Feeling under the weather every once in a while is common. Some illnesses, like flu, cough, or an upset stomach, are so routine that you often skip visiting the doctor for it. There is nothing a long, hot soak in the bath or a delicious home-cooked soup can't do to make you feel a little better. However, some health conditions may be critical enough to need immediate medical attention, but identifying them is not always an easy task. Some diseases do not leave visible signs, and it is not until you notice common symptoms associated with them that you feel something may be wrong.
The obvious course of action when you identify dire health symptoms would be to consult your doctor and seek medical treatment instantly. But not everybody is the same. While some people prefer visiting their doctor for every minor health concern, some prefer to ride it out until their condition visibly worsens. However, some health conditions may be too severe, and postponing much-needed treatment may make it hard for you to recover at a later stage.
Reluctance toward seeking a doctor is understandable. Some people find the whole process anxiety-provoking. The fear of finding something is wrong or receiving an unexpected diagnosis is rather prominent among many. Nevertheless, delaying treatment is no solution, and it may be a comfort to know that there is no shortage of qualified healthcare professionals with years of education and experience who can treat you to the best of their abilities. The rising trend of online education has made it even more convenient to get the best healthcare education through accredited online healthcare programs. The quality of medical care is only increasing, so you have nothing to worry about.
To help you in your quest for better health, we have listed some health symptoms that could be a red flag and should not get ignored.
1. Shortness of breath
Shortness of breath or difficulty in breathing is a normal occurrence after extreme physical exertion. For instance, you may find it difficult to get air into your lungs after an intense workout session, which is not out of the ordinary because your lungs need more oxygen to meet the demands of your active muscles. However, difficulty breathing when you are not expecting it may be concerning, and you should consult a nurse or a doctor immediately. Shortness of breath can signify an underlying health problem, such as asthma, pneumonia, or a blood clot in the lungs. If you are experiencing difficulty breathing without any strenuous activity, you may need to seek medical attention without any delay.
2. Severe Headaches
Experiencing occasional headaches is common for nearly everybody. Stress and muscle tension can often lead to one experiencing pain in the forehead or the back of the head and neck, termed a tension headache, which is quite normal. However, a sudden onslaught of severe or persistent headaches can be alarming. If you experience a horrific headache that wouldn't go away, don't try to cure it by popping over-the-counter painkillers. Severe headaches often signal an aneurysm, stroke, tumor, or head injury. You should see a doctor immediately if you experience one.
3. Unusual bleeding
Unusual bleeding includes seeing blood in your urine, stool, or vomit. Many women ignore blood in the urine for a period. Still, vaginal bleeding out of your menstruation cycle is not normal and can be a sign of bladder cancer. Aside from cancer, blood in the urine could also indicate other diseases, such as kidney disease or urinary tract infection. Moreover, blood in the stool is also a concerning health symptom. It could be a sign of colon cancer or inflammatory bowel disease.
Seeing blood in your vomit is also an alarming symptom and could indicate a sign of bleeding in the stomach. Severe bleeding could be life-threatening, and you should get prompt medical treatment for it.
4. Swelling of legs
Swollen legs or ankles are normal if you have sustained an injury or have been standing or sitting all day. However, suppose you are experiencing persistent bloating in your legs or ankles without an apparent cause. In that case, it could indicate a heart valve issue. A heart valve issue can disrupt your blood flow. It may cause edema- an accumulation of fluids in certain body parts. Although edema can occur anywhere, it is more common in feet, ankles, legs, hands, and arms. It may be the reason behind your puffed-up lower body.
5. Unexpected weight loss
Suppose you are experiencing weight loss without actively trying for it. In that case, you may need to consult a doctor or nurse as soon as possible. Unexplained weight loss is often linked with underlying health problems, such as inflammatory bowel disease, coeliac disease, type 2 diabetes, heart failure, and cancer. Losing weight may seem like a blessing for some, but not when it comes at the expense of one's health. Therefore, before celebrating shedding a few extra pounds, do pay a visit to your doctor to know the reason behind it.
6. Breast changes
Abnormal breast changes could indicate early signs of breast cancer 1https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/breast/basic_info/symptoms.htm and should not be ignored. Experience lumps, firmness, changes in size or skin, or nipple discharge. You should get yourself checked for breast cancer without any delay. Like any other type of cancer, the sooner one gets diagnosed with breast cancer, the better the chances for a swift recovery.
7. Persistent fatigue
Feeling exhausted is normal- who doesn't get tired after working a 9 to 5 or tending to loud children all day? However, when the fatigue lasts for weeks and months, you may need medical attention instantly. Experiencing fatigue for long periods may be a sign of chronic fatigue syndrome, where the diagnosed feels fatigued so severely that they can often not perform their usual activities. While the treatment plan for CFS is not acute, some medications and therapy sessions can help one relieve the symptoms.
8. Depressing thoughts
Depressive episodes may lead to one having suicidal thoughts and feelings of worthlessness. Your mental well-being is important, and if you can relate to some symptoms of depression, you should get an appointment with your psychiatrist or psychologist as soon as possible. Prolonged low moods caused by depression are known to directly affect your physical health, including weight changes, heart disease, chronic pains, and insomnia. With mental disorders, it is never "just" the brain- it is the brain "and" the body. Therefore, to keep yourself physically healthy, it is essential to look after your mental health too.
"Health is wealth" is a common saying we have all heard for ages, but it holds the truth to date. Being healthy is a blessing you should always remain grateful for and work hard to maintain. Therefore, instead of neglecting crucial health symptoms, make sure to reach out to healthcare professionals to identify the disease and get treatment early. The sooner, the better- if you wait too long before getting treatment, it could get too late. You deserve to live and enjoy your life with the best physical, mental, and social health, so don't rob yourself of that chance.
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