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(CBS News) – Minor ailments you might be tempted to ignore could be early signs of a serious illness. That’s the message of a recent Reader’s Digest article, “Silent Signs that Your Body is in Big Trouble,” which aims to help people decode their own bodies’ subtle signals.

Even though routine doctor visits are key to maintaining good health, some symptoms may not always be picked up by physicians, Reader’s Digest editor-in-chief Liz Vaccariello explained on “CBS This Morning.” “They might not come up in a physical, but if you tag them early, you could really take care of some big problems,” she said.

Handwriting clues

One such hidden symptom is a change in handwriting, which may be an early indicator of Parkinson’s disease.

“Parkinson’s is caused by damage or loss of neurons in the brain that make dopamine, and dopamine is really important in controlling movement in our body,” CBS News medical contributor Dr. Holly Phillips explained.

While one of the first signs of Parkinson’s is the typical tremor, or shaking, most commonly associated with the disease, symptoms can emerge elsewhere, particularly in the hands.


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