10 Health Signs You Should Not Ignore
We’ve all faced that situation where a headache seems to come out of nowhere, a prickling pain in the stomach, or we suddenly feel more tired than normal. More often than not, we should be able to pinpoint the reason behind such a change. Maybe you’d been stuck somewhere with loud music, you’d forgotten to eat lunch, or exerted yourself physically more than usual the previous day.
What we’re trying to say is, while these are pretty much a package deal with day-to-day life, they shouldn’t be cause for too much concern. But, in the case that you DON’T know where that sudden change in your health is coming from, it’s always best to consult a doctor. Something seemingly minor could be an indication of a far bigger problem. Even if it is nothing, a doctor should be the one to determine that, not you.
Here are 10 medical conditions or changes in your body that should not be overlooked.
1. Sudden Sharp & Escalating Headache
If you’ve just been going about your merry way, but suddenly experience an intense, sharp headache like you’ve never felt before, do not ignore it. Especially in the case that it seems to be escalating in a very short time, maybe even a few minutes or seconds, because it could be a sign of a blood vessel bursting or a brain aneurysm.
2. Chest Pain
If you feel like there’s a weight on your chest and its tightening up, this could be an indication of a range of problems. At best, you’ve just had acid reflux; at worst, it could be a heart attack. If chest pains appear along with sudden excessive sweating, nausea, and upper arm pain, seek medical attention immediately!
3. Unexplained Weight Loss
Losing weight without really trying to might seem like a victory of some sorts, but it could in fact be and indication of a whole host of illnesses from diabetes and thyroid problems to even cancer. If you haven’t been exercising or eating differently to lose weight, definitely do not ignore and sudden and significant (10 pounds or more) decrease in body weight.
4. Feeling Confused or Unable to Focus
Experiencing sudden confusion of where you are and what you’re doing, and the inability to focus is concerning. If the feeling persists for more than a few minutes, call for medical help immediately. These are symptoms of many health conditions, from a drop in blood pressure or an adverse reaction to other medication, to a brain tumor, bleeding in the brain, or even a stroke.
As with the other symptoms, this one is worrying when it seems to appear out of nowhere. Breathlessness could also feel like your gasping for air but haven’t trouble getting it into your lungs, or like wheezing. Feeling out of breath when you haven’t exerted yourself physically is worrisome because these could be signs of an embolism or a blood clot in the lungs. Mental conditions like panic attacks could also begin with feeling breathlessness.
6. Swollen Legs
If you notice a swelling in your legs that doesn’t seem to go away for a few weeks or so, it could be an indication of a range of health issues starting from cardiovascular problems to endocrine-related problems like hypothyroidism. The reason why these illnesses show up in the swelling of the legs is due to fluid buildup caused by improper blood circulation in your body.
7. High or Persistent Fever
The average temperature for a human body is 98 degrees; if you’re experiencing a fever of 103 degrees or more, you should definitely take yourself to the doctor as soon as possible. But, even fevers that range between 99-101 degrees are concerning if they seem to be persisting for more than a week or so. When you’re having a fever, its often a sign that your body is fighting hard against some sort of infection or disease. In the case of a flu or something similar, it shouldn’t be too high and should go away within a couple days. But in the case that it persists, it could be an indication that your body is fighting off an illness that is far bigger than the flu, such as meningitis, pneumonia, a sinus infection, a viral infection – or even cancers like leukemia and lymphoma.
8. Unusual Bleeding
Bleeding out of any part of your body, given that there doesn’t seem to be a reason behind it like a fall or cut, is always concerning. For instance, vomiting or coughing up blood could be a sign of lung or esophageal cancer, while bloody stool or vomit could indicate gastrointestinal issues like hemorrhoids or ulcer, and even stomach or colon cancers. Blood in the urine could also be a sign of a kidney infection, or maybe even cancer. Needless to say, all of these require immediate medical attention!
9. Flashes of Light
Flashes of light that appear out of nowhere in the form of blinding brightness or spots in the edge of your vision are not a good sign of health, especially if they seem to be occurring more than once. These could be pointing to problems in your eyes or brain, like painful migraines or a detached retina. Consult your doctor immediately; he/she should be able to help you out with dealing with such issues properly.
10. Sudden or Severe Abdominal Pain
We all know that feeling of like our stomach’s about to burst after a particularly filling meal, but a sudden and sharp pain in an around your stomach area could be an indication of something far, far worse than a delicious meal. These kinds of intense and disorienting pains could be linked to several health issues, from a wound or inflammation in the gastrointestinal lining in your stomach or intestinal tract, to appendicitis, a buildup of gallstones, or even chronic illnesses like colitis, and irritable bowel syndrome.