Staying alive means paying attention to serious warning signs that your body alerts you to. There are some body signals that require immediate attention, especially if you suddenly feel a sharp pain or become disoriented and confused. Find out more about the symptoms that doctors say you should never ignore!
Sudden Chest Pain
Chest pains can be the number one warning sign of heart disease! Yet, according to WebMD, chest pains may also be caused by problems in your nerves, muscles, lungs or esophagus. All types of chest pains should be evaluated by your doctor. However, in the case of a sudden crushing and severe pain on your left side, it is never wise to ignore this for long! For women, this is a sure sign that you're possibly having a heart attack, especially if it's accompanied by sweating, nausea and shortness of breath. To be safe, you need to get yourself to the emergency room ASAP!
Chronic High Fever
A fever is a sign that your body is fighting off an infection. A mild fever is actually a good sign that your immune system is functioning like it was designed to. When your white blood cells come into contact with foreign bacteria and viruses, it produces a chemical that tells the brain to increase your body temperature. Many harmful bacteria and viruses can't survive in this hot and inhospitable environment.
According to Dr. Mercola, a fever also tells your immune system to produce more antibodies and white blood cells to fight off the bad guys. However, when you have a persistent fever that lasts for more than 4 days, or a fever that is 103 and higher, you need to get yourself to the doctor, as whatever you are trying to fight off may be winning the battle!
Rapid Onset Of Confusion
Confusion and disorientation can be the sign of several different urgent medical conditions. We commonly associate sudden confusion with either a physical brain injury or a stroke, but it can also be caused by dehydration, critically low blood sugar or even septicemia, which is a life-threatening infection of the blood.
Abnormal behavior or a change in personality can also be attributed to a fast growing brain tumor. The Brain Science Foundation notes that large tumors can cause changes in thinking, while the smaller variety are more apt to affect the loss of language function. All of these potentially lethal medical conditions require the expert attention of a medical professional, and it needs to now rather than later!
Seeing Flashes Of Light
No, it's not a UFO! If you're unlucky enough to see flashes of light, floaters or bright spots in your field of vision, you may be suffering from a detached retina. Yes, that is definitely as bad as it sounds, as it can led to a permanent loss of vision! Harvard Health states that retinal tears and detachments are generally painless, so it's extremely important to pay attention to vision cues, such as new floaters or flashes, and a rapid decline in your central vision. Should you experience any of these symptoms, see your ophthalmologist for an evaluation and eye exam right away.
Abrupt Shortness Of Breath
Non-exercise induced shortness of breath may be a sign of asthma, anxiety or seasonal allergies. But it could also be due to something more nefarious, such as a blockage in your lungs or an allergic reaction from exposure to nuts or bee stings. The National Health Service notes that a shortness of breath may be the only symptom you experience when you're having a "silent" or otherwise symptomless heart attack. Prolonged shortness of breath should be evaluated by a doctor, and definitely before you take your last breath!
A sharp pain in your head that appears out of nowhere can be a symptom of a "thunderclap headache." Per the Mayo Clinic, this type of headache is so severe that it immediately grabs your attention and peaks within 60 seconds. It can fade over the course of an hour, although some unlucky individuals may feel it for a week.
But, don't wait to get it checked out! A thunderclap headache can be a precursor to a brain aneurysm, which is a bulging, weak area in the arteries that supply blood to your brain. If it ruptures, it can release blood into the brain and cause a stroke. If you have no history of headaches, or if the pain feels different from other types of headaches you may have suffered from in the past, you should definitely seek emergency medical attention.
Sharp Pelvic Pain
Sharp pains in your pelvic region that are not due to menstrual cramps need to be evaluated by your doctor right away. According to John Hopkins Medicine, it could be caused by appendicitis, pelvic inflammatory disease, fibrosis, ruptured ovarian cysts, ectopic pregnancy or miscarriage. However, you shouldn't guess at the cause - sudden and acute pains need to be evaluated and treated by your doctor.
Super Swollen Legs
Peripheral edema in your legs is a sign that your body is accumulating fluids and is not getting rid of it for some reason. Per the Mayo Clinic, it can be caused by problems in your lymphatic system, circulatory system, or even your kidneys, which are responsible for regulating body fluids. Fluid buildup can occur after sitting for long periods of time, but this generally goes away after you stand up and move around.
More serious medical conditions associated with peripheral edema include thyroid issues, heart failure, chronic kidney disease or failure, deep vein thrombosis, cirrhosis, blockages in your lymph system, and blood clots in your legs. If you move your big toe up and it hurts or turns red hot, it can be a sign of a blood clot, which means you need to get to the ER right away!
Acute Stomach Pain
Stomach pains accompanied by nausea and vomiting are possible signs of food poisoning. According to Dr. Oz, a stabbing pain in the upper right region of your abdomen could be caused by gallstones. Sharp stomach pains can also be due to pancreatitis, kidney stones, ulcerative colitis, or a stomach flu. If you continue to experience stabbing stomach pains, be sure to get evaluated by your doctor for the cause as soon as possible.
Watch this video for some weird and wacky health warning signs you should not ignore!
All of these symptoms appear when there is something seriously wrong with your health, and you can't afford to waste time getting yourself to your general physician, an urgent care center, or in some cases, the emergency room. If you can't breathe and you feel pain in your left side, you definitely need to call an ambulance and get yourself to a hospital!