It’s easy to decide to ignore minor medical symptoms when you have so much going on in your life anyway. Still, when your body gives you signals, it’s for a reason. Even when symptoms appear minor you should pay close attention before the symptoms turn to something much more severe.

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Tooth Pain

Suddenly, eating your favorite ice cream—or anything chilly—is torturous. You feel a dull throb or a sharp twinge in your tooth when it gets near something cold. In this case, you probably have damage to the nerve of your tooth. It’s often because the surrounding tooth has cracked or is rotting.

If you don’t take care of this quickly, the bacteria in your mouth find the opportunity to infect the nerve. Then that could spread throughout your body, and that’s something nobody wants to deal with.

Severe Head Pain

If you’re experiencing severe head pain, chances are you just have a migraine. But what happens if the usual migraine symptoms, such as a visual aura, don’t come along with your pain? Sudden and severe pain—pretty much the worst headache you’ve ever had—could signal a brain aneurysm.

Most of the time, people don’t even realize they have an aneurysm…unless it tears or leaks. Then escaping blood goes into surrounding tissue—that’s what causes the headache—and cuts off oxygen supply. Odds for this increase if you smoke or have a family history of aneurysms. Call 911 immediately.

Chest Pain

You feel like you have a bad case of heartburn or a tight squeezing in your chest. Maybe it is heartburn, but especially if you’re at risk for heart problems, this is something you should never ignore, as this is also your body’s way of signaling a heart attack. Women have less severe symptoms than men, but even in men the signs are sometimes less obvious. Men might only have pain in the left arm or jaw or shortness of breath.

Body Slowing Down

What if you feel like your body is just slowing down overall? Maybe you feel tired more often than usual; maybe you’re gaining weight. Or you always feel cold, your skin is dry, your hair is lifeless, and you’re experiencing fluid retention. Even mental slowing or depression are possible signs of hypothyroidism.

If left untreated, symptoms of under-active thyroid, leave you at an increased risk of heart disease, an increased risk of pregnancy complications, and, though rare, even coma. Fortunately, once the symptoms are properly diagnosed, they’re relatively easy to treat.

Sharp Side Pain

OK, maybe you just have gas. But if it gets worse over hours or days, it could also be appendicitis. Appendicitis occurs when your appendix gets dangerously inflamed. If you don’t remove it, it could burst. And that’s bad, as the tissues surrounding your organs then swell.

If you’re a woman, the pain in your side could also signal an ovarian cyst that’s twisted or ruptured. You need to remove this, too, or it could block the flow of blood to your ovary. That would then cause you to have your ovary removed.

Shortness of Breath

Sure, sometimes that’s normal, like after an impromptu game of basketball. Other times, it’s not so normal. This includes walking a few blocks, climbing a single flight of stairs, or even just lying in bed at night. This could hint that your heart is weakening, also known as congestive heart failure.

Back Pain—Especially With Numb Feet or Toes

If you’ve done something to hurt yourself, and anti-inflammatories aren’t helping, head over to the orthopedist. Maybe you just moved in and you’re back has hurt since. You could have a disc pressing on your spinal nerve.

The orthopedist will take an x-ray or MRI to figure out if you have a disc that’s slipped or ruptured. Without proper treatment, it could lead to permanent nerve damage. So if your anti-inflammatories don’t do the trick in a reasonable amount of time, go to the doctor.

Weight Loss, Without Trying

Many people are trying to lose weight. But suddenly you find yourself losing weight without putting any effort into it at all. You may consider yourself lucky at first, but this isn’t something you should ignore. You might have a serious condition you’ll need to treat as soon as possible. You might have something fairly easy to deal with, like an overactive thyroid. But you might be dealing with something much darker, as involuntary weight loss is a clue to cancer.

Leg Pain With Swelling

You’re on a long business flight or stuck at your desk with a deadline when your calf becomes very tender in one spot. You see the swelling, and the painful spot looks red or is warm when you touch it. Resist the temptation to walk it off and see a doctor as soon as you can.

When blood pools in your lower body, it’s possible to form a clot. Once the clot starts to block the vein or artery, the area surrounding it hurts and swells. You call this condition deep-vein thrombosis, or DVT. Simply, you have a blood clot.

Blood in Your Stool or Urine

Yeah, you might not want to look. But just do it, because if you see blood, you have a problem. Any disruption as urine travels from your kidneys to bladder—from inflammation, cysts, infection, or stones—leads to blood. But so does kidney or bladder cancer.

And blood in your stool is another signal of problems. Don’t just assume you have hemorrhoids. You have to rule out colon cancer, bleeding ulcers, or diverticulitis.

Changes in Urination

If you suddenly find yourself getting up in the night much more often to go to the bathroom, it might mean a serious condition like diabetes. If you’re a man, and the symptom comes with a weak stream or difficulty passing urine or getting started, you could have an enlarged prostate. An enlarged prostate could mean benign prostatic hyperplasia. When that’s detected early, preventing progression is possible. Prostate cancer, which is life-threatening, has similar symptoms.

Your body is very adept at sending out signs when there’s something you need to check out. You should never ignore symptoms, even when you think they seem minor, as they could signal that you need to start treating something very quickly.