Everyone hates going to the doctor. There is the paranoia as to what they will say, then the mounting healthcare costs, and the fear that it will never end.
But sometimes, ignoring a small symptom can prove to be a bigger issue. We are not saying that every ice cream-induced headache needs a doctor’s appointment but you may not want to ignore something happening more often.
With today’s workload and multiple roles and responsibilities, especially for us women, it isn’t uncommon that we dismiss health concerns, leaving it up to ‘faith’ or chance. An occasional runny nose or a little headache is understandable but when these symptoms persist, it is better to make that doctor’s appointment without hesitation.
Read on to know a few health symptoms we women should never overlook.
Sudden weight loss or weight gain
Losing weight can feel nice but not when it happens all of a sudden and certainly not when you don't have an explanation for it. Losing weight from eating healthy and exercising regularly is great, but if it’s without any reason, it’s definitely cause for alarm.
Diabetes, ulcers, depression, and colitis are only a few diseases associated with weight loss as a symptom.
A sudden rise in weight is equally alarming. Excessive weight gain is a symptom of diabetes and thyroid, two diseases that are directly associated with your lifestyle and can only be controlled with regular monitoring.
So, the next time you stop fitting in your favourite pair of pants and you don’t know why, call your doctor.
Changes in your breasts
Of course, our breasts can change sizes due to weight gain or loss, or during a pregnancy but if your breasts change in size and shape without any underlying cause, it’s time to ring your doctor.
Lumps, unnatural nipple discharge, and swelling in and around the areola could be signs of breast cancer. Doctors across the globe advise women to monitor their breast carefully and keep a regular check on these signs.
Some of these symptoms can help get an early diagnosis, which is a great motivation for women to start keeping a tab on unexpected changes.
Also read: Breast Cancer: What You Must Know
Women generally wave off chest pain by labelling it as minor heartburn, gas or indigestion. But chest pains can indicate a significant health issue that might need a professional opinion.
Things get nasty when chest pains are followed by serious ailments like shortness of breath or pain around the area which can be signs of cardiac blockage and in rare cases, a heart attack.
Post menopause, our bodies stop producing oestrogen, which puts us on a high risk from cardiac arrests. So, before things go out of hand and before a minor chest pain escalates into a big illness, make that appointment.
Bleeding between your menstrual cycles or after you have hit menopause is not normal. There are many reasons for abnormal bleeding, for instance, spotting during the first few weeks of pregnancy or when your period comes unannounced, but heavy bleeding or light spotting without a cause is a thing to worry and should not be overlooked.
These could be signs of endometriosis, PCOD, and even Endometrial Hyperplasia wherein the lining of the uterus thickens and causes friction that results in abnormal bleeding. Also, watch out for any pain associated with the bleeding.
Note the duration of the pain and if there is a specific time that it happens. Bleeding associated with pain in the pelvic region is one of the main symptoms of cervical cancer.
Swollen feet or ankles
Water retention and bloating are not just limited to your abdomen area. It can happen to your face, your arms, and even your face. Bloating when your period is about to start is completely normal, healthy in fact.
Even during pregnancy, our feet tend to get a bit swollen but in our normal course of life, bloated or swollen feet are an indication of high blood pressure, thyroid issues and cardiac abnormalities.
Doctors say that when your feet swell up without any significant reason, it might be because of a heart valve problem which happens due to a buildup of fluids in our body. So next time that shoe gets tighter, know that it's time to pay a visit to your doctor. Listen to your body, notice these changes, and stay diligent about your health.
(Edited by Saheli Sen Gupta)