Conditions like high blood pressure and high cholesterol are scary, because it’s easy to have them and not know it. Unfortunately, this can happen with many damaging and even deadly diseases, too. People can live with certain types of cancer, autoimmune disorders, and a large number of STDs for years without even knowing they’re sick.
These are the most terrifying and dangerous diseases you might have right now, and not even know it.
1. Celiac disease
Though gluten-free diets are growing more common among people without celiac disease, there are many people who do have it without knowing — and you could be one of them. According to the Celiac Disease Foundation, this is an autoimmune disease triggered by gluten, which is found in wheat, barley, and rye products. You may experience fatigue, joint pain, migraines, or depressive symptoms as you continue to eat gluten, but not always. No two cases of celiac are alike — and there are over 200 possible symptoms in adults. If left untreated, it can damage your small intestine.
According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, osteoporosis occurs due to bone density loss, but this doesn’t come with any signs or symptoms. The condition is responsible for over 2 million broken bones every year. Though some people lose height and posture as a result of osteoporosis, it sometimes takes years — or a bone fracture — to notice anything’s amiss. Older adults especially should make sure they’re getting enough vitamin D and calcium to prevent bone damage.
Type 2 diabetes — the type you develop, not the one you’re born with — causes problems with blood sugar regulation, says the American Diabetes Association. Your body can’t use the hormone insulin properly, sending your blood sugar in a frenzy. Some of the most obvious diabetes symptoms involve feeling tired, thirsty, and experiencing an increased appetite. However, because exhaustion, thirst, and hunger aren’t all that uncommon in daily life, it’s difficult to rely on these symptoms to infer you have diabetes.