Sometimes, the pains we feel do not indicate some serious health issue, but we must take note of those symptoms which may be indicating something problematic in our body. These signs usually occur suddenly, linger longer than usual, but somehow seem different, and we need to consult the doctor, the sooner, the better.
This article will explain all pains that are considered red flags according to experts.
Severe head pain
Severe headaches can mean that you suffer from migraine. However, if it isn’t accompanied by other migraine symptoms (such as a visual aura), sudden, severe head pain, this can signal a brain aneurysm. Namely, Elsa-Grace Giardina, MD, a cardiologist and director of the Center for Women’s Health at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center states that “a burst aneurysm can cause brain damage within minutes, so you need to call 911 immediately.”
Abdominal discomfort accompanied by gas or bloating
We all have occasional belly bloating and gasses, but if you start experiencing these symptoms almost daily for more than two or three weeks, consider it a red flag and you should schedule an appointment with your ob-gyn to discuss your symptoms.
If these symptoms are new, the worst-case scenario is ovarian cancer. In 2007, the Gynecologic Cancer Foundation released the first national consensus on early symptoms of this form of cancer: bloating, pelvic or abdominal pain, and difficulties with eating.
Back pain with tingling toes
If you have done a difficult physical activity and afterwards you feel back pain with tingling toes, anti-inflammatories should banish the pain. If they offer no help, it means you should visit an orthopedist.
Letha Griffin, MD, an orthopedist and sports medicine specialist in Atlanta warns that “One of your discs (the spongy rings that cushion the bones in your spine) could be pressing on the spinal nerve.” This condition can lead to permanent nerve damage if not treated properly.
A throbbing tooth
If the white enamel of your tooth is cracked or rotting away and it’s likely that the tooth’s nerve has become damaged, you need to patch it immediately, for bacteria in your mouth can invade the nerve.
If the tooth is already infected, it’ll require a root canal, in which the tooth’s bacteria-laden pulp is removed and replaced with plastic caulking material. Kimberly Harms, DDS, a dentist outside St. Paul, Minnesota, adds that “you definitely don’t want that breeding colony to spread throughout your body.”
A preventive cardiologist, D-r Arthur Agatston, MD, notes that “many patients could avoid needless worry and expense if they were to become well versed in what I think of as the subtle language of the heart. Studies have found that women experience a wider range of heart attack symptoms than men do.”
His experience taught him that there are three good indicators of a heart attack, and they can occur in either gender. They are: chest pain that doesn’t go away, varied shortness of breath, and any upper body pain that hasn’t occurred before. If you experience any of these symptoms, you should call your doctor or 911 immediately.
Leg pain with swelling
Blod clot or deep-vein thrombosis (DVT) will cause symptoms like extreme tenderness of an area of the calf and major swelling, red in color or warm to the touch. You should not try to massage the area or to try walking off the pain. If the clot breaks free, it can travel through your veins up to your lungs and cut off your oxygen supply. You just need to visit your doctor as soon as possible.
The doctor will do a CT scan or ultrasound to check for a DVT. In case of a positive diagnosis, you’ll need to take blood thinners—sometimes for up to a year—to dissolve it, says Suzanne Steinbaum, MD, director of women and heart disease for the Heart and Vascular Institute at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.
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