Our body is usually very good at letting us know when something is wrong. It may be a big something or a little something, but make no mistake about it - it is communicating with us and we should pay attention and not dismiss these “symptoms”. You know your body best. When something feels “off” or “not quite right”, don’t ignore it. There are minor discomforts and then there are symptoms that might indicate a major problem. The following 8 symptoms appeared in “You & Your Health” in “AARP The Magazine” written by Beth Howard. It is a good list of symptoms you must not ignore.
- Sudden Intense Headache - pain unlike any you have had before, especially if it peaks in seconds to minutes in any part of the head.
- Chest Pain - any intense discomfort, heaviness or pressure - like an elephant sitting on your chest. It may be combined with pain radiating down your arm, nausea, vomiting, sweating, and shortness of breath.
- Unexplained Weight Loss - loss of more than 5% of your body weight - without trying - over a period of six months.
- Unusual Bleeding - rectal bleeding or black or tarry stools. Vaginal bleeding. Bloody vomit.
- High or Persistent Fever - fever of 103 degrees F or higher. A persistent low-grade fever over several weeks with no apparent cause.
- Shortness of Breath - sudden shortness of breath, gasping after climbing 2-3 stairs, or getting tired before you used to.
- Sudden Confusion - sudden confusion, personality changes, aggression, or inability to concentrate.
- Swelling in the Legs - accumulation of fluid (edema) in the extremities.
If you experience any of the above - call your doctor. Don’t hesitate!