Women's Health and Wellness

Ten Symptoms Women Should Not Ignore

Women around the world struggle to balance work, home, children, errands and so on. Their list of things to do never ends and in this hectic lifestyle, a large number of them end up ignoring symptoms that might be indicators of potential health problems. Here are ten symptoms women should not ignore:

Vaginal bleeding or discharge: For women who have gone through menopause, vaginal bleeding is abnormal and could be a sign of either something small like a hormonal imbalance or something big like endometrial cancer or uterine cancer. Any uncharacteristic discharge or foul-smelling discharge should be taken seriously and a doctor should be consulted.

Sudden or Unexplained Weight Loss: Weight loss is usually good for you, especially if you’ve made changes in your diet or have taken up physical activity to achieve this loss. However, when your weight is coming off without any effort, it might be a cause for concern. Colon cancer is accompanied with unexplained weight loss. In case of sudden or abnormal weight loss, consult your doctor.

Excessive Urination: Too much urination can be indicative of several things including diabetes and uterine fibroids. Something could be wrong and its best to get it checked out.

Breast Changes: All breast lumps are not cancerous but if you observe any changes in your breasts, you should let your healthcare provider know. This could include skin dimpling or puckering, nipples that turn inward, nipple discharge or redness or scaling of nipple or breast skin.

Skin Changes: Any out-of-ordinary change in the size, shape or color of a mole or other spot could be a sign of skin cancer and should not be ignored.

Flu-like symptoms: Symptoms such as sweating, nausea, light-headedness, fatigue, pressure or pain the lower chest, abdomen or back are often dismissed because they seem very much like the flu. While in many cases it might just be the flu but in some, these symptoms can actually be signs of a heart attack.

Vaginal Discomfort and Odor: This can be a very personal matter for most women and they often do not talk about it to their healthcare providers because they are embarrassed. It is important to understand that vaginal odor is the result of an unbalanced vaginal pH. Many women experience this and it can be managed through vaginal gels. However, if the odor persists or is accompanied with fever or any other symptoms, women should not ignore it and should consult their doctors.

Toothache: A constant toothache or prolonged sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures, swollen gums, pain when chewing or applying pressure to your teeth can be signs of infection and should not be ignored. Toothaches and pains require immediate attention and should not be allowed to spread to the jaw or beyond.

Bloating or Gas: Bloating and gas are common signs of menstruation or a change in diet. While this is a natural occurrence, if symptoms persist, you might be at risk of ovarian cancer. It is important to talk to your ob-gyn about these symptoms.

Numbness in Wrists – Numbness or tingling in your thumb, index, and middle fingers can often be symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome. If left untreated, this condition can lead to permanent nerve or muscle damage.

Marina Gafanovich, MD,is the founder of an annual check-up center in New York, has been recognized as the top in her field for primary care in NYC.  She received her undergraduate degree from New York University. After that she received her medical degree from Sackler School of Medicine in New York City in 2002. She was a resident in Internal Medicine at North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset, NY. Her dedication to patient education and excellence gained her a position as a Hospital Care Attending Physician. Dr. Gafanovich is affiliated with New York Presbyterian Hospital.

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