TODAY

TODAY   |  December 12, 2013

5 surprising signs you may be sick

Could those dark eye circles be a sign of allergies, or are they just caused by a lack of sleep? Dr. Keri Peterson provides five signs from your body that may indicate your symptoms are more of a problem than you think.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> if you suddenly find yourself with chronic bad breath or dark circle itself under your eyes, you could be showing symptoms of something more serious.

>> a clinician is here the tell us about the five surprising signs when it comes to your health.

>> good morning.

>> we should definitely tell people you should go to your doctor if you are experiencing symptoms beyond, like some important cues, the first symptom is you may have celiac disease .

>> people associate celiac disease with bloating or stomach upset. one of the presenting symptoms can be a rash, a characteristic appearance occurs on the knees, the elbows and the buttocks, it looks like red bumps with blisters in the middle. it's not very common. it's characteristic of celiac's bruise, if you experience anything like that see your doctor. it is caused be i the body reacting to the anti-bodies present in the bloodstream reacting to gluten. if you remove gluten from your diet the rash goes away.

>> you follow a gluten-free diet.

>> there are other symptoms as well for celiac disease .

>> fwhigs to stomach upset. you get tingling in the fingers, it prevents the absorption of calcium and iron, you can get osteoporosis.

>> what if you see dark lines under your fingernails?

>> this can be melanoma. if you have dark stripes under the nail, this can be a melanoma. the risk factors are different. we mostly associate it with going in the sun. be you under the nail melanoma is not associated with that. what it is associated with is being of african-american or asian ethnicity , advanceing age, a family history of melanoma and possibly trauma to the nail. it has been found in studies that trauma to the nail is associated with the development of melanoma and whether it's the trauma makes you lock at your nail or whether the trauma activates bleeding in an undetected melanoma. it's not known. it's associated with trauma.

>> interesting.

>> how about dark circles under your eyes, a lot of us associate with that not getting sleep? it can be allergies. how it happens is interesting. when you have allergies, you are all congested in your nose, it causes the veins to die late. it compresses can drainage the vessels are dilated. they look blue up there because they can't drain properly. if you treat the allergy the blood can draen.

>> what's the treatment?

>> antihistamines or avoiding things that trigger your allergy itself.

>> all right. if you all of a sudden have bad breath , which you maybe haven't had before, you say this could be a sign of strep throat or a sign of a sign us infection?

>> that's correct. i can dying those when i walk in the door of an exam room. it's characteristic of a roting smell. it's quite foul.

>> oh.

>> it's from the white blood cells aacting the infection. when they die, that i break down, they can cause this really characteristic odor. so that's why you have to go see your doctor when you are sick.

>> what do you do to kourn act that?

>> you treat wit antibiotics. it goes away.

>> how about this one, thinning eye brows, i have not seen.

>> it's characteristically the outer third of the eyebrow that thens when have you an underactive thyroid . people people may not notice that. you need your thyroid checked. often, it's associated with weight gain and constipation. it's found in 27 million people in this country out of 10 of which are women. it can cause hair loss.

>> eyebrows.

>> also your head.

>> all right. dr. kerry petersen, we will be checking ourselves up close this morning.

>> who knew?

>> look in the mirror, folks.