If you’ve ever been called a hypochondriac or been faced with a symptom you’re not sure needs to be taken seriously, this one’s for you.
It’s not a long list, mind you, but there are a few not so innocent symptoms you should never ignore…
So, If any of these strike you, don’t wait until it’s too late to seek medical attention.
If eating that cheeseburger never bothered you before, don’t assume that this time it’s a case of heartburn.
Consider calling 911 – especially if you have risk factors for heart attacks, such as:
- Being over 65 years old
- Having high cholesterol
- Being Diabetic
- If the pain is mostly on the left side, travels down your left arm or you’re heavily sweating.
While indigestion is usually related to a digestive problem, occasionally, it’s a cardiac symptom that precedes a heart attack, and definitely one of the symptoms you should never ignore.
It’s pretty hard to ignore something like Pink Eye, especially if you look at yourself in the mirror…but it’s one of the most serious eye conditions and requires prompt treatment.
- A detached retina, which means that the light-sensitive layer of your eye pulls away or tears, can blind you.
But the symptoms –
- Seeing an increasing number of specks, flashes of light
- Or a “curtain” covering your field of vision
are painless and invisible to an outsider or your mirror.
However, if you notice any of these changes, see an eye care professional immediately.
Numbers 3 and 4 are common, but not so innocent symptoms you should never ignore:
Alright, don’t tell me you’d love to get that kind of surprise. After all what’s wrong with being able to slide into your skinny jeans without a struggle?
But, seriously, losing 10 pounds or more for no clear reason – like having increased your workouts or started seriously following a new diet, for instance, or even just having lost your appetite due to stress – can be the first sign of cancer, according to the American Cancer Society.
Unexplained weight loss is very often linked to cancers of the pancreas, esophagus, stomach and lung…and it’s one of the symptoms you should never ignore.
If the opposite of number 3 is true, and you can’t quite button your pants, you and your doctor may assume it’s due to poor food choices or lack of exercise.
However, even though that’s the case most of the time, you could have abdominal cancer such as ovarian cancer.
Unexplained abdominal swelling can also be a sign of congestive heart failure, which often causes fluid retention, and is a serious condition.
If your blood flow is inconsistent or much more than usual or if it causes you excruciating pain, PLEASE, consider it a red flag warning.
It can also be caused by fibroids, which can be cancerous or non-cancerous tumors in the uterus, or even pregnancy.
- Any changes in your menstrual cycle, call for a trip to the gynecologist.
- Any unusual pattern to menstruation should be discussed with your gynecologist, especially if it’s different from your earlier pattern.
Most athletes would tell you that leg cramps come with the territory.
However, if you’re experiencing the pain while you’re walking and after, if it’s relieved by rest but returns every time you walk or climb stairs – DON’T brush it off as “soreness.”
Those cramps could indicate you have Peripheral Artery Disease, which happens when blood flow to the legs is hindered by clogged arteries.
As reported by the American Heart Association, if the condition goes undiagnosed, the cramps can get more painful and even lead to the loss of your leg.
Any symptoms that keep occurring need a medical examination to find the cause.
For many people, moles are common during spring and summer, and they’re usually harmless.
But they could be melanomas, a type of cancer.
Here’s what to look for:
- Moles that are asymmetrical
- Moles that have a funny looking border
- Some may be crooked
- Some are in different colors
- Often they’re larger than a pencil eraser
If you notice any of these characteristics in a mole, see a dermatologist as soon as possible to diagnose if it’s melanoma.
If caught early, they’re simple to remove.
Look at your body carefully as moles can even hide under toenails.
Skin cancer is very aggressive, so please take this seriously, especially if you spend any time in the sun.
It could be due to it being winter – but it could also be an abnormality of the thyroid hormone.
- Thinning hair often shows up with the dry skin when it’s linked to a thyroid issue.
- Also, dry skin paired with seriously peeling nails can be a sign of zinc deficiency.
All of these symptoms need to be investigated by your physician to investigate the cause and offer treatment as necessary.
If you’ve passed puberty, and you’re not breastfeeding and there’s no other clear reason for your breast changes (nipple discharge, different-looking skin, pain, tender areas or a lump), it’s time to visit your gynecologist.
By that I mean now. As in do not delay.
An unfortunate number of women have ignored these breast changes for so long – some for years – that by the time they saw their physician they were diagnosed with advanced-stage breast cancer.
When it comes to matters of your health and unexplained symptoms, safe is always better than sorry. Call your doctor!
Coughs may be annoying, but not all of them are harmless.
Patients who are on a type of blood pressure medications called ACE Inhibitors (used for high blood pressure) can develop a persistent, non-productive cough (no phlegm) that keeps them up at night. Yet many let it go on and on and on.
This is an example of a medication side effect that could be prevented after a visit to the doctor’s office.
Often, high blood pressure (hypertension) can be prevented with simple, minor changes to the diet or activity levels, eliminating the need for medications.
Be safe, be smart. Don’t let anyone tell you that you’re imagining things when unrecognized symptoms interfere with any part of your life.
This is your one shot, take it to the limit.