Health Warnings You Should Not Ignore
You want to be as healthy as possible so that you can get on with enjoying life well into your old age. Eating well, taking regular exercise and watching your consumption of substances like alcohol and sugar are all important ways to keep yourself fit and well. To stay at your best, you should also know about the warning signs of ill health – so that you can take action to protect yourself. Here are the things to look out for…
A cough that won’t quit
We’re not saying that having a cough means that you’re seriously ill, as we all get them over the winter – especially if we’ve had a cold or the flu. However, if you have had a cough that has been bothering you for weeks rather than days, it’s probably time to pay a visit to your doctor. Get a checkup to rule out more serious conditions like pneumonia or lung cancer, and you’ll be able to rest much easier.
Weird things in your pee
If you find white stuff in your urine, you could have an infection or condition that won’t go away on its own. Blood in your pee can be a sign of problems with your kidneys or bladder – so don’t wait to see what happens, get yourself checked out to make sure that all is well.
Pain in your chest
If your chest is sore, and feels uncomfortably tight or full – there may be something wrong with your heart. If this is accompanied by having trouble breathing and you feel generally unwell, you could be having a heart attack. If you’re in any doubt about this, head to the emergency room to get help – it could literally save your life.
Things aren’t quite right ‘down there’
Are you experiencing irregular periods, with some spotting and pain in between? You could have a condition that will affect your ability to get pregnant. Other signs of reproductive issues include pain during or after sex, a discharge that seems a little ‘off’, and pain in your lower tummy. Conditions like endometriosis and STIs like chlamydia can cause these symptoms – but there’s no need to panic, as they are entirely treatable. If these kinds of conditions are not treated, however, they could affect your fertility and quality of life for years to come – so make sure you see a medical professional.
The mother of all headaches
If you’ve got a bad headache, it’s probably just a migraine. However, if that horrible pain in your head isn’t the only symptom you’re having to put up with, you might want to get some help. If your headache has come on suddenly, and you don’t usually get migraines – and you have trouble seeing properly, you might be suffering from an aneurism in the brain. This can be deadly, so go to the hospital if you’re in any doubt.
Bad pain in your side
If you’ve been out running or power walking, it’s probably just a stitch that will fade with time. However, if you have a sharp pain in the right side of your body and you have a high temperature too – you could be experiencing the effects of appendicitis. Pain in your side can also be caused by cysts in your ovaries. These are usually harmless, and can be removed, but don’t suffer needlessly when your doctor can help you.
Swollen painful leg
If one of your legs is sore to touch, and badly swollen and feels almost as if it’s on fire – you could have a deep vein thrombosis, or DVT. This is basically a clot that is caused by sitting in one position for hours at a time. If you’ve recently flown on an airplane, especially if it was a long flight – it is worth making sure that a DVT isn’t causing your symptoms. If you smoke, or take the contraceptive pill, you’re a more likely candidate for clots, and they can kill you – so see a doctor as soon as you can if you think it’s a possibility.
Indigestion that won’t go away
Everyone gets indigestion sometimes, especially after a heavy meal that includes rich ingredients, or after going a little crazy with the alcoholic drinks. If it does happen, you should pop an indigestion tablet or have a glass of milk – and you should be feeling fine relatively quickly. However, if that burning feeling just won’t go away even when you take a tablet, it could be a sign that something is going wrong with your heart. See a doctor as soon as you can to make sure everything is ok – and to get the treatment you need if it’s not – doing so can save your life.
Cuts or wounds that don’t get better
If you have a cut or graze on the skin that doesn’t start to heal up within a few days, it could be a sign of something more complex being wrong. For example, people who have undiagnosed diabetes can discover the condition as a result of investigating wounds that won’t get better. Being obese or having heart disease can also affect how quickly wounds are able to heal, as can infections or blood disorders. If you have any cuts that don’t get better on their own, visit a medical professional to find out why.
If you have noticed bruises on your body that don’t seem to have been caused by any accident or fall, this is a sign that things are not quite right inside. Unexplained bruising can be caused by a whole host of things, including: a vitamin C deficiency, thrombophilia and leukemia.
You only get one body to take you through this life, so it’s well worth taking good care of it. Look after yourself and stay vigilant about changes in your body to keep yourself well. Most importantly, trust your instincts – if something doesn’t feel or look right, see a doctor. You know your body better than anyone, so trust yourself to know when something needs looked at. Find out here if your lifestyle is putting you at risk of health problems.