No one wants to get sick with anything whether it be the common cold or some rare genetic condition that most people have never even heard of before. Unfortunately, disease is a part of life that all of us have to deal with at some point in time. We can all hope that whatever we do come down with is gentle and we overcome it quickly. Sometimes, however, even the most well-known illness can throw you for a loop with an extremely weird symptom that you never knew was possible.
10. People With Diabetes Insipidus Need to Drink Up to 20 Liters a Day
When your body cannot produce insulin, either at all or in the correct amounts, you become diabetic. There’s a lot more to it than that, but the gist of it is you have some kind of insulin deficiency. Fortunately, Frederick Banting invented a process for making insulin many years ago and now most diabetics can live long lives as a result, though there are still many complications. But that’s if you have diabetes mellitus.
While a typical diabetic needs to worry about things like ketoacidosis and in some serious cases diabetic comas or peripheral neuropathy, one thing you rarely hear about is the need to drink 20 liters of water per day.
Someone born with diabetes insipidus has to drink constantly. This condition is actually very different from “normal” diabetes. You produce insulin just fine but your kidneys are not able to concentrate urine properly. As a result, those afflicted may produce as much as 20 liters of urine every day. A typical person makes one to three. You can understand why those with it need to drink so much as a result. If they didn’t, the victim could foreseeably suffer deadly dehydration.
9. Extreme Cases of Anorexia May Result in a Layer of Fine Body Hair
While anorexia nervosa is classified as a mental health condition, it’s also the deadliest mental health condition and has serious effects on your physical body. Even in cases when the disease is not deadly, it still can wreak havoc with how your body works. One of the most unusual side effects of anorexia is a condition called lanugo.
Lanugo, which can also affect newborn babies, is characterized by a soft, downy coating of white fuzz all over the body. It’s believed that this layer of hair helps protect the baby in the womb and insulate them. Usually it disappears while they’re still in the womb, or shortly after birth.
For those with eating disorders, it’s believed that the severe malnutrition causes the body to start shutting down. The lanugo hair grows again for much the same reason as it does on the unborn baby. It is there to insulate and protect because the body realizes it’s in great jeopardy.
8. Too Much Vitamin A Can Cause Your Skin to Come Off
If you have ever been looking for a reason to avoid eating the liver of a polar bear, this is it. Hypervitaminosis A can be triggered by the extreme amounts of vitamin A found in polar bear liver, but also any extremely high source of vitamin A can cause it as well.
Side effects of taking too much vitamin A can include things you might expect like headache and vomiting, as well as blurred vision and liver issues. But it gets so much worse. One of the most unusual symptoms is that your skin will start peeling off. Not just a single layer, either, but multiple layers leaving you red and raw.
One Arctic explorer who had been consuming too much vitamin A felt like his feet were sore and took his socks off, peeling the soles of his feet right off with them. His ears, penis and more suffered the same fate, shedding like the skin of a snake. A single ounce of polar bear liver can do it. But other arctic animals like walrus, seal, reindeer and arctic fox all have high concentrations, too.
About 250,000 to 300,000 IU of vitamin A is toxic. Polar bear liver has 9 million.
7. Severe Hypothermia Can Cause You to Strip Naked and Hide
Even if you don’t know all the symptoms for hypothermia, you can probably guess a number of them if you’re even remotely familiar with the condition. Exposure to extreme cold can lead to a dangerous drop in body temperature, shivering, confusion and death.
In rare cases, in the final and most dangerous stages of hypothermia, some victims will display a symptom called “terminal burrowing.” Like an animal going into hibernation by digging a hole, the victim will literally try to hide or bury themselves as a form of protection. Typically, this still happens indoors, and the person has hidden under a bed or behind a dresser as though the confined space will protect them .
Along with terminal burrowing there is paradoxical undressing, believed to be related to peripheral vasodilation. In this case, people suffering severe hypothermia will actually strip off all of their clothes. Obviously this makes little sense from the outside, but the idea here is that the body had constricted all the blood vessels in the extremities in an effort to keep the vital organs warm. Over time, all of those muscles become exhausted and then relax again. This causes all the warm blood that was kept in the vital areas to rush back to the extremities.
Essentially you’re the victim of one final hot flash which makes you feel super warm and, since many victims are suffering mental confusion at the same time, they take their clothes off because they feel too warm.
6. A Sense of Impending Doom is a Side Effect of Wrong Blood Type Transfusions
ABO incompatibility is the name for what happens if you get a blood transfusion of the wrong blood type. You either have type A blood, type B blood, type AB blood or type O blood. You want to mix the same blood types whenever possible. Type AB is the universal recipient and can get a transfusion of any type in a pinch. Type O is the universal donor and anyone can take O. But you never want to mix any of the others. O can’t take AB, A can’t take B and so on.
If you do mix types, rare though it may be in the modern world, ABO incompatibility causes a range of unpleasant symptoms from fever to back pain to blood in the urine. But the most unusual is a sense of impending doom.
A sense of impending doom is also an occasional side effect of some medications, and even jellyfish stings. It doesn’t manifest as anything physical, but a general sense that something terrible is going to happen to you. So just imagine this feeling of fear that the world is ending or you’re going to die and there’s no specific reason for it. You can’t explain it and there’s no specific thing that you can blame it on. You don’t think someone is after you or that you have a disease. You just think you’re going to die or something terrible is going to happen to you. That’s the sense of impending doom.
5. Nicotine Withdrawal Can Cause a Sense of Time Dilation
Have you ever tried to overcome an addiction, especially cold turkey? It’s not the easiest thing in the world by any means and nicotine is one of the hardest addictions to get past. Part of the reason for this is that cigarette withdrawals affect the way you perceive time.
Beyond irritability and anxiety, nicotine withdrawal can alter your perception of time by as much as 50%. That means every minute you don’t have a cigarette seems 50% longer to you than it does to someone who doesn’t smoke. This altered time perception feeds into those other symptoms like irritability making it all even worse.
In experiments, people forced to abstain from smoking were simply asked to estimate how long a 45 second interval was. The test was done with smokers, non-smokers and then smokers who were in withdrawal. The average guesses were off by 50% for those in withdrawal which is how the time warp effect was determined. The non-smokers and the same people who guessed wrong but were then allowed to smoke were fairly accurate.
4. Covid-19 is Proving To Have Several Odd Symptoms
The world is still learning about all the side effects and symptoms of covid-19. Because there are so many variants, and so many ways people react to it, there’s a lot we still don’t know. But what we have learned is, in some circumstances, pretty weird.
One symptom that has been reported is face blindness. This means that you cannot recognize faces anymore, even those of close friends and relatives. You can still recognize a person’s voice and know who they are, but your brain lacks the ability to discern their face as one you recognize.
In other cases, this time with children who have contracted covid-19, pink eye is presenting as a symptom. Most commonly associated with bacterial infections.
3. Parkinson’s Can Cause Tiny Handwriting
Parkinson’s Disease is a condition that affects the brain. This degenerative condition is mostly associated with symptoms like shaking limbs and head, imbalance and poor coordination and slow movement. There are a host of lesser known and less obvious symptoms as well.
One of the strangest symptoms, and also one that can help in early diagnosis, relates to handwriting. Those who suffer from Parkinson’s often have tiny handwriting. Also called micrographia, the longer a person writes, the more cramped and small the letters tend to get.
Your ability to write is controlled by the same parts of the brain that are affected in all of those other ways by Parkinson’s, so while tremors become a visible symptom later on, this small writing can be an early warning of what’s to come. As many as half of patients with Parkinson’s also demonstrate micrographia in their handwriting.
2. Pregnancy Can Cause Pitting Edema
Swelling is one of the more common side effects of pregnancy. However, there are degrees of swelling that a woman can endure when this happens. In some rare cases the edema and fluid buildup can get so bad you can actually poke your finger into the flesh and leave noticeable dents or pits.
Pitting edema has also been linked to depression-related weight gain which is even more unusual.
1. An American Cancer Patient Developed an Irish Accent
Foreign accent syndrome is something that’s usually related to brain damage. A section of the brain is injured, and the victim ends up speaking with an unusual accent afterwards. It’s rare but not unheard of. But that’s when it’s related to a traumatic injury or stroke.
There is at least one case of someone getting cancer and, as a result, they developed an Irish accent. The patient, a man from North Carolina, had developed prostate cancer. Nearly two years after his diagnosis, the Irish accent crept into his speech and he could not stop it. Doctors had stated that he had never spoken with an Irish accent before, had never been to Ireland, and had no history of psychiatric conditions that might explain it.
Instead, it was blamed on a paraneoplastic neurological disorder which can occur when your body’s own cancer-fighting cells attack the spinal cord and parts of the brain by mistake.