Taking care of our bodies involves being aware of how we are feeling everyday – it is the most valuable preventative tool we have. It sounds like obvious, commonsense advice, but busy moms tend to neglect how they are feeling until it stops them from doing what they do everyday.
Health Warning Signs You Should Never Ignore
The Symptom: A heart burning feeling
Every once in a while you feel a little heartburn but this time you feel tightness in your chest.
Heartburn is most likely due to overeating, eating too fast or a spicy food. However, if the tightness feels like someone is squeezing the life out of you, you feel a fullness in your chest that is radiating to your left arm or to your upper jaw and back, and you are beginning to sweat, then it is time to head to the emergency room or call 911.
There are a few symptoms like unusual fatigue, sleep disturbances or shortness of breath that may give clues to possible potential heart problems. If you have any of these symptoms, visit your doctor to discuss these symptoms. The best preventative medicine is an open dialogue with your doctor.
The Symptom: Lower stomach pain and bloat
Lately, you have been feeling a constant pressure in your lower abdomen, more bloated and a little gassy.
At certain times of the month, we may feel this way or even after certain meals, but if this happens daily for more than two to three weeks, then it is time to head to your gynecologist. The worst-case scenario is ovarian cancer, however, if caught early, the outcome will be positive.
The Symptom: A new mole
You played in the sun all summer long and how you notice a new skin growth on your nose.
It is common to develop new moles in your teens and twenties, however, finding a new one or seeing changes in an existing mole after the age of 40 could be a sign of skin cancer, possible melanoma, which is the deadliest type of skin cancer.
There are a few classic signs for skin cancers – a new or old mole turns a darker color, becomes asymmetrical, causes pain, itching or bleeding. Any of these findings deserves a visit to your dermatologist.
The Symptom: Persistent cough
One morning you began coughing for no apparent reason but decided to blame it on the change of weather. A month has past and you are still coughing.
A chronic cough maybe due to a few things – smoking, postnasal drip, asthma, heartburn – but if the coughing occurs suddenly with no explanation and is consistent (longer than 2 months) whether you are climbing stairs or walking then it is time to head to your physician so she or he can run some tests.
Whenever something comes on abruptly, becomes chronic, or causes a constant pain that may continually wake you up during the night, these all need immediate attention from your physician. When it comes to your health, the old adage is true: an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
Visit Dr. Heather, ND and Human Body Detectives series for kids, to learn more about Dr. Heather and her mission to have families be more proactive and healthy in their lives. You can also join the conversation on Twitter @drheathernd and HBD on Facebook.