You take care of family, friends and work. But are you taking care of yourself? If not, you could be making a fatal mistake. These 7 potentially dangerous symptoms are ones you should never ignore.
1. Acute Fatigue Why it’s dangerous: Unfortunately, women are used to being tired. Who doesn’t have a book-length “to-do” list? It’s a difficult symptom to diagnose, Your fatigue could be a sign of depression, sleep apnea, heart disease or even lung cancer. Acute fatigue also can indicate hypothyroidism, which can be treated with a hormone, or anemia, treatable with iron or vitamin B12 shots.
2. Rectal Bleeding Why it’s dangerous: Rectal bleeding can indicate a common problem like a hemorrhoid. But it’s also a sign of colon or rectal cancer, which is curable if caught early. Pregnant women who’ve had hemorrhoids while pregnant might dismiss rectal bleeding as a sign of a new hemorrhoid and not take it seriously, But that could be a fatal mistake.
3. Abdominal Bloating and Pain, Change in Bowel Habits Why it’s dangerous: Like rectal bleeding, abdominal bloating and pain or a change in bowel habits can indicate a serious condition like colon cancer. So get a diagnosis before symptoms become severe. These symptoms also can signal ovarian cancer, inflammatory bowel syndrome or diverticulitis. Diverticulitis occurs when you have small pouches that bulge outward in your colon (diverticulosis) that get infected. It can be treated with antibiotics but sometimes requires surgery.
4. Pain or Discomfort in Chest Why it’s dangerous: Heart disease is the No.1 killer of American women – but “most women still don’t think about it happening to them. The signs of coronary artery disease, which can lead to a heart attack, are typically much more subtle in women.
Angina [chest pain] isn’t always obvious in women. “It’s not the classic ‘elephant sitting on my chest’ feeling. Sometimes it’s just discomfort or a not-well feeling.” Women might misdiagnose the discomfort as acid reflux or a “burpy” sensation too.
5. Heart Palpitations Why it’s dangerous: Heart palpitations are often related to stress. But if they’re persistent, they may signal atrial fibrillation, an irregular heartbeat. Without treatment, atrial fibrillation raises your risk of a stroke, especially if you have these other heart disease risk factors: A waist size of more than 35 inches in women
High blood pressure Or you smoke
6. Change in the Appearance of a Mole Why it’s dangerous: Any changes in your skin — such as a growth, a change in a mole or a sore that won’t heal — can indicate melanoma, a deadly skin cancer. That’s why it’s important to get a skin check (which should include checking freckles), regularly for any difference in the appearance of moles.
7. Swelling in Legs or Persistent Pain in Joints Why it’s dangerous: Chronic or constant pain in joints could mean something more serious than arthritis, such as lupus or rheumatoid arthritis. Swelling in one leg can mean a blood clot. If it’s in both legs, it could be a sign of kidney or liver disease.
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