No one knows our bodies better than ourselves — so when something’s wrong, it doesn’t take long to notice.
Paying attention to the way we feel and to new sensations or pains can be one of the most important tools in detecting and preventing many fatal conditions, like in detecting a heart attack.
Dr. Len Lichtenfeld of the American Cancer Society writes, “You know your body best. When you see or feel something different or just feel ‘off’, pay attention. Don’t dismiss it.”
Chest pain is very serious and requires immediate medical attention. Pain or lingering tightness in the chest can be an indicator of a heart attack — but it could also be a sign of heart disease or even a blood clot.
A sudden onset of extreme pain in your head, particularly if it feels worse than any headaches you’ve had before, is a strong indicator that you should see a doctor right away. These terrible headaches could be a sign of an aneurysm or even a burst blood vessel. There are also other possibilities such as meningitis or shingles.
Sudden confusion or an inability to concentrate are actually extremely serious indicators that something is very wrong. Medical attention is definitely needed for confusion or a large change in personality. The strange behavior could be an indicator of a brain tumor, bleeding in the brain, or even a stroke. At the very least, it could be a sign of low blood sugar, dehydration, or an infection.
Unexplained weight loss of five percent of your body or more over a relatively short period of time is a serious indicator that you should see a doctor. One of the biggest symptoms of several types of cancer is this type of weight loss, and it is important to catch it as quickly as possible. Other possibilities include diabetes, depression, and problems with your endocrine system.
Seeing flashes of light, unexplained bright spots, or other oddities in your vision is certainly a reason to see your doctor. These flashes or the presence of a large amount of floaters in your vision could be a sign of a detached retina, which can quickly lead to permanent loss of vision.