Physical health is one of the most important assets we will ever have as human beings. Most of us take it for granted, and tend to ignore the natural signs that our bodies give us when something is not right. Minor aches and pains are brushed off with a shrug, and even chronic symptoms are often ignored to the point that we don’t even notice them anymore. Although the human body is resilient enough to withstand most manners of unhealthy or abnormal lifestyles, there are certain signs that you just cannot afford to ignore. This may be in the form of physical symptoms or psychological symptoms; either way, these are signs that something is definitely wrong with your body, and must be reviewed by a professional medical practitioner or a specialist.

The 3 body signs you should not overlook are listed here in no particular order. Some of them may be minor issues unless they appear in combination with other symptoms, but all of them are critical indications requiring further investigation and possible treatment.

Body Sign #1: Weight Loss (Unexplained and Continuous)

To an obese person, any kind of weight loss is a boon. However, abnormal and unexplained weight loss without any effort on the part of the person losing weight is a sure sign that something could be wrong.

The first justification for this argument is that the body doesn’t just lose weight in a random fashion. Naturally, if you are on a diet or exercise routine, then weight loss is not an abnormal thing. However, if you hadn’t done anything to lose the pounds, and yet you are still losing it at a rapid or gradual rate, this is when you have to pull out the stops and go see your doctor.

Unexplained weight loss is often a sign of bigger problems. Think of it as the tip of the iceberg, where only 10 per cent is above the surface of the water. The real problem might be due to any medical conditions, which can range from cancer to depression, but the fact remains that if unchecked, this could lead to worse problems in the long run. Unexplained weight loss can affect the quality of life and even be life-threatening in severe cases. Granted, it’s not an easy task to face reality when you visit a doctor and be informed of adverse test results, but it’s always better to face the truth head on than to deny that anything is wrong.

Body Sign #2: Persistent Fever

This is definitely not something that should be taken lightly. A mild fever that goes away after a few days – with or without medication – is probably nothing to worry about. But if the fever persists longer than that, then self-medication is probably the worst thing you can do because it actually suppresses the messages that your body is desperately trying to send you.

The first thing you should do in this situation is to set an appointment to see your doctor at the earliest opportunity.

Anything over 37.5 degrees Celsius (99.5 F) is not normal, even if it’s just for a few days. So, if you’ve been experiencing chronic fever symptoms, then a doctor’s visit is a must. It may not be as alarming as cancer, but instead, an underlying infection that will likely go away if treated in time. Doctors know the dangers of untreated symptoms so don’t be miffed at your MD for admonishing you because you didn’t go to him earlier. It’s better to get yelled at by your doctor than to attend your own funeral before your time!

Body Sign #3: Sudden or Random Headaches

A normal headache is medically defined as a “non-specific symptom”, which in effect means that the underlying cause could be one of many. Headaches are generally classified by the International Headache Society (no, I’m not making this one up – Google it!) into two main categories: primary and secondary.

The first group contains headaches such as migraines, tension-type headaches, cluster headaches, etc.

The second group is usually more dangerous, as any one of these may indicate long-term damage or life-threatening causes.

Among the worst of the secondary headaches is the Thunderclap Headache, which develops suddenly and can be extremely acute. Accompanying symptoms usually help with diagnosis, and may include anything ranging from loss of limb control to loss of vision.

In any case, a persistent headache that doesn’t go away with normal, over-the-counter medication is something to worry about. Go see your doctor if you feel that anything is out of the ordinary, or if you suddenly start getting frequent headaches for no apparent reason.

What to Do in this Situation

If you are experiencing any of these three body signs, you cannot afford to ignore them or delay a trip to your doctor’s office.

If there’s really nothing wrong with you, your MD will be able to verify that using standard tests. If there is something wrong, he or she will be able to commence treatment for whatever the underlying problem is. Don’t be overly reliant on over-the-counter medication, and NEVER self-medicate when you have any of these signs. It’s not easy to face the truth about sickness or ill-health, but it is worse to go through these symptoms without knowing what the problem is. Going to the doctor will not only reassure you of your health situation, but it can help address problems before they become unmanageable.

Most people with cancer keep ignoring their symptoms until they become physically impossible to bear. By then, it is usually too late or the disease has progressed to such an extent that only extreme measures can be used to deal with the problem. This is not a scenario exclusive to cancer sufferers. In fact, studies show that most people only go to a doctor when a symptom doesn’t go away for an extended period. This is a very dangerous behavioral pattern because, not only does it delay possible treatment of the problem, it can also lead to a snowballing effect of symptoms that follow and add to each other. This results in various complications that can be easily avoided by early detection.

Remember: your health is in your hands and nobody else’s; a doctor can certainly be instrumental in saving your life, but you have to take the first step.

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