Contributed by – Preksha Buttan
We often notice rashes, bumps and bruises on our body and dismiss them as normal. After all, most of them turn out to be harmless. However, sometimes there can be a more serious reason for that seemingly innocuous but persistent rash or cough. We list down 12 symptoms that could be indicators of some serious health issues.
Severe chest pain is not always a heart attack
If you feel chest pain, your mind will instantly call it indigestion or, in severe cases, heart attack. But do you know this pain could also be a symptom of cancer? Usually, a heart attack is accompanied by sweating, nausea and feeling of fullness in the centre of the chest. If your vitals are normal upon examination, then don’t do the mistake of ignoring the pain as all this could also be a sign of a serious form of skin cancer called melanoma. An ultrasound of the heart will help in its identification and deciding a proper course of treatment.
For the same duration and intensity of a workout, you and your friend may sweat differently. That’s normal. Everybody’s body works differently. But if you suddenly start sweating excessively with no explainable cause, then that could be because of diseases like diabetes, thyroid or cardiovascular disease. Excessive sweating is also related to a rare type of cancer called non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) which impacts the lymphatic system. Those with NHL also experience night sweats, weight loss, skin rash and swelling of lymph nodes. If you notice these signs, get yourself checked immediately.
Swelling is usually associated with injuries. But if there is no injury to relate to then, you need to pay attention to your swollen parts. Swelling of fingers is normally due to excessive salt in your body or less physical movement. Swelling of big toe could be a sign of gout which is the cause of chronic illnesses like high blood pressure or kidney issues. Blood clots, blood vessels weakening, poor circulation or even oedema are also possible causes of swelling. So stop taking swelling lightly and get them checked.
It might be easy for you to ignore the tingling but, mind you, it is also a symptom of serious health concern. Tingling in arms, legs or feet is often connected with diseases like anaemia, diabetes, kidney issues or Buerger’s disease. If your tingling is not accompanied by any other symptom, then you can leave it for a while. But if there are other symptoms of illness and it lasts for more than an hour, then you must get yourself investigated.
If one side of your body feels numb then it can be something serious. Along with this one-sided numbness, you might also feel confused, or have difficulty speaking or understanding and blurred vision. These symptoms could indicate diabetes, Lyme disease, Guillain Baree syndrome or herniated disk. It is advisable to get immediate medical help to prevent complications.
Smelly vaginal discharge
Having smelly vaginal discharge is not normal. Though the odour may vary throughout your menstrual cycle and sweat could also be a probable cause, you need to take this odour seriously. There could be an overgrowth of bacterial vaginosis which is a normally occurring vaginal bacteria or a sexually transmitted infection called Trichomoniasis. There could be other infections as well. Since these infections and diseases can complicate your health and may also cause infertility, ignoring them is never an option. Getting tested for such infections is the first step in maintaining your health.
There are many explanations for bloodshot eyes. Runny nose, sore throat, cough, cold or common eye infections like conjunctivitis is the most common ones. Environmental causes such as pollution, smoke, dry air and dust have also become a reason. However, if the redness persists for a longer time then it could be signalling towards glaucoma. It is a serious eye condition which can, in the long term, cause blindness. So consult your eye doctor and find out the root cause before grabbing your hands on any eye drops.
We all get skin rash every now and then. They could be because of our skin getting dry and demanding moisture or because of allergen. They are normally dry, bumpy, smooth, itchy, scaly, cracked, painful or can even change colour. Some rashes go away on their own while some may need care. If your rash is spreading rapidly and is not responding to any initial medication then that could be a sign of something serious. If you have a sore throat, joint pains, high fever, diarrhoea or were recently bitten by animal or insect then you need to seek medical advice immediately.
Craving for ice
Eating ice can be refreshing but overeating it could be because of nutritional deficiency or an eating disorder. Compulsive eating of ice is termed as Pagophagia. In people with iron deficiency, eating ice triggers a response in the body which sends more blood to the brain, thereby increasing the alertness of the individual. On the other hand, eating disorder, Pica, causes an individual to crave for nonfood items. It is a mental disorder which can occur along with other psychiatric conditions. Eating ice can also damage your teeth which makes it even more harmful.
Impaired sense of smell
Would you ever want to live a life where you are not able to smell your favourite food? Well, anosmia is such a condition where one can partially or completely lose the sense of smell. If you are facing difficulties in smelling for a long time, then you might get it checked. Sinus infections, allergies, smoking, chronic congestion or tumours could be a cause of it. It could also be an early symptom of Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease.
Sprouting chin hair
Chin hair in women have become so common that we pay no attention to it. Some women may have one or two strands on their chin while some may have more populated growth. Testosterone can be held responsible for it. Women with excessive hair growth have high levels of testosterone which is a male sex hormone. These hormonal imbalances could also indicate PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome). If you are suddenly noticing dark and coarse hair on your chin, then it’s time that you get tested for PCOS.
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