Believe it or not, passing gas 13 to 21 times a day is normal. A lot more or a lot less than that could indicate a problem.
“Not passing gas indicates that your bowels aren’t functioning properly, but passing gas too much or too often can indicate a food intolerance, or a digestive disorder like gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), Crohn’s disease, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), or celiac disease,” says Dr. Wu. “You should see a doctor if you have persistent and unexplained flatulence. You should also do so if you have symptoms along with it, such as abdominal pain, a swollen stomach, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, unintended weight loss, severe heartburn, or blood in your bowel movements.”
You’re always tired
If you always feel lethargic (no matter how many hours of shut-eye you get), it’s definitely worth talking to your MD. Unlike drowsiness, which is the need to sleep, fatigue is lack of energy and motivation. It can be a normal response to lack of sleep, lots of physical activity, stress, or even boredom. But fatigue can also be a sign of a number of health problems.
“Missing sleep, almost any illness, and many medications can cause temporary fatigue,” says Dr. Wu. But “persistent fatigue can be caused by a number of serious conditions including anemia, chronic kidney disease, liver disease, cancer, thyroid disorders, chronic infection, and arthritic conditions. It can also be caused by depression and anxiety disorders.”
You can’t sleep
It’s one thing to have trouble falling asleep when you just aren’t tired, but if you can’t get any Zzzs despite feeling exhausted, it’s worth bringing up with your doctor. Acute insomnia is short term and can be brought on by stress at work or at home or a traumatic event.
Chronic insomnia, on the other hand, “is a common problem, and can simply be a sign of aging, lack of activity, or consuming too much caffeine, nicotine, or alcohol,” says Dr. Wu. “It can also be caused by medications like cold remedies that include stimulants, some antidepressants, and medications for asthma or high blood pressure.”
Other causes of insomnia include “mental health problems like anxiety and depression,” says Dr. Wu. “It can be a sign of some medical conditions like chronic pain, overactive thyroid, GERD, heart disease, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease.”
You have bad breath
Bad breath—or halitosis—is the most common reason for dental referrals, after tooth decay and gum disease, according to a review of studies published in 2018 in The Open Dentistry Journal. Sure, the culprit could be all that garlic you consumed at your last meal. But sometimes bad breath is a sign of something more serious.
Usually caused by bacteria on your teeth and tongue, bad breath can be linked to poor brushing and flossing habits, or oral issues like dry mouth, gingivitis, or periodontitis. In some cases, sinusitis, bronchitis, tonsillitis, and some gastrointestinal issues can also trigger bad breath. If brushing and flossing doesn’t help, see your doctor or dentist.