“Oh, it’s nothing.” “It’ll go away tomorrow.” How often have you said something like that when a seemingly minor pain or other health issue arises? In most cases, the bruise, cough, or sour stomach subsides in a day or two, and you’re back to feeling your old self again.
Yet, sometimes that cough or indigestion lingers, possibly for weeks. And that’s when it could signal a more serious health problem. A hallmark of ovarian cancer, for example, is persistent bloating and stomach upsets. Sadly, many women ignore those symptoms, thinking their condition is due to food poisoning or indigestion. By not reporting the symptoms sooner to their doctor, women risk delaying treatment for a deadly disease. Another symptom that should never be ignored, but women or men, is chest pain – which might signal acid reflux or a cardiac issue, both of which should be treated immediately.
Then there are symptoms characteristic of two diseases. Allergies often cause skin rashes. So does lupus, an autoimmune disorder. Difficulty sleeping can indicate diabetes, but it can also be a sign of sleep apnea – a condition in which the breathing passageway is blocked, making people wake up gasping for air – which is linked with cardiovascular disease. See these other examples of when a bad night’s sleep could be a symptom of health problems.
To create a list of 35 seemingly innocent symptoms that may be masking an underlying serious health problem, 24/7 Tempo reviewed scores of research papers and reviewed information from independent health organizations such as the National Institutes of Health, the American Cancer Society, and the National Kidney Foundation.
So what constitutes a minor and temporary health problem and a more serious one? If the symptoms persist, see your doctor and tell him or her when the symptoms started, how long they last, and when they occur. In any case, don’t ignore these warning signs that you are in bad health.
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