Everyone is busy. It’s a fact of life in our fast-paced world. So the last thing any of us wants to do is make a doctor’s appointment for a seemingly manageable problem. But for these eight symptoms, that appointment could save your life. See your primary care physician if you experience any of these warning signs.
1. Unexpected Weight Loss
While sudden, unexpected weight loss may sound like the stuff of infomercial dreams, it can signal serious problems, including endocrine-system disorders, diabetes and cancer. Losing 10 pounds or more without trying is cause for concern.
2. Blood in the Stool
Changes to bowel habits, such as diarrhea or constipation lasting more than two days, accompanied by blood in the stool can be a symptom of hemorrhoids, inflammatory bowel disease, irritable bowel syndrome or colorectal cancer.
3. Skin Changes
Any mole or freckle that changes color, shape, texture or size could be a natural part of aging or it could be skin cancer. There are many types of skin cancer and luckily, if caught early, most are easily treated by removing the offending mole.
4. Sudden Confusion
A sudden bout of confusion, inability to concentrate or a change in personality could be caused by any of the following: dehydration, low blood sugar, an infection, a stroke, a brain tumor or bleeding in the brain.
5. Shortness of Breath
Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath is called dyspnea. Many people suffer from dyspnea occasionally, but if it is sudden, severe and limits your activities, you should seek medical attention. Breathing problems could indicate asthma, lung infection, blood clot, stroke or heart attack.
6. Seeing Flashes of Light
Flashes, bright spots or other unexplained oddities in your vision may indicate the onset of a migraine or a detached retina, which can quickly lead to permanent blindness without swift medical intervention.
7. Swollen Legs
Hot, red and swollen legs or pain in the back of your calf can be symptoms of vein problems, thyroid issues or heart failure. Pain in the back of your legs also can indicate a blood clot that could be fatal if not treated promptly.
Being tired all day, every day despite an early bedtime should be addressed by a medical professional. Persistent fatigue could indicate depression, sleep apnea, anemia, hypothyroidism or cancer.