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.
Since there’s no way to tell you have them, regular checkups and screenings — though they might seem tedious — could save you a lot of trouble, and maybe even your life. 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.
Next: Are your bones in bad shape? Sometimes it takes a fracture to tell.