease.(what I may have that is).. Take a look at this and see what you think.. Also if you have found out for yourself? Could you please tell me what your drs come up with? Please? I’m worried myself
      I feel like it’s mainly this big ole guessing game for the most part and that terrifies me because I just lost my fiancé six months ago and the Drs could never find what was wrong. He got sick in October and died this past January so that is why I’m
      Skeptical… Please tell me what you discover?? Thank you so much

      https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/pad