Many people avoid visiting their doctors. Whether it’s due to a fear of hospitals or clinics, a busy schedule, or simply the confidence that you are in perfect health, chances are good that you haven’t seen your doctor recently. Unfortunately, while you may think this is okay, you might want to reconsider visiting your doctor, especially if you’re experiencing some symptoms.
There are various symptoms you must keep an eye out for. While a usual cold may only need fluids and rest, there could be more underlying symptoms, which may require you to see a doctor.
Whether or not you’re a fan of doctors, regular health risk assessment is crucial, and keeping an eye out on the following symptoms can make a huge difference to your overall health condition.
- Difficulty Breathing or Shortness of Breath
It can be a sign of an allergic reaction, asthma, or bronchitis. While it’s okay to breathe heavily during a hard workout, right after getting exciting news, or in the middle of a high-stress situation, regular difficulty breathing or shortness of breath can be a symptom that you should take seriously.
Your breathing rate controls the levels of carbon dioxide and oxygen in your body. You may breathe slower or faster in response to your oxygen requirements. Particular lung conditions could make it more difficult for your body to release carbon dioxide and take in oxygen. This may result in shallow, fast breaths.
Allergic reactions that cause the throat to swell can also lead to shortness of breath or trouble breathing. When it happens, make sure to immediately seek medical help and tell your doctor about what you’ve experienced.
- Chest Pain
It might be a sign of digestive conditions, lung conditions, heart attack, or chest inflammation. While only some people who go to the ER for chest pain are having a heart attack or cardiac arrest, you should never take this symptom lightly.
Chest pain can be caused by a tear in the aorta, which is the heart’s big artery, or because of a blood clot in the lungs.
If you’ve experienced chest pain along with back pain, jaw pain, vomiting, nausea, chest pressure, or fatigue, consult your primary physician immediately.
- Changes in Mood or Sudden Confusion
Sudden confusion and changes in mood can happen with mental health problems and physical conditions like drug interaction or an infection. Watch out for irregular sleeping patterns, trouble focusing or thinking, and feelings of depression or anxiety. If things get worse, call your doctor quickly.
- Unexplained Weight Loss
If you’re not trying to lose weight but you experience an unexplained weight loss, it’s a sign that you should discuss with your doctor.
Unexplained weight loss is common in older adults and those with particular conditions such as cancer and digestive disorders. Mouth and throat conditions can also result in weight loss if they interfere with the types or amount of food somebody can eat.
Your weight naturally increases and decreases throughout the year. However, dropping several pounds without even trying is a red flag and requires medical help to understand your condition.
- Cold Symptoms
During your childhood days, having a cold can be treated by eating a warm bowl of chicken soup, staying at home, and resting all day while watching your favorite TV shows. However, now that you’re an adult, a cold is just an inconvenience that lasts for days. But what happens when your cold doesn’t go away?
Well, if you won’t let your body rest to fight off the infection that caused your cold, it’ll take longer to heal. Your cold may also turn into a sinus or an ear infection. In other cases, what you think is a severe cold is actually the flu. If you don’t know the difference, make sure to get tested.
To treat a cold, spend some time recovering so it won’t turn into a severe condition. If you think it’s due to an infection, visit your doctor to get the right medications and combine them with plenty of rest.
- Sudden Changes in Your Bowel Habits
Your stool can tell you a lot about your health. Changes in the consistency or frequency of your bowel movements can signal a stomach problem. It can also be a sign of bowel cancer, food intolerances, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
Watery stool or diarrhea can be a symptom of a digestive condition or infection. Constipation can be a sign of a potential blockage or a digestive condition. If there’s blood on your stool, seek medical attention as soon as possible.
Everybody experiences digestive discomfort at some point in time, but severe and chronic symptoms are a cause for concern. You might be ashamed of discussing your bowel habits with your doctor, but it’s vital for them to understand your current health condition. Your doctor has seen worse before, so don’t feel any shame or worry when consulting with your physician.
- Prolonged or High Fever
It may be a sign of inflammatory conditions, an infection, or side effects of some medications, but the most common cause of fever is actually an infection like a stomach bug or cold.
Unless you’re a toddler or an infant, a slight fever is nothing to worry about. However, if you have had a fever for several days already, get yourself to a doctor immediately. If you’re not sure if you have a fever, use a thermometer to track your body temperature.
- Abdominal Pain
Healthcare professionals break down abdominal pain into two primary types: chronic and acute. Acute abdominal pain is the pain that’s severe and comes on suddenly, while chronic abdominal pain is longer-lasting but less intense.
More often than not, many people are forced to seek help because of severe abdominal pain. On the contrary, chronic pain is often ignored, but you should note that it’s as serious as severe abdominal pain.
The pain’s location can help tell your doctor what the problem is and would give them a clue of what tests should be performed. So, if you experience abdominal pain and it has been going on for a while, or it’s severe, consult your doctor immediately.
While the above symptoms aren’t always an indicator of serious conditions, long-lasting or severe symptoms can be a warning sign. If you’re experiencing any of those symptoms, set an appointment and talk to your doctor as soon as you can.