There are some changes in your body that you might be tempted to brush off. However, they could be symptoms of a serious medical condition! While some symptoms of illness may have simple causes, others might be more severe, and it’s important to get them diagnosed as soon as possible.
Any time you spot noticeable changes in your body—from blood in your urine, to frequent headaches, to changes in weight—you should keep an eye on them and consult your doctor if they appear day after day.
Here are six commonly overlooked symptoms of illness you should never ignore.
1. Frequent headaches
Headaches are something we all get from time to time. They can be extremely frustrating and might be brought on by stress, lack of sleep, caffeine withdrawal and much more. That being said, frequent headaches could be the symptom of a more serious medical issue, including a tumor, brain injury or an infection.
It’s important to not jump to any conclusions, because there may be a simple reason for your increased headaches. However, headaches can interfere with your daily life, and you shouldn’t have to battle them every day.
2. Changes in the bathroom
There are several bathroom-related issues that should never be ignored, including changes in bowel movements, increased urination and blood in your urine. Things like constipation or frequent diarrhea could be symptoms of colon cancer or another bowel problem, including Crohn’s disease.
Noticing blood in your urine can also be a frightening experience. While blood in your urine could be a sign of kidney stones or trauma, it’s best to speak with a doctor. Treatment for some causes of bloody urine can be quite simple but will need to be tested for.
3. Memory loss
Have you found yourself forgetting things that you never thought you would, like the names of acquaintances or directions to a certain location? Memory loss is a troubling issue that should not be allowed to progress.
This could be a sign of hyperthyroidism, which happens when hormones aren’t produced correctly in your thyroid. It could also be an early sign of Alzheimer’s Disease, paired with the inability to do things like solving simple math problems.
4. Persistent fatigue
We all get tired throughout the day, but if you are experiencing more fatigue than usual, it’s important to speak with a doctor. Increased tiredness could be the sign of a mental illness like depression, which can also result in increased irritability, the inability to sleep and more.
Fatigue is also a common symptom of all kinds of physical illnesses, ranging from minor to severe. Of course, tiredness could also indicate that you are having problems sleeping. Getting enough sleep is important for many reasons. Lack of sleep can cause trouble with cognitive function, changes in mood, high blood pressure, weight gain and much more.
5. Changes in appearance
Over time, our bodies change, but it is important to look out for appearance changes that may be symptoms of a serious condition. For example, if you’ve noticed that you’re looking a bit paler than usual, there may be an issue with your blood flow or decreased red blood cell production, like anemia.
Rashes on your body could be the sign of an underlying condition like lupus. And, changes in the appearance of any moles on your skin might be the result of skin cancer. Any strange or abrupt changes in your skin texture or appearance should be looked at by a professional.
6. Fluctuations in weight
If you haven’t made any major changes to your diet or lifestyle and are fluctuating in weight, it could be a sign of a health issue. Unexplained or rapid weight loss could be a symptom of many serious conditions, including an overactive thyroid, diabetes, endocarditis and depression.
On the other hand, unexplained weight gain might be a symptom of a thyroid problem, fluid retention or PCOS. Monitor your weight over time to make sure you’re not experiencing any rapid changes.
Other things to watch out for
Aside from these six signs of illness, there are a multitude of overlooked symptoms you should watch out for to ensure you’re not missing a health issue. Shortness of breath, constant thirst, dizziness and swollen feet can all be signs of serious underlying conditions, as well.
If you are experiencing any noticeable changes in your body, take time to see a doctor as soon as possible. It’s better to be proactive about your health than to let a problem go untreated!