We've all experienced it—the bizarre headache that suddenly disappears, the swollen lymph node that comes and goes, the period that does something strange every month. Most of the time, these symptoms are just part and parcel of being human. Frequently, there's no explanation other than the fact that sometimes bodies do strange things. If you experience one of these five symptoms, though, the “wait and see” approach could claim your life.
1. Intense Pain
Intense pain in any area of your body warrants immediate medical attention. Of particular concern are severe headaches, debilitating chest pain, or sudden muscle or bone pain. While it's common for muscle spasms and similar issues to result in mild to moderate pain, unbearable pain is your body's way of telling you something's gone wrong.
2. Calf Pain
Pain in your calf, particularly pain that's concentrated in a single spot rather than radiating all over, could indicate a blood clot. Blood clots can turn fatal when left untreated, so if you experience pain that lasts longer than two days, redness, swelling, or any discoloration, contact your doctor. If you have calf pain and shortness of breath or a history of cardiovascular disease, contact your doctor immediately.
3. Lumps and Bumps
We all get weird rashes and pimples from time to time. When something swells under the surface of your skin, though, it warrants immediate intervention. Whether it's a painful lymph node, a lump in your breast or a deep cyst, it could indicate a serious problem. And if you have a pimple or mole that changes shape or a skin rash or abrasion that won't go away, talk to your doctor.
4. Tingling, Numbness, or Blurred Vision
If your extremities go numb or start to tingle for no apparent reason, contact your doctor immediately if symptoms aren't gone in a minute or two. If these symptoms accompany blurred vision, treat them as a medical emergency and seek help right away. Remember, a stroke can lead to difficulty speaking, challenges simultaneously holding both arms up at the same time, or an uneven smile, so if you experience numbness alongside these symptoms, it's a sure indicator that something is wrong.
A fever is the body's response to an infection, so any time you develop a fever, it suggests your body's fighting something off. If you experience a fever alongside other troubling symptoms, such as a toothache, headache, or painful urination, it could signal a systemic infection or a problem with organ function. Don't delay treatment, particularly if the fever is above 102 degrees or lasts longer than 24 hours.