Have you been a little tired for some time? Or have you had a cough or a sore throat for two weeks? Most people first do research on the internet. And that rarely reassures you. In fact, you often wrongly imagine the worst scenarios via the internet. While most complaints are harmless and disappear on their own with time. However, in some cases there really is something going on. Certain symptoms are indeed alarming. For which complaints should you consult a doctor immediately? Most people seem to sense whether they should take a complaint seriously or not. When something really isn’t right, many people feel it. For some, fear or shame prevents them from visiting the doctor. However, there are a number of complaints for which you need to seek medical attention, sometimes urgently. The most common ones are listed below.
Pressure in the chest, pain in the stomach area, cold sweat, dizziness, shortness of breath and nausea
If you have these symptoms, see a doctor urgently. Call 112! These are the symptoms of a heart attack. The symptoms are different in men and women. Men have chest pain that radiates to the left arm, sometimes also to the jaw and neck. This is accompanied by cold sweats, stomach pain, nausea and shortness of breath. In women, the signals often appear in advance, sometimes weeks. Consider severe fatigue, poor sleep and shortness of breath.
Paralysis of the face, limbs, dizziness, inability to speak properly
This is really a symptom that should set alarm bells ringing. A doctor is needed urgently: call 112!
Sudden paralysis of the arms, legs and face, confusion, dizziness and inability to pronounce words indicate a stroke.
Sudden severe headache in combination with drowsiness, vomiting and coordination problems
This may indicate a brain hemorrhage, tumor or infection. Here too, medical intervention is required quickly and 112 must be called.
Abdominal pain in combination with paleness, sweating, dizziness
Strong and sudden abdominal pain can be harmless. However, urgent medical attention may still be required. When abdominal pain is accompanied by paleness, sweating and dizziness, it may indicate serious conditions such as a stomach ulcer, appendicitis or a leaking blood vessel in the abdomen.
Blood in stool or urine
If you have bright red blood in your stool, you usually don’t have to worry. This often concerns a wound on the anus or a hemorrhoid. Dark blood or black stools (black from coagulated blood) indicate a more serious problem. There may be a serious condition in the stomach or intestines. A rapid change in bowel habits is also a good reason to go to the doctor. Blood in the urine can be harmless but can also indicate something serious such as kidney stones or an inflammation of the prostate.
Lump in the breast
Any change in the breast is something to be alert to. In any case, it is wise to consult a doctor if there is discharge from the nipple, there is unexplained bleeding or the skin shows strange dimples. This may indicate breast cancer.
A birthmark that changes, itches and/or bleeds
It is advisable to keep an eye on moles. If it itches, bleeds or changes color or shape, a visit to the doctor is not an exaggeration. These moles can indicate skin cancer. Neglect can cause the cancer to develop, grow and even worse, spread.
Severe depression and gloom is something for which one may not quickly go to a doctor. Unjustified, because it can have a physical cause. For example, it could indicate a heart condition or malfunctioning organ, causing you to have little energy and become depressed. Call the doctor for an appointment.
Still exhausted even after a good night’s sleep? This can indicate several ailments, including some serious ones. The body sends a signal with fatigue and this may indicate malfunctioning organs, heart disease or infection. It is quite possible that the body needs your energy to tackle a problem in the body. Don’t walk around with it, go to the doctor.
Gain or lose weight quickly
Here too, the body apparently does not function properly. Unexplained weight gain may indicate an underactive thyroid gland. Losing weight indicates that the body needs an inexplicable amount of energy. This could indicate cancer, an infection, Lyme disease or an overactive thyroid.
For information, visit www.thuisarts.nl. Consumer questions are discussed in detail here. Questions about when to seek medical help from your doctor are also discussed. The website is an initiative of the Dutch Society of General Practitioners.