A doctor reveals the 6 health symptoms you should never ignore


How many of these have you experienced?

Picture: iStock

The truth is, we all get unpleasant symptoms from time to time.

While some are simply not fun (hello aching quads after a workout), others can be a sign of something more worrying.

Here are six health symptoms you should never ignore…

Sudden changes in vision

You might notice yourself squinting more lately or having difficulty reading street signs and stuff.

Those issues mean you should get your eyes checked – but not urgently.

However, if you develop any sudden new changes in your vision, that’s a different story.

Seeing flashes of light (when no one’s flashing a torch in your face, of course) can be a sign there’s something wrong with your retina. If that’s the case you need to seek help urgently.

Yes, flashing lights can also be an aura – which is something you can get before a migraine.

But don’t simply assume those flashes are something you can ignore.

If you develop other sudden changes in your vision, such as loss of vision (where things go dark), or everything goes blurry, see your doctor immediately.

Your eyes are precious, you guys. So if something suddenly goes wrong with your vision, get it checked asap.

Sudden intense headache

You’re feeling fine when bam, out of nowhere you develop an intense headache.

While there are lots of causes of headaches, some types can be more concerning than others.

If you develop a sudden headache that hurts like hell (as in, it’s the worst headache you’ve ever had), you could have bleeding around the brain that requires urgent medical attention.

Shortness of breath

Yes, it’s normal to get short of breath during F45. But if you’re not doing anything much and you suddenly start feeling short of breath, pay attention.

You could have a serious medical issue such as a pulmonary embolism (PE).

It is more common to develop a PE if you are on the pill, have been sitting still for a long period of time (such as going on a long car drive), if you smoke or if you’ve been flying.

Other causes of shortness of breath include asthma, pneumonia and panic attacks.

If you’re struggling to breathe, don’t take any chances. Instead, call an ambulance and get checked out.

Chest pain/discomfort/heaviness

Heart attacks are more common in men over the age of 45 and women over the age of 55 (or after menopause).

However, if you develop severe chest pain that comes on suddenly or over a few minutes, you shouldn’t rule out a heart attack without seeing a doctor first.

The pain might not actually feel like ‘pain’, but can feel more like a heaviness or pressure on your chest.

Other symptoms of a heart attack include pain or an unusual feeling going down your arm or up to your jaw; sweating; feeling nauseous and shortness of breath.

Obviously, not all pain in the chest means you’re having a heart attack. You may just have reflux or another medical issue.

If you are having a heart attack, the quicker you see a doctor, the less damage may occur to your heart, so if you think you’re having a heart attack, call an ambulance, stat.

Sudden or severe abdominal pain

It’s quite common to get a tummy ache every now and then but if you develop a sudden or severe pain in your gut, take heed.

There are lots of things that can cause abdominal pain, from appendicitis to constipation, ruptured ovarian cysts to a ruptured aorta (the main artery in the body).

If you develop severe abdominal pain, especially if it comes on suddenly, don’t wait to see what happens next.

You’re best off calling an ambulance so you can be seen asap.

And remember, if you develop any of these symptoms and your doctor gives you the A-Okay, don’t feel silly for having rushed to get checked in the first place.

Also, if your symptoms develop again after you’ve been seen by a doctor, you should get re-checked. This is certainly a case where you’d much rather be safe than sorry…

Excessive thirst

You’re drinking the recommended 2L a day, even more, but you’ve got a thirst that you just can’t seem to quench.

It might be because you’re bingeing on your favourite salty treat, or perhaps working out ultra-hard, but a mouth morphing into the Gobi might actually be your body sending hints of a health condition.

The medical term for that parched feeling is polydipsia, and it’s one of the subtle or seemingly harmless symptoms of diabetes. When your blood sugar levels are too high, your body pressures your kidneys into producing more urine to get rid of the excess glucose, leading to excessive thirst and frequent peeing.

In Australia alone, 280 Aussies develop diabetes every day – that’s one person every five minutes, according to Diabetes Australia. Consider a blood glucose test to find out if you’re at risk.

Brought to you by Priceline Pharmacy.

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