In some situations, catching a health variation is critical. You can read online medical advice, visit the doctor, and get x-rays, but no one knows your body better than you. If something doesn’t feel right, you’ll be the first to notice and the first to seek medical help.
Paying attention to your general health, including mental awareness, new sensations, unique pains, and other strange occurrences is your first line of defense in detecting and preventing conditions that could be fatal.
To put this into perspective, consider heart disease. Heart disease is the number one killer for both men and women in the United States. Heart attacks are the primary way that this disease takes life, and it can often have symptoms such as pain in the chest or arm, heaviness or discomfort, heart palpitations, difficulty breathing, and cold sweats.
Though some heart attacks are what medical professionals call “silent heart attacks,” where no symptoms are present before the attack, about 70-80 percent of victims will manifest one or more of the symptoms mentioned above. Since victims have a better chance of survival if the heart attack is treated at the onset of symptoms, recognizing the warning signs and taking action is of chief concern.
This is just one of many, many instances in which recognizing the symptoms and changes in health can be life-saving. It doesn’t mean that every negative symptom is a sign of certain death. Oftentimes, there are minor aches and pains that you can treat yourself.
You don’t need to rush to the emergency room every time you get a headache, for example. But if you have persistent headaches and regular medication doesn’t help, seeking the attention of a medical professional is a good idea.
When your health takes a negative turn, your body will let you know through a variety of symptoms. When something about your health is “off,” you’ll know best, but it’s still difficult to know which symptoms to ignore and which to address.
To assist in this knowledge, note this list of symptoms you should never ignore.
In some cases, chest pain can simply be a sign of indigestion. However, it’s often a condition that requires immediate medical attention, as it could be a sign of heart disease, a heart attack, or a blood clot.
Rapid, Unexplained Weight Loss
Losing a few pounds suddenly and without explanation might seem like a welcome change at first, but if you lose five percent of your body weight or more in a short period, see your doctor. Unexplained weight loss is almost always a sign of illness – be it cancer, diabetes, endocrine system issues, or depression.
Lumps, Discolorations, and Darkened Skin
These three symptoms can be a sign of cancer. Discoloration or darkening of the epidermis is often a sign of skin cancer, which is the most common form. When the skin is exposed to UV rays, it can develop cancerous moles and rashes that are easily removed when detected early.
Lumps in the thyroid, breast, or other part of the body are also signs of cancer. Breast cancer is the most treatable form of cancer when caught early, so women should pay close attention to body changes.
It’s not uncommon to be thirsty if you haven’t had enough water. You can simply replenish your lost water stores and the sensation will disappear. However, if you’ve experienced thirst for several days, and no amount of water can quench it, it’s likely a sign of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, or kidney problems.
Your headache might be a simple migraine or the manifestation of heavy stress, but prolonged, severe head pain often indicates a stroke, tumor, or blood clot according to Harvard Health. If the pain seems worse than a normal headache and doesn’t diminish with pain relievers, see a doctor for a thorough examination.
Unbearable Stomach Pain
Most people can handle stomach pain that comes with the flu or eating heavy foods, but if the pain is excruciating, it could be a sign of a burst appendix, bleeding in the stomach, intestinal disorders, or ulcers. Each of these conditions are treatable, but they can be fatal if not caught immediately.
Sudden shortness of breath can indicate a pulmonary embolism, or a blood clot forming deep in the veins. Shortness of breath is particularly worrisome when found in combination with chest pain or coughing up blood. The faster you can get to the emergency room in this situation, the better off you’ll be.
Contact Orion College to Learn More
Interested in gaining more life-saving medical knowledge? We offer a blend of online and on-campus courses dedicated to all careers in the medical field. Whether you’re looking for a new career or to broaden your knowledge of the medical field, contact Orion College today!