The November issue of Mayo Clinic Women's HealthSource has brought to light 10 generally ignored symptoms, which should be reported to the doctor immediately to avoid any kind of complication.
1. Trouble seeing, speaking or moving:
Numbness or paralysis on one side of the body, difficulty speaking, and blurred or decreased vision are classic signs of a stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA), a ministroke that sometimes lasts only minutes. More atypical symptoms are fainting, shortness of breath or sudden feelings of facial pain, tiredness or a racing heart. Women may have the traditional stroke symptoms less often than men but also may be more likely than men to experience atypical symptoms first. In case of any stroke symptoms, immediate emergency medical care is required, as immediate treatment for stroke can cut the danger of brain damage or any other complications.
2. A sudden excruciating headache
A headache that comes with great amount of force, with severe, excruciating pain could be caused by an 'aneurysm', bleeding in the brain, stroke, blood vessel inflammation, meningitis or a brain tumor. All require immediate medical attention. In case of a headache that follows a head injury or is accompanied by fever, stiff neck, rash, confusion, seizure, double vision, weakness, numbness or speaking immediate medical attention is required.
3. Unexplained weight loss
Losing weight without trying should not be ignored. A doctor's appointment is warranted for a loss of 5 percent of body weight in one month, or more than 10 percent in six to 12 months. Underlying medical conditions could be an overactive thyroid, liver disease, depression or even some cancers.
4. Any breast change
A doctor should be consulted about a lump, nipple discharge or distortion, itching or skin changes (redness, scales, dimples or puckers), persistent breast pain or a change in breast size or shape.
5. Vaginal bleeding after menopause
Vaginal spotting or bleeding after menopause may be caused by changes in vaginal tissue, which can become thinner and more fragile as estrogen levels decrease. In some cases, however, postmenopausal bleeding can be a symptom of gynecological cancer. A medical valuation is important.
6. Change in bowel habits
Mild diarrhea that lasts more than a week, constipation that lasts more than two weeks, or unexplained, sudden urges to have a bowel movement is the time when immediate medical help should be taken. Also on the list are bloody diarrhea or stools that are black or tar colored. These symptoms could result from infection, medication side effects, a digestive disorder or colon cancer.
7. Feeling full after eating less
Feeling fuller than normal after eating less than usual could warn of gastrointestinal problems, ranging from indigestion caused by acid reflux to some cancers. If this feeling lasts for days or weeks, a physician should be consulted, especially if other symptoms are present such as nausea and vomiting, abdominal pain or bloating, fever and chills or weight changes.
8. Persistent cough
A cough for more than a month, that is affecting sleep or brings up blood or sputum, is cause for an immediate health check. A chronic cough could be caused by asthma, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), a respiratory tract infection, chronic bronchitis or even lung cancer.
9. Sad or depressed mood
Feeling sad for weeks or months is a symptom of depression, a medical illness that's definitely treatable. Other signs might include a loss of interest in normal activities, feeling hopeless, crying easily, trouble concentrating, unintentional weight loss and thoughts of wanting to die.
10. Continual high fever
A doctor should be consulted when a low-grade fever (100.4 to 103 F) persists for more than a week. Fever can indicate a urinary tract infection or more serious illnesses such as immune disorders or cancer. A sudden high fever, greater than 103 F, requires immediate valuation.