Nigerians often ignore their health and body warning signs. The ‘it is not my portion’ mentality has claimed many lives and put many in critical medical conditions that would have been mildly avoided if taken care of early. Just like a car won’t just park up all of a sudden without warning signs, so does our bodies. That persistent headache or chest pain could be a sign of something very serious, hence we should never overlook them. For more of what body signs you should never ignore, INFORMATION NIGERIA brings you 6 of them…
Shortness of breathe: This can sometimes stem from intense exercise, extreme temperatures, high altitude, or obesity, but shortness of breath is typically one symptom to pay attention to. If this comes on suddenly and is pretty severe, call a doctor. Diseases can include: chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, asthma, bronchitis, pneumonia, blood clot in the lung, and heart or lung problems. Shortness of breath can also be triggered by a panic attack, which is a non-life threatening issue. Although there is no harm in going to the doctor even if it is a panic attack, you’d rather be safe than sorry when it comes to this symptom.
Abdominal pain: Abdominal pain is a tough one. Sometimes we have pain in our abdomen due to constipation or a strenuous workout, but other times it can be far more serious. If you have sudden and severe abdominal pain, get it checked out. Abdominal pain may be a sign of: gallstones, diverticulitis, appendicitis, ulcer disease, GERD, heart attack, GI infections, or muscle pain. Although some of these problems, like muscle pain or GERD, don’t require immediate medical attention, illnesses like gallstones or appendicitis do. If your pain lasts more than three days or accompanied by chest pressure or pain, nausea and vomiting or your abdomen is tender, seek medical attention ASAP.
Changes in bowel habits: Staying regular is crucial in staying healthy because that is how we remove waste from our bodies. The problem is that normal bowel movements vary for every person, yet one can tell when an issue arises in their regularity by noting the smell, shape, color, consistency, and frequency and whether that suddenly changes. Sometimes, what we eat can trigger quick or no bowel movements at all. While this generally passes after about a day, some things you should watch for include: bloody, black, or tarry stools, persistent diarrhea or constipation, unexplained urges to have a bowel movement or you can’t pass gas or have abdominal pain.
Constant fatigue: Usually one can tell the difference between being overtired, even for weeks on end, or experiencing fatigue at bizarre times. If you find yourself experiencing the latter, it’s best to go in and get some blood work or other examinations by your doctor. Excessive tiredness can be caused by hypothyroidism, depression, mood disorders, mononucleosis, gastrointestinal cancer caused by anemia, or a slew of other illnesses.
Chest pain: The main fear with chest pain is a heart attack. The most common red flag is when it feels as though an elephant is sitting on your chest. If this pain is combined with arm pain, nausea, vomiting, sweating and shortness of breath, call 911. Less serious conditions include: gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), muscle contraction in the esophagus, bronchitis, heart disease, or a blood clot. Although this doesn’t mean something always is wrong, chest pain is one symptom that you’d rather be safe than sorry.
Sudden, terrible headache: This is especially important for those who don’t normally suffer from migraines. A sudden headache could be a popped blood vessel, shingles, meningitis, brain aneurysm, cardiac cephalgia, or temporal arteritis. If your headache worsens in seconds to minutes and is unlike anything you’ve felt before, get to the doctor straightaway.
Sudden weight loss: Because so many people want to lose weight, sudden weight loss may finally seem like your hard work is paying off, or just a total fluke. But don’t be too happy when your weight is dropping with no explanation because it could indicate certain forms of cancer. If you lose five percent of your body weight in a short period of time, it may indicate colon cancer, diabetes, depression, problems with your endocrine system, inflammatory bowel disease, or celiac disease.
Have you been ignoring any of these???