Oftentimes when we have a headache we simply advice ourselves to sleep it off, or at best take a pill and keep up through the day. A constricting burning sensation in the chest is often easily left alone thinking it is simply an acid reflux, or gas from that last batch of burgers you ate. However, it is these little problems which, if they keep happening regularly,point to some serious health crisis.

One of the biggest and most common mistakes made by people these days is self-medication. We have pills for everything right in our bedrooms, why go to a doctor?The answer to that question is in the question itself. Quite simply because you are not a doctor; coming out with an informed diagnosis about what ails you is something only a doctor can do best.

Pain and allergies are your body’s way of ringing the alarm bells. It is an indicator and symptom pointing towards something not going right. More often than not, lay folk would know nothing about what is causing that pain, however it doesn’t mean it can simply be ignored. If the pain lingers or comes back in spasms then it is time to seek medical help. The same goes for allergies, things like bags under the eyes, skin ailments, etc. are often just harbingers of a bigger problem.

Here are five symptoms that could point to a bigger physical problem:

Chest pain

Many cardiologists around the world rue the massive ignorance that surrounds the understanding of the heart. If anyone feels a congestion or constriction around their chests it is usually just ignored thinking it might simply be gas or an acid reflux. However if the chest pain persists along with shortness of breath and any unfamiliar upper body pain then it might be time to call an ambulance.

Blood in urine

Blood in the urine is not only a shocking discovery it can also be a symptom of something more severe. This is usually the calling card of prostate cancer or an enlarged prostate. It could also be due to stones in your bladder or kidney. However if there is enough blood in your urine that changes it color drastically, then it might be time to visit the emergency room.

Shortness of breath

One of the most commonly seen ailments around, shortness of breath has increased among people due to the highly concentrated pollution levels in cities. This can however be a sign of heart attack or a congestive heart failure if it lasts and increases exponentially. It is also a common symptom for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, lung cancer, emphysema, asthma, chronic bronchitis or pulmonary hypertension.

A piercing pain

This could be because you have just run a little too hard or have gas from sitting around for too long. However, if you have a stabbing pain in your right side along with nausea and fever you could have a burst or an inflamed appendix.

Pain accompanying a swollen leg


Image credit: Godwin

If you find your leg has swollen up in a particular place and is extremely tender to touch the first instinct is to massage that portion or to jump it off. However, if that swelling, pain and redness of skin is due a deep vein thrombosis, a blood clot, it can break off and can travel through your veins to your lungs, heart or even brain leading to catastrophic results.

Keeping a keen eye on your health is also a lot about listening to your own body. Each pain and symptom is a clue for something going wrong within. If there is anyone who can make sure you are well taken care of, it’s you.

Feature image credit: Rennett Stowe

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