How do you know if a symptom is serious or not. Symptoms that develop all of a sudden and with increasing intensity should not be taken for granted. Here are some symptoms you should not ignore.
SHORTNESS OF BREATH
If you are unable to catch your breath or gasping for breath, then you need to be evaluated or you must seek emergency care. Shortness of breath could be a sign of severe underlying diseases like asthma, bronchitis, pulmonary embolism, lung and heart disease.
SUDDEN INTENSE HEADACHE
If you are experiencing headache like you’ve never had before. If it happened suddenly and keeps getting worse with no relief, you need to seek urgent care. It could be a sign serious conditions like of ruptured aneurysm, a condition in which a blood vessel in your brain suddenly bursts. It could also be a sign of meningitis.
UNEXPLAINED WEIGHT LOSS
I f you are losing weight without trying, it might be more of a curse than a blessing. If you lose about 10% of your total weight in about 6 months without putting in any effort, you should consult your doctor. Unexplained weight loss could be an indication of diabetes if it is accompanied by frequent urination and extreme thirst, hyperthyroidism if you also experience restlessness and increased appetite, some types of cancers and liver disease. Gastrointestinal diseases like inflammatory bowel movement could also be the cause if you having diarrhea and abdominal pain.
LOWER BACK PAIN
Lower back pain can be from muscle pull or some physical exertion on the back. Persistent back pain accompanied with fever and weight loss and especially if pain is radiating down the leg, could be a sign of some cancers like breast and lung cancers. Aggressive forms of these cancers may spread to the bone and cause lower back pain.
Heavy periods known as menorrhagia happens to some women. However if you experience heavy periods during pregnancy it could be a sign of ectopic pregnancy. Fibroid tumors and ovarian cyst may cause heavy periods. Seek medical help.
Chest discomfort, heaviness and pressure may be a signs of heart attack especially if it is accompanied by pain radiating down the arm, shortness of breath, nausea and vomiting and sweating. Women especially experience other symptoms like upper abdominal discomfort and fatigue. Severe upper back pain may be due to tear in the aorta. Other non life threatening conditions such as acid reflux or a peptic ulcer may also cause chest pain. Get to emergency room if you experience these signs.
This is due to transient drop in blood pressure which can happen as a result of the brain not getting enough blood. This usually happens when you sick , tired or scared. Experiencing fainting spells after exercising or lifting heavy things may require medical attention. It could be a sign of stroke or heart problem.
Having fever is nothing to worry about so much. Fever is your body’s way of fighting infection. However fever of about 103 degrees and higher may be a source of serious infection like meningitis, endocarditis and so one. Persistent fever may also be a sign of some forms of cancers like lymphoma or sinus infection. Urgent medical care is therefore essential in such cases.
CHANGE IN BOWEL MOVEMENT
Normal bowel habits depends on each person. What is normal for one person might not be normal for anther. When you notice any change in your bowel habits such as persistent diarrhea or constipation, change in shape and color of stool or bloody stool, it is time to contact your physician. It might be a sign of serious infection
If you see blood where it’s not suppose to be, then its time to talk to your doctor. Blood in vomit may be a sign of gastric or esophageal cancer. Rectal bleeding may be a sign of colon or rectal cancer and vaginal bleeding may be linked to gynecological cancer. Unusual bleeding can also be linked to non life threatening conditions like hemorrhoids and stomach ulcers. Seek immediate medical care if you experience any of these conditions.
If you consistently feel full earlier than normal or after having a small meal ,you need to get checked out. If it is accompanied by symptoms such as weight loss or gain bloating, nausea or vomiting ,it could be a sign of reflux disease, commonly known as GERD or life threatening diseases like pancreatic cancer.
Sudden confusion or inability to concentrate are conditions that need immediate medical care. It could be as a result of brain bleeding or brain tumor. If this condition is accompanied by slurred speech, numbness in face hand or leg and difficulty finding words, then stroke is imminent. Seek medical care immediately to avoid irreversible brain damage.
Swelling in the extremities such as legs warrants medical check up. When heart cannot pump enough blood that the body needs, blood backs up in veins causing accumulation of body fluids. Doctor fear heart failure when both legs are affected and especially when one is experiencing other symptoms like shortness of breath, fatigue and numbness.
SEVERE ABDOMINAL PAIN
This could be as a result of aortic aneurysm which happens in the abdominal area. It could also mean a hole in the stomach or intestines as a result of an ulcer. Another condition that causes this is Intestinal ischemia which is when blood flow to the intestines is stopped or slowed down resulting tissues being oxygen deprived. All these conditions are life threatening and should be taken seriously.