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Stay Healthy: Don't Ignore the Symptoms

Most of us live on the run, so it’s easy to let chronic health niggles slip under the radar. But experts say some symptoms should never be ignored.


A persistent cold and or sore throat: If you have a cold or sore throat that won’t go away, it is worth seeing your GP, who can check for infection or other complications. A long-lasting cold could signal a bacterial or sinus infection, while a sore throat might indicate streptococcus infection, which should be treated quickly with antibiotics. A chronic sore throat could also signal glandular fever, a cancerous tumour or allergies. A chronic sore throat can sometimes also be a sign of gastroesophageal reflux disease, where acid travels up your windpipe causing inflammation and long-term, increasing the risk of cancer, if untreated.


Persistent bloating: In many cases, occasional bloating is caused by constipation, irritable bowel or ovulation. However, regular or ongoing bloating accompanied by other symptoms could be a sign of cancer. Persistent bloating due to fluid in the abdomen can be a symptom of ovarian cancer.


Common symptoms include: Frequent abdominal or pelvic pain, increased abdominal size or persistent abdominal bloating, needing to urinate often or urgently and feeling full after eating a small amount


Puffy eyes and ankles: Though hormonal fluctuations and excess salt can cause fluid retention, constant puffy eyes and ankles can also point to kidney disease. The fluid retention occurs because the balance between salt and water is upset and the kidney is not working well enough to correct it.


Irregular or painful periods: Extremely painful period cramps may be a sign of endometriosis, which causes the tissue that lines the uterus to grow outside the uterus. Diagnosing these conditions early can reduce complications and protect fertility.


Painful urination: Though painful urination can be caused by cystitis, Bateson says it could also be due an STI such as chlamydia, gonorrhoea, genital herpes or trichomonisis, which caused by a parasite. Other sexually transmitted symptoms to look out for include blisters or irritated skin in the genital region or cramping in the lower abdomen.


Bleeding gums: The same bacteria that causes sore, inflamed and bleeding gums can contribute to heart disease by entering the bloodstream, causing inflammation and attaching itself to fatty plaques in the arteries.

What can you do? Keep an eye on your gums and see your dentist every six months for a scale, clean and check-up.


Itchy skin: Though hormonal changes might be to blame, itchy skin can also be a sign of liver disease, Dr Morton says. The culprit? Increasingly unhealthy lifestyles, which can cause fatty liver. See your GP if you are also experiencing other symptoms such as dark urine, nausea, loss of appetite and fatigue.


Snoring: Snoring does more than drive your partner crazy. It can increase your risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes.


What can you do? A sleep expert from the University of South Australia, Siobhan Banks, says an overnight sleep study could help. See your GP for referral to a sleep clinic.


Shortness of breath: Shortness of breath could indicate a heart problem, especially if it worsens when lying down, Dr Morton says.


“Fast or laboured breathing could be due to anaemia, anxiety, asthma, heart attack, a blood clot, respiratory disease or pneumonia.”


Nail changes: Watch for brittleness, which can signal thyroid problems and vitamin D deficiency. Indentations or pitting might be caused by dermatitis or a skin condition called psoriasis. Nail loosening and lifting from the nail bed can indicate a fungal infection.


Disclaimer

This information is current as at 01/03/18.

This article has been prepared by Heart1Stop, a social media brand owned by Heart Mortgage Services and Heart Financial Advisers. The information contained in this article is an overview or summary only and it should not be considered a comprehensive statement on any matter nor relied upon as such. The views expressed here are not those of Heart1stop, Heart Mortgage Services, Heart Financial Advisers, shareholders, directors or staff and associated contractors and business associates. This article has been prepared without taking into account any person’s objectives, financial situation or needs. Because of this, you should, before acting on any information contained in this article, consider its appropriateness, having regard to your objectives, financial situation or needs. Any taxation information contained in this article is a general statement and should only be used as a guide. It does not constitute taxation advice and is based on current laws and their interpretation. Each individual’s situation may differ, and you should seek independent professional taxation advice on any taxation matters. While the information contained in this article may contain or be based on information obtained from sources believed to be reliable, it may not have been independently verified. Where information contained in this publication contains material provided directly by third parties it is given in good faith and has been derived from sources believed to be accurate at its issue date. It is not the intention of Heart1Stop or Heart Mortgage Services and Heart Financial Advisers that this publication be used as the primary source of readers’ information but as an adjunct to their own resources and training. To the maximum extent permitted by law: no guarantee, representation or warranty is given that any information or advice in this publication is complete, accurate, up to date or fit for any purpose; and no party of Heart1Stop or associated entities as mentioned is in any way liable to you (including for negligence) in respect of any reliance upon such information. This article may also contain links to websites operated by third parties ("Third Parties") who are not related to Heart1Stop. These links are provided for convenience only and do not represent any endorsement or approval by us.

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