If you’re like us, you tend to overreact when you notice anything new or strange going on with your body. A little ache in your arm? OMG, cancer! A few extra hairs in your comb? Impending baldness!
While it’s good to be on guard, not every new symptom should send you racing to your doctor’s office, says Rob Danoff, an osteopathic physician and director of family medicine at Philadelphia’s Aria Health System.
At the same time, Danoff says some seemingly benign symptoms—stuff most of us would brush off—are worthy of close examination, especially if they stick around for more than a week or two. “I call it body talk,” he says. “Your body does a good job of sending you signals or clues when something’s wrong.”
But sometimes those signals are supersubtle.
I – Word Understanding
Osteopathic physician – a doctor who practices in all areas of medicine
Benign symptoms – harmless symptoms
Brush off – to reject / not consider as important
Supersubtle – not obvious
II – Have Your Say
1. Have you had any symptoms that prompted you to go to the doctor?
2. What symptoms do you think need doctor’s attention?
3. Here are a few of those signals you don’t want to ignore.
– Your handwriting is shrinking: sign of tremor, an indicator of Parkinson’s disease.
– Your skin feels different: The thickening of the skin can signify high blood pressure or kidney problems, Dry, itchy skin could be caused by an underactive thyroid, a nutritional deficiency, or even an autoimmune disorder
– Your breath smells fruity: sign of diabetes or prediabetes
– You have difficulty calculating: Early warning sign of dementia / Alzheimer’s
– You struggle with stairs: could signal heart trouble or COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease)
– You feel dizzy when you stand up(on a regular basis): could be anemia, inner ear problem or heart problem
– You’re peeing all the time: sign of new onset diabetes, infection or prostate problems