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5 Serious Health Symptoms

5 Symptoms You Shouldn't Ignore

We don't always feel 100 percent all the time, and it's normal to feel a little nauseous, tired, or sniffly every once in a while. These are minor symptoms though, and usually go away on their own. But there are a few red flag signals our bodies flash to warn us of serious medical conditions, and they're symptoms you shouldn't pass off as nothing. WebMD spoke to the authors of Your Body's Red Light Warning Signals, and here are some symptoms that require a doctor's visit or emergency care.

  1. Difficulty breathing. Tightness in the chest, wheezing, shallow breathing, or constantly coughing are all symptoms of asthma. If a person has these symptoms or full-on asthma attacks, and they're left untreated, the muscles used for breathing can get tired. That means the amount of oxygen getting into the lungs will decrease, while the levels of carbon dioxide increase. This has a drowsing effect on the brain, and the person may stop breathing, which could result in death.
  2. Blood in your urine. When you go to the bathroom, you shouldn't see blood, and if you do, it could be a sign of kidney stones, bladder infections, or cancer of the kidney, urethra, or bladder. Even if you don't feel pain, call your doctor.

To see the other red flags keep reading.

  1. Unexplained tenderness or swelling in the back of your leg. When you've been sitting for a while, like on a long trip, or have been bedridden after surgery, blood can pool in your legs forming a blood clot. Your calf will feel swollen and tender, and if it's accompanied by chest pains, shortness of breath, or coughing up blood, a piece of the blood clot may have broken off and traveled to your lungs. This condition could be life-threatening so get to the ER immediately. Blood clots can happen to anyone.
  2. Chest pains. If this is coupled with pain in the arm, jaw, or neck, weakness, or shortness of breath, these are all signs of a heart attack. It's also common not to have pain, and women and the elderly tend to only have dizziness, a pounding heart, heavy sweating, difficulty breathing, and nausea. So be aware of all these symptoms and go to the emergency room ASAP.
  3. Tingling, numbness, confusion, dizziness, slurred speech, or weakness on one side of the body. These are signs that oxygen has been blocked to the brain, otherwise known as a stroke. If you have these symptoms, you require treatment as soon as possible to prevent brain tissue from dying, which could result in permanent brain injury.

The bottom line is that listening to your body and getting your symptoms checked out could save your life.

Image Source: Getty
clearskies clearskies 7 years
Yea I think I'll get my calf checked out tomorrow...I've had unexplained back of calf soreness...I work out everday but I have 12-14 hour work days of mostly desk work...ugh I hope it's nothing serious...I've been putting off going to the doctor for the past 3 weeks
Autumns_Elegy Autumns_Elegy 7 years
I have chest pains, but my doctor claims it's stress. My physio says it's a pinched nerve that never had the chance to heal. It's nice to know that it wasn't something more serious, I went to the doc as soon as the surgery opened and he said I was ok.
marisaoswald marisaoswald 7 years
Very true- about a year ago, my dad told me that he woke up with a tightness in his chest and shortness of breath- like someone or something was on his chest, but it went away after a while. After the nagging between my mom and I, he gave in and saw his doctor. The very next day he was scheduled for a triple bypass... Thank goodness everything came out fine, but to just think if he had ignored those symptoms...
Spectra Spectra 7 years
The leg pain thing is so true. A lot of women that are on BC pills and also smoke don't realize how common it is that you could get deadly clots in your legs that can travel to your lungs. Scary stuff.
adelaidekay adelaidekay 7 years
He had a heart attact by the why that's what that was he had like 4 major blocks I think I'm not to sure I know they had to unblock 2 & he still has blockage it's been over a year. They put him on medication to help unblock the smaller blocks. I don't under stand it.
adelaidekay adelaidekay 7 years
My dad ignored chest & back pain as well as trouble breathing for over a month because he has back problems & really bad ashma & smokes alot so he just thought it was his usual pain that got worse from working. Until one night he felt so bad that he went in & got in the shower half way through he could barely move his arms so he finishes washing (I know he's an @ss at times) Then grabs a towel & goes into the livingroom barely able to speak by this time calaspes on the couch so my mom had to call 911. & he still has bad pain & trouble breathing so it is hard to tell if it could be his heart or not & he hardly goes to the doctor cus he hates him.
kscincotta kscincotta 7 years
A friend of mine ignored what he thought was a pulled muscle in his leg for over a month before being diagnosed with a blood clot. Thankfully, he got it taken care of and is fine now. Scary stuff!
chloe-bella chloe-bella 7 years
These are great tips. A friend of mine toughed out an entire week of work with blood clots in her leg. She thought she had just pulled a muscle while running the weekend before. By the time she went to the doctor, the blood clots had traveled to her lungs, and she had to be hospitalized for 2 weeks. I never would have guessed that having a painful, swollen leg could be indicative of something so serious!
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