6 Health Issues You Shouldn't Ignore

Collaborative post by another author. We've all been there: a few symptoms here and there, you're not feeling quite right, and you don't know if you need to call the doctor or if you can self-medicate and figure it out at home. However, self-medication can be risky, as it may not address the underlying cause of your symptoms and could potentially worsen your condition. With the NHS coming under increasing pressure, knowing if you need to add to the demand and seek medical care or try to find the right avenue for medical assistance for your symptoms can be tricky.

Health spelt out in pills
"Health" Image credit 

However, there are some signs and symptoms that should never be overlooked. While there can be a simple and benign explanation it's crucial always to seek medical attention, regardless of how serious things may seem. Remember, your health is a priority, and seeking help is a sign of self-care and responsibility. 

The following symptoms are signs that require further investigation and potential treatment. It's important to remember that if they do end up being a symptom of something serious then getting an early diagnosis and treatment can make a big difference. 

Hearing Loss

Hearing loss can be a symptom of something that can be quickly resolved, such as a treatment for an ear infection or ear wax removal for any buildup, especially if you're prone to these problems. However, it can also be a sign of a more serious issue. Even age-related hearing loss, which is normal and part of the natural ageing process, should be checked out. If you feel like you're not hearing as well as you used to, it's important to talk to your doctor about finding the root cause of the loss.

Shortness of Breath

Shortness of breath can be caused by many different issues, from carrying too much, which makes your body work harder to do everyday things, to asthma, a chest infection, or something more severe. It can also be related to heart or lung issues, both of which will require further treatment and investigations to get to the root of the cause.

Unexplained Weight Loss

A loss of 5% of your body weight without even trying can be a red flag for illness, as are rapid losses of weight without changing your diet or physical activity habits. While weight loss in conjunction with a calorie-controlled diet and exercise regime with intent is a good thing if you need to lose weight, any weight loss that isn't being actively worked towards but is still occurring isn't a good sign and needs to be checked out immediately. It could be related to bowel issues, diabetes, stress, an overactive thyroid, heart conditions or cancer.

Unusual Bleeding

It can be hard to understand what unnatural bleeding is, but typically, it is classed as bleeding in places where there shouldn't be blood. It can be vomiting blood, blood in stools or urine. These functions shouldn't contain blood, and they can indicate issues such as infections, anaemia, kidney disease and some cancers. But if you see any bleeding from areas that should not excrete blood, talk to your doctor or visit your local walk-in centre to get things checked out, especially if they're alongside other symptoms such as pain or nausea.

Leg Swelling Without Injury

Legs can swell for various reasons. They might be swollen because you are overweight, have water retention from eating too many salty foods, or have been sitting or standing for too long. However, these are typically resolved quickly once these behaviours stop, and your body will go back to normal.

However, ongoing and persistent leg swelling without an obvious injury can be a sign that something is amiss within your body. There are multiple causes of leg swelling, and all require further medical investigations and possibly treatment to help you resolve the problem and get the care your body needs.

Chronic Fatigue

How do you distinguish the difference between normal tiredness, which can be alleviated with rest and improved sleep habits, and chronic fatigue, which persists despite these measures? It can be tricky to ascertain if you're in need of a good night's sleep or if your body isn't recovering and you are fatigued for no reason. Typically, if you need a good night's sleep, a few days of rest and focusing on getting your sleep under control and improving your nocturnal habits will see your energy levels return to normal quickly. But if this doesn't happen, if you find that you're constantly fatigued, struggling to get through the day, and it's affecting your daily life, it's worth discussing this with your doctor to find out why you might be feeling like this and what the cause is. Again, you might feel fatigued for many reasons, but you most definitely shouldn't be suffering in silence.

Regardless of the symptoms, if a health issue is causing a significant impact on your life or is causing you concern then it is important to seek medical advice. You might be able to speak to a pharmacist without an appointment in the first instance and they will suggest you book to see your GP if necessary.

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