When something feels strange in your body, you usually notice quickly. It may be something as sudden as a pain growing from your side to your back, or something more subtle like stepping on the scale and seeing you've lost a few pounds without trying. New or unusual symptoms may make it difficult to draw the line between just waiting it out and calling a doctor. So how do you know when you're experiencing symptoms that should not be ignored? The answer is usually by listening to what your body is telling you.
This means being aware of strong symptoms that do not want to be ignored, along with taking note of what other symptoms may accompany the one you are most concerned with. Even if something seems only slightly off, it never hurts to contact a doctor or other medical professional. When it comes to your health, it never hurts to be too cautious. Listening to your body — and seeking medical help — when it sends you a message via certain symptoms can be life-saving in certain situations. Make sure to act quickly if you experience one of the following seven health symptoms which should never be ignored.
1. Severe Pain In Your Side
Mild to sharp pains in your abdominal area could be something as harmless as gas, but if those pains become intense and are accompanied by other symptoms, things could become serious. According to Women's Health, stabbing pains in your side could be a sign of more than one issue. To help you understand more about what could be causing you to double over in pain, you'll need to take notice of other symptoms that pop up.
If the pain does not subside, you may have an ovarian cyst that has become twisted. However, if you become fevered and nauseous, you may have appendicitis. In either case, it is important to talk to a doctor immediately, as both will require surgery.
2. Changes In Bowel Movements
Aside from your best friend, your doctor may be the only other person who can tolerate you talking about your poop habits. Which is a good thing if you notice changes or unexplained abnormalities in your #2 routine. As the experts as Mayo Clinic pointed out, you should take notice if you experience one of the following red flags:
- Bloody, black or tar-colored stool
- Continual diarrhea or constipation
- Unexplained urges to move your bowels
These symptoms should not be ignored since they could be signs of infection, irritable bowel disease or colon cancer. Make an appointment with your doctor if you observe any of the changes from the list above.
3. Unexplained Weight Loss
If you are not trying to loose weight but pounds are mysteriously falling off, there may be an underlying problem. According to Prevention, a good way to measure how much is too much when it comes to unexplained weight loss is, dropping five percent of your body's weight in six to 12 months.
Noticing this type of change could mean your body is trying to send you a signal that something bigger is at work. Possible causes of weight loss could be cancer, depression, diabetes, thyroid-related conditions and Parkinson's Disease. If you step on the scale and the numbers don't seem to add up, call your doctor to see what steps to take next.
4. Intense Head Pain
We all get the occasional headache, but how do you know where to draw the line when it comes to a migraine and serious medical condition? Chances are you've experienced a headache or two in your lifetime, so use your previous head pain as a measuring stick to determine if what you're feeling is out of the ordinary.
Feeling like you are having the worst headache of your life — accompanied by other symptoms such as changes in your speech, stiffness in your neck, blurred vision, fever and rash — is a signal that you need immediate medical attention. According to Everyday Health, these symptoms are associated with meningitis and stroke and require immediate medical attention.
5. Numbness In Hands And Feet
Although a numb feeling in your hands or feet rarely have life-threatening potential, it is still a symptom worthy of investigating, as it may be a piece in a larger puzzle.
As an article for Mayo Clinic stated, the typical cause for numbness in the extremities is linked to a nerve that has experienced damage, irritation or compression. But finding out what is causing the nerve to undergo this stress may require testing. With over 20 possible causes for numbness, your doctor is going to need more information before moving forward with a diagnosis and treatment. If the numbness worsens or persists, or other parts of the body become numb, then it's time to call the doctor.
6. Leg Pain
Pain, swelling, and tingling in the legs are warning signs to take seriously. In an article for Medicine.Net, patholigist Melissa Conrad Stoppler noted that, "it is important to differentiate the exact type and location of any pain in the legs." For instance, pain in the leg joints may indicate arthritis, while deep pain may be the sign of a blood clot.
7. Shortness Of Breath
Any many instances, suddenly being unable to breath means a call to 911. But what if you experience periods of time where it is difficult but not impossible to breath? As the National Library of Medicine stated, trouble breathing can be the result of many different things, so it is important to see a medical professional to determine the cause.
In addition to various lung diseases, breathing difficulty is also associated with heart problems, allergies, anxiety, and hernia. All of which should be treated with medical attention.