In our busy lives, it's easy to overlook or dismiss certain symptoms that may seem minor. However, some signs from our bodies should never be ignored. "Any unusual or persistent symptoms should be taken seriously, as early detection and proper care can make a significant difference in maintaining a healthy life," says Nathan W. Anderson, MD, Family Medicine at ARC Bastrop. "Your body knows best, so listen to it and act on any warning signs it presents."
Types of symptoms
Medical conditions can have different symptom patterns that are described by the terms remitting, relapsing, and chronic. Here's what each means:
- Remitting: Symptoms improve or go into remission, providing relief. However, they may reappear later. Seen in conditions like multiple sclerosis.
- Relapsing: Symptoms worsen after a period of remission. Episodes can be unpredictable in duration and intensity. Common in autoimmune diseases.
- Chronic: Persistent and lasting symptoms for over three months, requiring ongoing management. Examples include chronic pain, diabetes, or asthma.
Symptoms that require medical attention
These 12 symptoms may indicate underlying issues that require medical evaluation:
- Sudden or unexplained weight loss may indicate various medical conditions, including infections, cancer, diabetes, or thyroid issues.
- Headaches can result from various causes, including tension, migraines, sinusitis, or underlying health issues.
- Frequent or sudden falls can be a concern, especially for older adults, and may indicate balance or neurological problems.
- Continuous tiredness/fatigue can be linked to various conditions, such as anemia, chronic illnesses, or sleep disorders.
- Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath may be due to respiratory or cardiovascular problems.
- New or changing lumps or bumps on the body may be benign, but they should be examined by a healthcare provider to rule out any potentially serious issues like tumors.
- Chest pain can be a symptom of heart-related problems, such as a heart attack or other issues requiring immediate medical assessment.
- Abdominal pain may be related to gastrointestinal, urinary, or gynecological issues.
- Swelling in the legs can be a sign of circulatory or vascular problems.
- Frequent or unexplained nausea could be related to digestive problems, infections, or other health issues.
- Non-healing wounds could be a sign of underlying conditions like diabetes or circulation problems.
- Sudden and severe dizziness may indicate inner ear problems, low blood pressure, or other issues.
"Keep in mind that this list is not definitive, and there are many other symptoms that may require medical attention," says Dr. Anderson. "If you or someone you know experiences any concerning symptoms, seek advice from a qualified healthcare professional for proper assessment and treatment."
Family doctors and internal medicine doctors (internists) are two examples of PCPs; others include pediatricians, ob/gyns, and geriatricians.
Make an appointment today
If you experience any of these or other worrisome symptoms, make an appointment with an ARC primary care physician (PCP) for an assessment. A PCP can teach you how to stay healthy, treat you when you're sick, and help you get more advanced care for chronic and acute illnesses.
You can make an appointment online with one of our PCPs through ARC MyChart or by calling an ARC clinic near you.
If you are new to ARC, it's easy to establish care with an ARC IM or FM doctor.
- Simply go to ARC Family Medicine or ARC Internal Medicine and click the BOOK NOW
- Answer a few questions, then choose the ESTABLISH PATIENT CARE button.