8 Reasons to See Your Doctor ...

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Most of us call a doctor when we know we’re sick, but we’re not sure if we need to call for particular symptoms. How high of a fever is too high? Should you call about the pain in your chest? Here’s my list of the eight reasons to see your doctor, and how soon you ought to seek help.

1. Fever of More than 101˚

Fever of More than 101˚

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If you have a fever of more than 101˚, especially if you have other symptoms, like diarrhea, vomiting, sore throat, or flu-like symptoms, you should definitely phone your doctor. A prolonged high fever means there’s something seriously wrong, something that may need to be treated right away. Don’t ignore it! And don’t wait until office hours — call NOW!

2. Unexpected Bleeding

Unexpected Bleeding

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If you notice blood in your stool or In your urine, of if you’re experiencing bleeding between your normal periods, you need to make an appointment to see your doctor right away, especially if you’re experiencing pain or difficulty urinating. Blood in your urine can signal a urinary tract infection or kidney stones, and among other things, blood in your stool can mean you have a polyp or hemorrhoids. Bleeding between periods can mean many things, so it’s a good idea to call your doctor if you notice any sort of unusual bleeding.

3. Unexplained Weight Loss or Gain

Unexplained Weight Loss or Gain

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Slight weight fluctuations are normal, and if you’re dieting, or have recently stopped dieting, they’re to be expected. But any weight loss or weight gain that you can’t explain may be a sign of trouble. Call your doctor and schedule an appointment.

4. Dizziness or Fainting

Dizziness or Fainting

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If you’re suddenly feeling lightheaded or dizzy, or if you’re fainting or blacking out without explanation (like excessive drinking), then you definitely want to schedule an appointment with your doctor. Dizziness can mean something as simple to fix as dehydration, or it can mean something else, like a sudden, dangerous drop in blood pressure or something worse… so call your doctor and describe your symptoms. They may want to see you right away!

5. Thoughts of Suicide

Thoughts of Suicide

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There are many prescription anti-depressants and pain killers that have a horrible, sometimes deadly side effect: suicidal thoughts. If you’re having thoughts of suicide, whether you’re taking a prescription drug or not, please seek help immediately. Don’t wait… call your doctor or a suicide helpline right away!

6. Discovery of a Lump

Discovery of a Lump

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Once a woman reaches puberty, it’s time to start doing a monthly self breast exam the week after their period ends. If, during your exam, you discover a lump, no matter how small, you must report it to your doctor as soon as you can. In fact, a lump can be anywhere, not just on your breast, so if you ever find a lump, call your doctor and have it examined. Don’t feel foolish or embarrassed — it could save your life!

7. Changes in, or Growth of, Moles

Changes in, or Growth of, Moles

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If you notice any changes in any of your moles, or any odd places on your skin, then you must call your doctor and schedule an appointment, especially if you’ve ever had a bad sunburn. Most skin cancers are very treatable when detected early, so time is of the essence. Again, early detection of a problem can save your life!

8. Chest Pain

Chest Pain

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If you’re experiencing chest pain, especially in conjunction with shortness of breath or tingling or numbness in your limbs, or a feeling of pressure on your chest, you must contact a doctor as soon as possible, because you may be having a heart attack. Symptoms vary wildly from patient to patient, but the fact remains the same, that most of these symptoms can mean a heart attack. Get help immediately!

If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, you ought to seek help from a doctor soon, and immediately if it’s chest pain or a high fever. I hope everything’s fine, but it’s better to be safe than sorry, right? Do you have any other advice to share about symptoms that you need to see a doctor? Please share them with me

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