Not every little ache or pain is a reason to see the doctor — but once in a while, you’ll run into a symptom you shouldn’t ignore. Certain types and locations of pain or other symptoms can indicate life-threatening problems which need immediate care, and others should at least be checked out at your local healthcare clinic.
Symptoms to Report to a Doctor
1. Chest Pain
While chest pain can be due to something as simple as acid reflux, it can also indicate a heart attack. With a threat that serious, don’t take any risks; go straight to urgent care.
2. Sudden Severe Headache
Headaches and migraines are common, but if you suddenly experience pain — especially if it peaks in minutes — the problem may be as severe as an aneurysm. Seek immediate care.
3. Sudden Weight Change
Be vigilant for quick and unexplained drops in weight, such as losing 5% of your weight in six months or less. Sudden weight gain is also a problem, so visit your community health center if you experience either.
4. Unusual Bleeding
If you notice blood in your urine, stool, or vomit, or if you begin to cough up blood, get immediate care. The cause may be as simple as a hemorrhoid, or as major as stomach or colon cancer.
5. Strong Fevers
Minor fevers are a normal response to infection, but a fever over 103 degrees or that lasts for several weeks may indicate significant issues. Go to your doctor to be checked for severe infection, meningitis, and cancer.
While not every alarming symptom has a life-threatening cause, it’s better to be safe than to take the risk of going undiagnosed. Contact your doctor as soon as these symptoms manifest for the best chance to protect your health.
Peninsula Community Health Services in Alaska offers healthcare, dental, and behavioral health services to residents of Soldotna, Kenai, and the surrounding areas. Their goal is to improve the health of the entire community through a broad range of services and their partnership with Medicaid, Medicare, and private insurance companies. Call them today at (907) 262-3119 or send a message online to arrange an appointment.