It is not uncommon to suffer from aches and pains, fatigue or an upset stomach, even on a recurring basis.
In many cases, symptoms like these are simply signs that you need to eat a healthier diet, do more exercise, reduce stress and make sure you’re getting enough sleep. However, there are a few niggling symptoms that could be a sign of something more serious.
If you experience any of the below symptoms you should consult with your doctor as soon as possible to rule out a health condition.
1. Skin Rashes
There are many benign explanations for a skin rash or other lumps and bumps, from eczema to simply a reaction to new laundry detergent. However, an itchy, blistery skin rash around the elbows, knees, back or scalp could also be a sign of celiac disease. Celiac disease is not just a food intolerance, but rather a serious autoimmune condition, for which many patients have no digestive symptoms, so it could be worth seeing your doctor about that rash!
2. Weight Loss
Of course, if you’ve been working hard with healthy dietary changes and exercise to shift the excess pounds, weight loss can be a great thing! However, if you haven’t made any lifestyle changes and suddenly find yourself ten pounds or lighter, this could be a sign of a serious health condition including pancreatic, stomach, esophageal or lung cancer, and you should seek medical advice as soon as possible.
3. Mood Changes
Mental illness can manifest in a variety of ways. One of the major signs of depression is actually sudden bursts of irritability and anger. If you suddenly find yourself getting worked up in situations that wouldn’t normally bother you, and are not able to keep your anger in check, and this lasts for more than two weeks or so, it is a good idea to talk to a professional.
Snoring is annoying, particularly for those around you, but it could also be a sign of something more serious. Snoring could be a symptom of sleep apnea, a condition that if left untreated can lead to a range of serious health problems including high blood pressure, diabetes, stroke, and heart failure.
5. Unusual Bleeding
As a rule, any unexplained blood, for example in your stool, coughing up blood, or bleeding in between periods for women, should immediately be investigated. This does not necessarily mean the big C, but unexplained bleeding is a symptom of some severe health conditions including several forms of cancer.
6. Frequent Urination
If you are finding yourself frequently going to the bathroom, there are a few things that could be to blame. Frequent urination can be a sign of stress or anxiety, or it could indicate a physical health condition. Notably, this is a common symptom of the early stages of type 2 diabetes. This happens because the body is less efficient in breaking down the sugars in food, and so as the sugar builds up in the bloodstream the body tries to eliminate it through urinating more often.
7. Abdominal Pain
Stomach discomfort can be very common, and may simply be a sign of poor diet, a minor virus or infection, or simply eating too much! However, if you experience actual abdominal pain it may point to a serious underlying condition, such as gallstones, an inflamed gallbladder, inflammatory bowel disease, appendicitis, or pancreatitis. Lower abdominal pain could also be a sign of common (and very treatable) STIs such as chlamydia. Places like Better2Know, provide the list of Manchester clinics can help with discreet, confidential STI testing, and appointments can even be booked online.
Easy Ways to Improve Your General Health
If you have ruled out serious health conditions but are still not feeling your best, or seem to be prone to falling ill frequently, it may be time to look at your lifestyle.
Of course, if you are any doubt you should always consult with your doctor. Having said that, here are a few simple things which will boost your general health and ease minor symptoms or illnesses:
- Examine your diet: poor nutrition makes you more vulnerable to infection and can impact on your overall health. Make sure you are eating a balanced diet that provides sufficient vitamins and minerals by eating a variety of fruit and vegetables, lean protein, complex carbohydrates and limited salt, fats and sugars. Also, be sure to drink at least 8 glasses of water a day to avoid dehydration.
- Get enough sleep: Studies have shown the link between not getting sufficient, quality sleep and getting sick more often. A lack of sleep will also make you feel generally run-down and fatigued all the time, as well as giving you a higher risk of heart disease, cardiovascular conditions, obesity and diabetes in the long term. Make sure you’re getting at least 7 to 8 hours of solid shuteye a night.
- Check your hygiene: it may seem obvious, but being careless with hygiene could also be making you unwell. Make sure you religiously wash your hands with antibacterial soap or handwash when using the bathroom or preparing food, and keep your house clean.