Health Anxiety can be super scary to deal with. Our bodies are amazing and we are taught to listen to what our body tells us, but… how do we know the difference between just a regular “body oops” and when it is really necessary to seek professional health?
If you have anxiety, your mind is always overactive and full of anxious thoughts. You worry about your “future-self”, and are mostly worried about things that could go wrong, even though there is not always the necessary evidence to prove that worry is needed…
So, when should you seek professional help? Sometimes your body gives obvious symptoms like insufferable pain or substantial bleeding and injury. Other times, though, the signs are not so obvious. You feel a lump, but is it a tumor or just a swollen gland or infection? Is the dull transient pain you are feeling something to be worried about? Should I seek help for my constantly anxious and stressful thoughts?
First, RELAX. Take a few deep breaths and calm yourself so that you can think rationally.
Now, let’s take a look at some of the symptoms that can be vague enough to cause conflict about seeing a doctor.
Having a cold and a severe cough for about a week or so is pretty normal and not usually something that should cause you any worry. However, a prolonged, chronic cough that lasts longer than this could be a very serious symptom that you need to have checked out.
Sicknesses like whooping cough or bronchitis can be found in adults with the symptoms of merely a chronic cough that lasts for weeks and even months on end.
If you are experiencing extreme and painful coughing that lasts more than a week or you bring up blood while coughing, you should immediately seek professional help.
Nagging or Transient Pain
Although pain is sometimes a genuine symptom to worry about, at other times it could just be something like an old injury acting up due to the cold or other aggravating circumstances.
Obviously, living with chronic pain, even if it doesn’t debilitate you, is not a quality way of life. If you experience pain at an old injury site or are experiencing extreme muscle stiffness and cramps, you could consider working with a chiropractor to help ease the pain. The chiropractor will be able to determine if it is serious or not.
Take heed: Any severe, sudden pain should be examined by a doctor immediately, no matter what part of the body is affected.
Lumps Under the Skin
Lumps in the breast is always an alarming find. With an estimated 266 126 new cases of invasive breast cancer in 2018 in the U.S. alone, it is no wonder that we might expect the worst when we come across a lump in our breasts.
Sometimes, however, it is not necessary to seek medical attention. You need to monitor the lump and establish if it goes away or decreases during your menstrual cycle. If this is the case, you are in the green as this type of cystic breast activity is quite normal. If the lump is persistent, though, and doesn’t change or it grows in size, please immediately consult with your doctor.
Other lumps may or may not be an issue. The key is to monitor the lump – does it stay the same, grow larger, or change color and/or shape? If you notice any of these things or the lump develops into an infection, see your doctor.
Unanticipated weight gain can be more than just a disappointment to you and could actually point to more serious conditions.
If you haven’t made any drastic changes to your diet or exercise habits, take heed. It could be an insulin disorder, a poorly functioning thyroid or a build-up of water in your tissues.
So, see your doctor if you gain weight for no apparent reason and you can’t seem to shake the weight off again, no matter what your efforts.
Sadly, many people see losing weight as a good thing, but they don’t recognize that it could actually be a serious symptom of an underlying health problem.
Cancer, hyperthyroidism, and liver disease are all characterized by weight loss.
If you didn’t make any changes to your diet or exercise habits, or perhaps you’re eating more and exercising less, but you are STILL unable to stop losing weight, please consult with your doctor.
Feeling stressed or anxious
Anxiety or stress is not always something people will consider going to the doctor for.
You may want to see the doctor but then you worry that perhaps your anxiety is not bad enough to validate seeing a doctor…
But the effects and strains that these two mental disorders can put on you, both physically and mentally, are good enough reason in itself to definitely consult with a health professional, irrespective of your fears. Especially if the symptoms start interfering with your daily life or you are having suicidal thoughts or thoughts of self-harm. It can also lead to other related conditions, like insomnia and chronic depression.by