Aches and pains can occur from time to time and it’s common for people to dismiss these as isolated cases. They can happen from too much exertion or improper warm-ups before working out. However, sometimes aches and pains can be the body’s way of telling you that something is wrong.
Read on to know about some common symptoms that you shouldn’t ignore, no matter how minor and bearable they may be.
1. Any Flu-Like Symptoms
In the past, it was easy to ignore common cold or flu symptoms, especially if you are prone to colds when the weather changes drastically, or when it’s allergy season. Now, not so much.
With the pandemic wreaking havoc in all parts of the world, people are being told to take symptoms of the common cold and the flu seriously. If you have common cold symptoms, monitor for any signs of worsening, and update your doctor regularly.
Also, take precautions to avoid spreading the infection with other people at home or at work. Never dismiss a cold, especially one that appears on and off with no triggers. A persistent or recurring cold could mean problems with your immunity or a problem in your respiratory system that needs professional attention.
Toothaches are fairly common, especially for those with tooth decay and cavities that need to be filled. You’ll know that you need to go to a dentist ASAP if your toothache pain lasts for days, cannot be relieved using over-the-counter drugs or if you see swelling in your gums that could extend to the affected side of the face.
A toothache that persists could be one of the symptoms of tooth infection spreading to the rest of the body. Seek immediate medical attention if your toothache occurs with a chilling fever, body pain, yellowing of the eyes and other signs of widespread infection.
3. Back Pain
A bit of soreness is normal after a strenuous workout, but not if you experience a persistent, stabbing or radiating kind of pain anywhere in your back. Persistent back pain is not normal, even ones that recur after a few days.
Back pain is your body’s way of telling you that something could be wrong internally. You may want to consult with your doctor if:
- You have back pain that lasts for more than 10 days.
- You feel pain during exercise.
- The pain comes with numbness and tingling.
- The pain comes from the back and upper abdomen.
The same goes for back pain after a traumatic accident or if the pain is accompanied by fever. Back pain that occurs in the upper abdomen is one of the symptoms of cysts on kidneys. It could also indicate problems with your liver. Pain after a traumatic accident could signal internal trauma, a slipped disc, nerve damage or a torn muscle. Pain accompanied by fever, numbness or tingling could be caused by an infection.
4. Persistent High Fever
A fever is a normal bodily reaction and defense mechanism to combat foreign pathogens such as bacteria. If you have a fever, that means your body is doing what it’s supposed to do to fight off invaders. But you should be worried if you have high persistent fevers, or fevers that appear and reappear on a regular basis.
A high persistent fever that lasts for more than three days could be a sign of a serious infection and needs professional medical attention. Chilling fever is another symptom that commonly occurs under the same circumstances, especially when bacteria or viruses are involved.
Recurring fevers may indicate tick infections, a viral infection, fungal and parasitic diseases like dengue, malaria and chickenpox. There is a very low chance that any of these could be what’s causing the fever unless you have a history that could have made these infections possible. To make sure, see your doctor right away.
5. Swollen Lymph Nodes and a Sore Throat
Swollen lymph nodes accompanied by a sore throat signal an infection. Your lymph nodes are part of your body’s immune system, trapping bacteria, viruses and other pathogens to help the body prevent infections. They swell and become tender when there is an infection that needs to be treated.
The sore throat could also be due to the inflammation of the tonsils, which is part of the lymphatic system. Other causes of swollen lymph nodes include immune system disorders, when the body starts attacking its own cells, as well as cancer.
6. Persistent Fatigue
We all have our off days, but if you have a string of days when you feel tired for no reason, it might be a good idea to see a doctor. Sluggishness and fatigue are common symptoms in several diseases. One of these diseases is lead poisoning, especially if fatigue is accompanied by nausea and vomiting, confusion, abdominal pain, and muscle and joint pain.
It could also be a symptom of a flu, thyroid disorder, heart disease, anemia, chronic fatigue syndrome or a hormone imbalance. Seek medical consultation to rule out other causes and treat the underlying cause.
7. Discharge From the Eyes
Teary eyes are normal for many people because the eyes are easily irritated. However, if you are seeing a discharge from your eye and you have a cold at the same time, it is a good idea to see a doctor right away.
This symptom could indicate bacterial conjunctivitis, which can be extremely contagious. You can also see this symptom if you have an upper respiratory infection. While pink eye usually resolves on its own, it is best to see a doctor if the discharge, redness and swelling persist beyond three days.
Pain, discomfort, minor strains and sprains are normal occurrences that often do not need immediate medical attention. However, it is also important to listen to your body, especially if some symptoms, no matter how tolerable, last for days and even weeks. Your body uses these sensations so you will pay attention and get the help you need. You can use the Mayo Clinic symptoms checker to see possible reasons why you are feeling the way you do, but keep in mind that only a doctor will be able to accurately tell you what may be wrong.