While we don’t want to be running off to the doctor every time we are feeling a little under the weather, there are some red flags you should be aware of and certainly shouldn’t ignore.
It can be hard to distinguish between symptoms of a heart attack and those of indigestion as well as a myriad of other health concerns.
Chest pain may be caused by poor blood flow to the heart resulting in angina or a sudden blockage in the coronary arteries, ultimately leading to a heart attack.
Aside from the heart, many other parts of the chest can cause pain including the lungs, oesophagus, muscles, bones and skin.
Determining the origin of chest pain can prove quite difficult, therefore it is better to be safe than sorry.
Chest pain should never be ignored because in the case of a heart attack every second counts.
A pounding headache that comes on suddenly and could be described as the worst headache you have ever had in your life, requires urgent medical attention.
Similar to the feeling of a migraine, although amplified, an aneurysm is a weak area in the wall of an artery supplying blood to the brain. The crushing pain that ensues is due to the enlarged artery pressing on your brain. If the artery ruptures, you could have a stroke or die from bleeding into the brain.
Although not as urgent, another serious concern (that is potentially life threatening) associated with severe headaches are tumours.
Leg pain with swelling
Swelling in your calf accompanied by a painful tenderness in the area could be a serious cause for concern.
Symptoms of this nature could point to a blood clot in your leg which could prove fatal if the clot breaks free and travels to the lungs, preventing oxygen supply, known as pulmonary embolism.
Time is of the essence in these circumstances, with sufferers requiring blood thinners urgently.
Patients with a history of blood clots are most susceptible, although anyone who has been immobile for a long time may develop a blood clot.
Other warning signs include shortness of breath, discoloration of the legs, more visible veins, and a warm spot on the leg.
If you are feeling exhausted and it can’t be put down to a particular reason e.g. jet lag, new bub etc, then sudden onset of fatigue is something to see your doctor about sooner rather than later.
Fatigue is a symptom of a number of ailments ranging from hormones to anemia or a more life threatening disease.
Abdominal pain and gassiness
Certain foods or or times of the month may leave you feeling a little bloated. However, if it happens often and the problem is newly acquired, then the issue should be investigated. Parasites, IBS, a virus, Fatty Liver or autoimmune diseases such as Coeliacs or Crohn’s are but a few of the possible causes.
Other early symptoms include bloating, pelvic or abdominal pain, and difficulty eating.
If the symptoms are with you daily and you can’t seem to shake them after a couple of weeks, seek medical attention.
Numbness in hands or feet
If you experience numbness, weakness or tingling in your hands or feet, or have lost strength, you may have a herniated or buldging disk in your verterbrae which is pressing on your spinal nerve. If the pressure on the nerve isn’t relieved, then you could end up with permanent changes or damage. Get this seen to as soon as you can.