1. Chest Pains
This extreme chest discomfort could feel like squeezing, pressure or tightness. At the same time, you might also experience nausea, sweating, difficulty breathing, vomiting or radiating pain down your arm.
What it could mean : Do not dismiss it as a case of indigestion, this could be a heart attack. Other possibilities include acid reflux, however it’s better to be safe than sorry.
2. Shortness of breath
This could be a sign of underlying health problem. Many circumstances such as high altitude, strenuous physical activities can cause shortness of breath. However if you experience unexplained shortness of breath, do seek medical care as it could be a sign of medical problem.
What it could mean : among the causes are chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, blood clot in the lung (pulmonary embolism), bronchitis, pneumonia or other heart and lung problems.
3. Sudden intense headache
If you experience a headache that comes on suddenly and hurts unlike anything you’ve ever felt before, seek medical help immediately.
What it could mean : You could be having an aneurysm or burst blood vessel in your brain. This could lead to stroke or even death from bleeding in the brain. Other possibilities include meningitis or shingles.
If however you’ve having regular headaches that come on suddenly, do get it checked out as well. As this could be a sign of brain tumour, eyesight problems, etc.
4. Unexplained weight loss
If you’re losing substantial weight (more than 5% of your body weight) without even trying within half a year, definitely get it checked out.
What it could mean : This could be a sign of cancer. Many types of cancer lead to severe weight loss. It could also be due to endocrine disorders, diabetes or clinical depression.
5. Sudden confusion
If someone is in a sudden disorientated and confused state that’s out of character, it could be due to a number of reasons. Best course of action is to get checked by a medical professional.
What could it mean : At the very worst, this could be a sign of brain tumour or bleeding in the brain. If the confusion is accompanied by numbness, muscle weakness and slurred speech, then it might be a stroke. It’s advisable to seek medical attention as soon as possible to reduce the chances of irreversible brain damage.
6. Persistent cough that doesn’t go away
It’s normal to be down with cough that lasts a week or two once in a while. However if you find that you’re experiencing persistent cough or any of the following, definitely seek medical advice to be safe:
- Cough that lasts for more than 3 weeks
- Your cough is particularly severe or is getting worse
- You’re coughing up blood or experience shortness of breath, breathing difficulties or chest pain
- You’re having persistent coughing with other worrying symptoms, for example unexplained weight loss, lumps or swellings in your neck, etc
What could it mean : sometimes persistent cough could be a sign of more serious medical condition such as lung cancer, pulmonary embolism, tuberculosis, etc. Other possibilities include: respiratory tract infection, Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD), allergy, etc.
7. Abdominal pain or discomfort
If you’re having sudden or severe abdominal pain round your belly button, do get it checked out by your medical professional.
What could it mean : It could be an aortic (largest artery in your body) aneurysm or rupture, perforation of your stomach or intestine (usually due to an ulcer), gallstones, appendicitis, etc.
On the other hand, if you’ve been feeling abdominal discomfort due to bloating and gas, and loss of appetite almost daily for more than 2-3 weeks, definitely seek medical advice. As this could be the early symptoms of ovarian cancer.
Better safe than sorry..
Always pay attention to your body and notice any irregularities. It’s definitely better to make an appointment with your medical professional to get something checked and find nothing to be of concern than to wait until it’s too late. And even if there’s something of concern, it’s better to find out earlier than later.
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