According to a study published in the International Journal of Clinical Practice, men tend to see their doctors less than women. They may skip annual checkups, ignore symptoms, or delay getting medical help when they need it. In some cases, these delays can be dangerous. Early diagnosis and treatment often improve outcomes for many health conditions.
Severe bleeding, chest pain, and high fever are symptoms that require urgent medical attention. But what about other symptoms, such as the need to urinate more often or straining to go to the bathroom? Could they be symptoms of a serious illness?
It is important to see your doctor when you think something is wrong. Whether it’s unintentional weight loss or a change in bathroom habits, here are nine symptoms that could be a sign of something serious.
If you experience any of these symptoms, make an appointment with your doctor or go to the emergency room to get the care you need.
1 Shortness of breath
Chest pain is a common sign of a heart attack, but there are others that you may not be aware of. Although heart attack symptoms can vary from person to person, some warning signs may indicate you’re at risk, such as shortness of breath on exertion. For example, if you have difficulty catching your breath after an easy walk, this may be an early sign of coronary ischemia. This condition is manifested by partial or complete blockage of the artery that carries blood to the heart. Complete blockage can lead to a heart attack.
Make an appointment with your doctor if you have chest pain or shortness of breath. Go to the emergency room if you have symptoms of a heart attack, such as:
Pressure in your chest
– A feeling of tightness in the chest
Severe shortness of breath
2 black or bloody stools
Stool color can change from day to day, depending on the foods you eat and the medications you take. For example, if you eat beets, your stools may turn an annoying red color. Likewise, iron supplements and some diarrhea medications can temporarily turn your stools black or tarry. Anything in the brown or green spectrum is normal. But if your stools are black, bloody, or pale, this may indicate that you have a problem. In some cases, this problem can be serious.
Black stools may indicate upper GI bleeding. Brown or bloody stools may indicate bleeding in the lower digestive tract. Your doctor will likely look for signs of bleeding, hemorrhoids, or ulcers. Slightly colored stools may indicate a problem with the liver or bile ducts. If you notice any unusual changes in stool color, contact your doctor immediately.
3 frequent urination
Frequent urination could be a sign of diabetes. Diabetes can cause you to urinate more frequently because your kidneys have to work overtime to remove excess sugar from your blood. Prostate problems can also lead to frequent urination. Other symptoms of prostate problems include decreased flow when urinating, discomfort in the pelvic area, and blood in the urine or semen. Benign prostatic hyperplasia, or enlarged prostate, is a common condition in older men. Although it is common, you should not ignore its symptoms, as they can be similar to other, more serious conditions.
See your doctor if you experience any of the symptoms listed above.
Occasional constipation is normal. Most people experience it from time to time, and it often becomes more common after the age of 50. But chronic constipation can be even more worrisome. Chronic constipation can cause straining and straining when trying to have a bowel movement. This increases the risk of developing hemorrhoids, which can cause bleeding and discomfort around the rectum. Chronic constipation can also be a sign that something is preventing stool from passing out properly. The presence of a polyp or tumor in the intestine can lead to a blockage of the colon. You may also have an underlying condition that causes abnormal motility of the colon.
Early diagnosis is important to rule out serious diseases, such as colon cancer.
5 erectile dysfunction
Besides sexual performance problems, erectile dysfunction can be a sign of a more serious problem, such as cardiovascular disease.
Erectile dysfunction can also be due to increased stress or depression. If you’re having these issues, talk to your doctor about medication options and mental health counseling. Erectile dysfunction is a condition that doctors often treat. The faster you address the problem, the sooner you will be able to find a solution.
6 Frequent heartburn
Many people experience occasional heartburn after eating a greasy burger or a lot of pasta. But if you have heartburn after every meal, you may be suffering from gastroesophageal reflux disease. This condition is also known as acid reflux. If you have GERD, stomach acid backs up into your esophagus. If left untreated, this stomach acid can erode the tissues of the esophagus and cause irritation or ulcers. In rare cases, chronic gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) can lead to esophageal cancer. GERD symptoms can also mimic other rare but treatable problems. In some cases, you may think you have heartburn when you actually have heart problems. Consult your doctor if you have a long history of heartburn.
7- Excessive snoring
Chronic, loud snoring can be a sign of obstructive sleep apnea. In this condition, the muscles in your throat relax and temporarily block your airway while you sleep. This can lead to breathing problems and disrupt your sleep pattern. These constant interruptions can make you feel sleepy or tired, even after you’ve gotten enough sleep. If left untreated, sleep apnea can increase the risk of developing cardiovascular disease, heart failure, or an irregular heartbeat. Snoring and obstructive sleep apnea have also been linked to obesity and type 2 diabetes.
8 breast lump
You might think that breast cancer is a disease that only affects women, but that’s not true. See your doctor if you feel a lump or thickening of breast tissue, or if your nipple darkens, turns red, or begins to discharge. Early diagnosis is key to getting the treatment you need.
Take charge of your health by making an appointment with your doctor if you notice any of these symptoms. It can be a normal sign of aging or an easily treatable condition, but it’s important to rule out any serious causes. In some cases, these symptoms may indicate that you have a serious medical condition. Early recognition and treatment of the problem often improves your chances of a full recovery.
* Presse Santé strives to impart medical knowledge in a language accessible to all. In no way can the information provided replace medical advice.
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