We are generally aware of things that go on in our body, at least in some small way. Maybe you’ve been feeling stuffy because of the weather or your feel sluggish because you didn’t get a good night’s sleep. Your stomach might feel weird because you tried that new exotic restaurant, or your throat feels itchy after you ate ice cream at 2 in the morning.
These are passing symptoms that we do not think much of, and are fairly normal. But then there are certain signs that may seem innocent but may be alluding to a much larger issue. In these cases, you want to consult a doctor as soon as possible and pin down a cause so you can treat the root issue and not just the symptom.
These are 10 ways that your body warns you about a possible serious health problem – make sure you do NOT ignore them!
1. You Feel a Sudden Intense Headache
A headache is something normal, probably stemming from stress, lack of sleep, physical injury, etc. In these cases, the onset of a headache will start from mild and then may or may not increase in intensity. But, if you are feeling fine only to have a sudden, sharp headache hit you out of nowhere, get yourself to a doctor immediately! A headache that builds in a mere matter of seconds could be an indication of a brain aneurysm or a blood vessel bursting.
2. You Feel Discomfort/Pain in Your Chest
Chest pains are very serious and should not be ignored at any given time. If you experience a painful tightening in the chest, especially if it’s accompanied with feelings of nausea, sudden perspiration, and a pain in your upper arm, this could be a sign of a heart attack. Even in the case that the problem isn’t as serious, as these symptoms could also point to acid reflux, it’s always better to have a doctor rule it out.
3. You’ve Lost Weight Without An Apparent Reason
Weight loss is always seen as a positive thing, especially by those around you, but if you cannot think of a reason why you may be losing weight – be it exercise, diet, stress, etc – then you may want to pause and consider what the root cause of it is. Weight loss without an apparent reason is cause for concern because it is a side effect of illnesses such as diabetes, endocrine disorders like thyroid disease, and even cancer.
4. You Feel a Sudden Confusion
If you’ve just been going about your day, but are hit with a sudden overwhelming feeling of confusion or an inability to focus on what’s around you, there are several things that could be happening. At the least, you might be having an adverse reaction to medication or a dip in blood pressure, which are both things that you must get checked out immediately. But, at it’s worst, this could be a symptom of a bleed in the brain or even a tumor, especially if the confusion is coupled with a feeling of weakness.
5. You Feel Short of Breath Often
Shortness of breath is experienced when there is an escalation in physical activity, but if it happens without any reason, you should definitely ask your doctor about it. Shortness of breath, gasping, and wheezing could be a symptom of an embolism or blood clot in the lungs. These symptoms are also common in the case of a panic attack.
6. Your Legs are Swollen
A swelling in your legs, especially if it lasts for more than a normal period of time, needs to be checked out. This could be a sign of health problems in the cardiovascular system or blood vessels. As a result, the heart wouldn’t be able to properly circulate blood, causing a fluid buildup, which would result in swelling. Swelling could also be an indication of endocrine issues like hypothyroidism.
7. You Have a High or Persistent Fever
A fever is an indication that your body is fighting of some sort of infection. Of course, in the case of the regular flu, this is a good thing, but if the fever seems too high or doesn’t go away in a short while (at least 3 days), you should consult your doctor about it. This is because it could allude to your body fighting much more serious problem than the regular flu – like meningitis, pneumonia, a sinus infection, a viral infection – or even cancers like lymphoma.
8. You’ve Been Bleeding Unusually
A paper cut (or Aunt Flo) will cause you to bleed, but you should not be seeing blood when you go to the toilet, while coughing, or through vomit. Unusual bleeding is a serious health concern at any time. Gastrointestinal issues like hemorrhoids and ulcer will cause blood to appear in your stool or vomit, and blood in the urine could indicate a bladder or kidney infection. Unusual bleeding could even be a caused by certain cancers, especially in the colon or stomach.
9. You See Flashes of Light
If you see sudden flashes of bright lights, spots, or a blurring in your vision that last a while, get yourself checked out by a professional. This could be a sign of vision problems like a detached retina, or the onset of a painful migraine. You should get medication/treatment to help with either of these issues as soon as you can.
10. You Feel a Sudden or Severe Pain in the Abdomen
There are times when a twinge in the stomach is normal, like after a heavy meal or during their period for women, and then times when it’s not. A sudden, sharp stomach pain, especially under your diaphragm, falls squarely into the latter of those categories.
This is because the pain could have been caused due to a ound or perforation of the gastrointestinal lining in your stomach or intestine, or an inflammation in the intestinal tract. Or you could have appendicitis, or a build up of gallstones. Other chronic illnesses like colitis or irritable bowel syndrome also cause severe abdominal pain.