Our bodies are incredibly complex but sometimes we ignore the warning signs even when we know better.
We all lead busy lives but usually, when something doesn’t seem right, it isn’t.
Often, our body gives us subtle hints, however we have to be listening. Here’s what to look out for, and what to take notice of ASAP.
If you’ve been feeling unwell or have been experiencing any of these issues, it’s bets to consult your doctor for a proper diagnosis.
1. Throbbing headaches
While having a headache from time to time isn’t usually a cause for concern, if you have recurring throbbing headaches that come on suddenly, this could be a sign of something more serious. On occasion, this type of pain could mean a burst blood vessel. It’s always good to see your doctor even if the pain isn’t severe, just in case.
2. Sudden weight loss
If you aren’t trying to lose weight, and don’t typically fluctuate in weight, it may be something else at play. For the average person, gaining or losing more than 500g per week will put an incredible amount of strain on the body. In terms of losing weight, it may be nothing more than digestive issues, but sudden weight loss could be serious. Get it checked out if you’ve noticed you aren’t looking well.
3. Sharp abdominal or chest pain
The abdomen houses many organs and from time to time, little bits of pain can come and go. But if you have bursts of sharp pain that are coming about for no clear reason, visit your doctor or the hospital. If there are medical problems such as an infection in one of the organs, there may be secondary signs to keep an eye out for as well. This includes blood in your stool, dizziness, and a change in appetite.
In the same vein, chest pain is one warning sign that should never be ignored regardless of age or health. You may feel either a dull throb or a sharp pain in the centre of the chest. Never let the pain ‘pass’ – if something seems wrong, call triple-zero. You could have a heart attack.
4. You’re getting shorter
You may have noticed that you’re getting shorter, and this is no mistake – it could be a result of osteoporosis. Contrary to popular belief, ageing doesn’t have to mean bone loss. Protect your bones, make sure you’re getting enough natural calcium, vitamin D and doing weight bearing exercises. If you feel weaker and like you’re getting much shorter and don’t have osteoporosis, see your doctor.
5. Feeling tired constantly
Sure, your fatigue might be the result of long nights or caring for the grandkids, but you could also be tired because your thyroid isn’t functioning properly, your adrenal glands are burned out, or your body is exhausted from a bad diet. Similarly, stress could be the cause. Sometimes chronic fatigue is the only symptom that your nervous system is stuck in chronic, repetitive stress response — so see your doctor. Don’t dismiss exhaustion. Paying attention to your fatigue just might save your life.
6. Dark urine
When we get older, we need more water and hydration as our body dries out and is less absorbent. A good way to see if you’re well hydrated is to check your urine. If you have had the right amount of water, your urine will be light yellow. If you haven’t, it will be dark. Also, if you see any blood in your urine, see your doctor immediately.
7. Feelings of anxiety
Some people might not realise what they’re feeling is anxiety – a sick feeling in your stomach, hot flushes (that aren’t menopause-related), sweating and shaking, but it is. Anxiety might just be a feeling you get, but it can cause other health issues and put pressure on your heart and other organs.
8. Dark circles under the eyes
It’s easy enough to pass off dark circles as a sign of lack of sleep but dark circles can also be due to allergies and frequently itching the eyes or rubbing the nose. See your doctor if you’ve been feeling more itchy lately and aren’t already taking anti-histamines.
Constipation is never good and if it’s been a few days since you’ve passed a stool, or you’re feeling back up, this is an alarm bell that you need to increase the fibre and water in your diet.
Most people don’t get close to the recommended intake of fibre, so try to eat a range of fibre-rich foods such as grains, fruits and vegetables and a lot of water. See your doctor if your constipation is ongoing and is not remedied through good diet alone.
Tell us, have experienced any of these issues before? What was the result?