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When To Get Medical Attention

The Mayo Clinic has developed a list of symptons of serious conditions that should not be ignored.

A list of 10 Health Signs that Should Not Be Ignored

1/ Shortness of breath – If your having trouble catching your breath, gasping or wheezing, and you haven’t been doing any strenuous exercise it’s time to see a doctor.
Breathing difficulties could be caused by asthma, heart problems, anxiety & panic attacks, blood clots, pneumonia and other serious conditions.

2/ Flashes of light- can be a signal of retinal detachment and could cause you to lose your vision sometimes within hours. Those little flashes may not be floaters.
This sudden onset of sensation may signal your retina is detaching. You may need immediate care to save your eye.

3/ Unexpected Weight Loss – The body doesn’t lose weight unless it is provoked, either by a reduction of calories, exercise or a medical ailment. If you have lost 5% of your body weight or more in a month or more than 10% over six – 12 months then it is time to check if something else is going on. Stomach cancer or hypothyroidism (overactive thyroid)are possilibilites. Also liver disease or disorders that interfere with the body’s ability to absorb nutrients from food can be responsible.

4/ Persistent fever – Often a sign the body is fighting a bug. Could be urinary tract infection for example. Persistent low grade fever can be cause by certain types of cancer even tuberculosis. Drug reactions can cause fevers. If you have a low grade fever lasting for more than 2 weeks, see a doctor.

5/ Unexplained Bowel Habit Changes. Bowel habits alter with diet, age and travel. There are certain changes that can signal other issues. The Mayo Clinic suggests that if you have severe diarrhea lasting more than 2 days, mild diarrhea lasting more than a week, or constipation lasting over 2 weeks or consistent unexplained bowel urges to get checked out. Bloody diarrhea, black or tar-coloured stool should also be brought to a doctor’s attention.

Causes can be infection, bacteria viruses or colon cancer.

6/ Changes in mental status. If your mental acuity or behavior shifts such as you become confused in your thinking, disorientated, hallucinate or your behavior changes to unusually aggressive then it is time to check with your doctor.
These can be cause by stroke head injury, infection , low blood sugar or reactions to medication

7/ Severe Headaches or New headaches especially in anyone over the age of 50.
Most migraine sufferers or people with tension headaches develop them earlier in life. So new types of headache particularly after age 50 should be taken seriously Dr. Hanson of the Mayo says.

Sudden sever headaches or those accompanied by fever, stiff neck rash, mental confusion, seizure, weakness, numbness or speech problems could be signs of a stroke, meningitis an aneurysm, bleeding on the brain after head trauma or blood vessel inflammation.

Don’t use a wait and see approach on these. With a head and brain issue appropriate drugs may need to be issued within hours in order to avoid sever damage.

8/ Short term loss of Vision, Movement or Speech Control
These can be signs of a stroke or transient ischemic attacks or mini-strokes. If you are having TIA’s you can be at risk of having a stroke and you need medical care.

If you develop sudden weakness or numbness of the legs, arms or face on one side, sudden dimness, blurring, loss of vision , trouble talking or understanding speech, a sudden big headache, sudden dizziness, unsteadiness or fall or any combination of these the Mayo says you should see a doctor immediately.

9/ Feeling Full After Eating a Small Amount.
Feeling full sooner than normal or having persistent nausea or vomiting are signs that you should see your doctor. These can be signs of several types of cancers- stomach, ovarian, pancreatic or of a gastrointestinal disorder.

10/An inflamed joint
Hot red or swollen joints can signal serious infection. You may need emergency care to save the join & to keep bacteria from spreading around your body. It could also be gout or arthritis.

For any of the above the Mayo Clinic recommends you seek medical attention. Of any investment that you can make in your life your health is by far the most important one.