In a perfect world, our bodies would all be well-oiled machines that run perfectly. But in the real world, our day-to-day lives are punctuated by unexpected bodily aches and pains, popping sounds, gurgles, spasms, twitches, and growths. In fact, we’re so used to certain common symptoms that we tend to ignore them or take them less seriously than we should. If you’ve been experiencing any of these symptoms, however, you might want to stop, take notice, and see a doctor.
#1: Painful Headache
Headaches are symptomatic of many underlying issues, some serious, some not. Thirst and hunger are common causes for headaches, as is excessively staring at a bright screen for too long. Other less common signs of headache include pregnancy, congestion, sinus infection, or flu. If you’re experiencing a headache that doesn’t feel like your normal hunger or sinus headache, and it becomes severe and extremely painful, do NOT ignore it. This type of headache can be a sign of stroke, bacterial meningitis, or infection. Call 911 or seek medical attention immediately.
#2: Chest Pain and Discomfort
As soon as you hear the phrase “chest pain”, you automatically think of heart attack. While it’s easy to diagnose on someone else, sometimes chest pain can feel like severe heartburn or acid reflux instead of the tell-tale sign that you’re having a heart attack. If you don’t feel better after rest, and your chest pain is accompanied by other symptoms (such as dizziness, shortness of breath, or sweating), chances are you’re having a cardiac event and should be taken to emergency.
#3: Dizziness and Lightheadedness
Feeling dizzy is not uncommon. Getting up too fast, spinning around in circles, hunger, thirst, even extreme emotions can make someone feel dizzy. However, you should never ignore dizziness or lightheadedness, as it always has an underlying cause that needs to be addressed. Sometimes, drinking a glass of orange juice can make the dizziness go away. But it’s not always that simple. Dizziness and feeling faint can be a sign of hypotension, infections, allergies, reactions to medication, cancer, or more urgently, stroke.
#4: Severe Diarrhea or Vomiting
Our first response to a bad case of vomiting or diarrhea is to blame it on the food or fluid we just consumed. But sometimes, it isn’t always that easy. Yes, your first inclination is correct: you might have eaten something that didn’t agree with your stomach. But if the contents of your stomach have completely been voided and you still can’t stop vomiting or having diarrhea, seek immediate medical help. This could be a sign of stomach flu, pregnancy, food poisoning, meningitis, or gastroenteritis.
#5: A Bad Night’s Sleep
We often underestimate how important a good night’s sleep is. Sleep is essential for cell repair, stress reduction, digestion, and mental health, to name a few. It can be extremely frustrating when we have a hard time falling asleep or when our own snoring wakes us up. One off night is not that unusual, but if you persistently have interrupted or low-quality sleeps because of insomnia, snoring, or other reasons, you should see your doctor right away. Poor-quality sleep is often associated with depression, anxiety, sleep apnea, food intolerances and other health problems that should not be ignored.
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