If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you should contact your physician immediately for a clinical diagnosis of the cause for your best next course of action. As you read about them, keep in mind they oftentimes can be more annoying than signs of anything serious, which is in part what makes these symptoms particularly dangerous. Try writing them on your fridge or logging them in your phone's notes to remind you and loved ones of their significance in letting you know it is time to see the doctor.
- Persistent High Fever
Have you had a fever for more than three days? For your average cold or short-term virus, a fever is a sign your body is fighting your infection by creating an unwelcoming host environment for the invaders. However, a fever that will not break after three days could be a sign your body is in need of some back-up assistance. In other words, your body is using the ongoing fever to let you know it could use some reinforcements. Since waiting could only worsen your condition, the sooner you can be seen after the third day the better.
- Sudden Unexplainable Loss of Weight
Some weight fluctuation within a month's time is normal. Also, even slight changes to your daily routine including but not limited to stressors, calorie intake, the types of food you eat, the frequency you eat, exercise patterns, and hormones can make a significant impact on your weight. If, however, you have not noticed any alteration in your lifestyle or diet, contact your physician to find out if there is an underlying issue that could require medical attention before it worsens.
- Unusual Shortness of Breath or Pressure on Your Chest
Since shortness of breath does not always persist and can come and go quickly, it can, therefore, be easily overlooked as a sign of infection or injury. Moreover, people with chest pressure may assume it is due to a temporary case of indigestion. The key to identifying if the shortness of breath and chest pressure is unusual is to pay attention to the duration and frequency of the symptoms as well as the activities you are currently doing when you experience the symptoms. After a sprint to the finish in a race, for example, the most healthy people may feel out of breath. On the other hand, if it is harder to catch your breath or you notice a change in your breathing while sitting, walking, or resting, it is a good idea to speak with your doctor to let him or her listen to your heart and lungs.
- Severe or Persistent Pain
Did you know a pain in the neck, jaw, arms, back, or stomach could be your heart's way of trying to get your attention? Referred pain is when the connected nerves send signals about an injury in one location of the body when the issue actually resides in another area. Hence, all severe or ongoing pain should be discussed with your physician to both receive relief and rule out a more serious health condition.
- Discovery of Lumps or Changes in Skin
Although you keep all your recommended wellness visits with your primary care physician, dentist, dermatologist, and gynecologist for women, you can still have some changes between visits. It is helpful to take photographs of moles, freckles, and other skin lesions and discolorations on your body for comparison purposes. Should you notice any new lumps or lesions or alterations to the size, shape, or color, your doctor should be notified as soon as possible in case treatment is needed.
- Urination or Bowel Movement Changes
As if lumps and lesions were not embarrassing enough, changes in your urine and bowel movements should always be mentioned to your doctor. Unless you know the change is temporary or due to stress, food, medicine, or supplements, your urine and fecal matter can be excellent indicators of many otherwise hidden illnesses. If this is an uncomfortable subject, try writing down your symptoms. Be sure to include unusual coloration, consistency, or associated symptoms like ongoing constipation, diarrhea, or a frequent unexplained urge to urinate.
- Confusion, Mood or Memory Changes
Certainly, busy individuals or those going through noted hormone fluctuations can experience some momentary confusion, mood shifts, or memory lapses. That said, if you notice these changes in yourself or a loved one, being seen by a physician is the first step to managing any medical or behavioral concerns. The longer these symptoms persist, the more they may affect daily performance and they could worsen over time.
In conclusion, as you can see from the above list of symptoms, warning signs of a serious condition can mimic those of a temporary or minor issue. It is always a good idea to be proactive and make an appointment to see your doctor immediately when any of the above symptoms are first noticed. If you are in the Lake Wales, Florida area and you are looking for a physician who will listen to your concerns and has the experience you need, schedule an appointment with Dr. Navarro online, call our office at (863) 949-6538, or walk into our clinic location at 2433 Hwy 60 during business hours.