9 Body Symptoms To Watch Out For

Your body is very hardworking. Every day, it’s working hard to keep you alive and functioning. So it makes sense that when something goes wrong, your body will let you know.

Sometimes, these body changes are just a sign that you need to get more rest or drink more water. But other times, they can be a sign of something more serious, like an infection or a chronic disease.

So in this article, we will discuss 9 body symptoms that you should never ignore. But before we dive into a bit of biology, keep in mind that these symptoms don’t always mean something bad and sinister, especially if they go away on their own.

But if they stick around, you will definitely need to visit a doctor.

  1. Blood-filled vomiting

The first on our list is a rather disturbing symptom — vomiting up blood. Now, it’s important to note that a small amount of blood in your vomit is usually not cause for alarm. This could be caused by a treatable ulcer or simply eating too much spicy food. 

However, if you are vomiting up large amounts of blood, this could be a sign of internal bleeding.

One potentially fatal cause of blood-filled vomiting is esophageal varices, which is when the veins in your oesophagus rupture. This usually happens to people with liver cirrhosis, and it’s best to rush to the hospital or call 911 if you experience it.

If you’re interested in learning more, the Centre for Gastrointestinal Health explains vomit colour types and what they could signal about your health. 

  1. Black, tarry stools

Just like vomiting up blood, having black, tarry stools is also a sign of internal bleeding. If your stool is pitch black and sticky, this means that the blood has been in your gastrointestinal tract for a while and has already been digested.

This could be caused by something as innocuous as taking too much iron supplements. But it could also be a sign of more serious conditions like gastrointestinal cancer or ulcers.

So if you experience black, tarry stools for over 2-3 days, it’s best to consult a doctor immediately (unless you’re taking iron supplements).

  1. Reduced stool calibre

Have you ever noticed that your stool has become thinner? If so, this could be a sign of Crohn’s disease or another inflammatory bowel disease.

Thin stools could also be a sign of intestinal cancer. This is especially true if you also experience other red flag symptoms, such as unintentional weight loss, fatigue, reduced appetite, and rectal bleeding.

Any combination of these symptoms should prompt you to see a doctor as soon as possible.

  1. Unexplained fatigue

It’s normal to feel tired after a long day at work or after working out. But if you’re feeling exhausted all the time, even when you’re getting enough sleep, this could be a sign of an underlying health condition.

For example, people with anaemia often feel tired because their bodies are not getting enough oxygen. This is usually caused by a lack of iron in the blood.

Fatigue can also be a sign of thyroid problems, diabetes, and even depression. If you’re feeling exhausted all the time, it’s best to see a doctor and get checked out.

  1. A drooping eyelid

A drooping eyelid, or ptosis, is usually not a cause for alarm. In most cases, it’s just due to a natural abnormality in the way the eyelid is shaped.

However, if you had normal eyelids before and they suddenly start drooping, this could be a sign of something more serious.

For example, ptosis can be caused by a tumour pressing on the eyelid nerve. It can also be a sign of an autoimmune disease like Myasthenia Gravis, where the immune system attacks the muscles, so make sure to see a doctor.

  1. Darkening of the armpits and groin

If you notice that your armpits and groin are starting to darken, this could be a sign of acanthosis nigricans.

This is a skin condition that’s usually caused by insulin resistance or obesity. However, it can also be a sign of cancer, so it’s best to get it checked out by a doctor.

Acanthosis nigricans usually causes the skin to thicken and darken in areas where there are folds, such as the armpits and groin. However, it can also occur on the neck, knees, and elbows.

If you notice any darkening of the skin in these areas, it’s best to see a doctor to get it checked out.

  1. A lump in the breast

If you notice a lump in your breast, this could be a sign of breast cancer. However, it’s important to keep in mind that most breast lumps are benign.

One very common reason for a breast lump is fibrocystic disease. This is a benign condition that’s characterised by the formation of cysts in the breast. 

The chance that you have fibrocystic disease — and not breast cancer — is especially high if your breast lump is easily movable and becomes smaller as you go through your menstrual cycle.

Nonetheless, breast cancer is an ugly reality, so it’s always best to get any breast lump checked out by a doctor, just to be on the safe side.

  1. Excessive thirst and urination

If you find yourself drinking more water than usual and/or urinating more often, this could be a sign of diabetes.

Diabetes is a condition where the body is unable to properly regulate blood sugar levels. As a result, people with diabetes often experience excessive thirst and urination as the body tries to get rid of the excess sugar.

If you notice these symptoms, it’s best to get checked out by a doctor. Of course, both of these symptoms can also be caused by other things, such as weather changes or a urinary tract infection, so it’s best not to self-diagnose.

  1. Loud thumps against your chest

Loud thumps against the chest are called palpitations, and they occur when the heart is beating too fast or irregularly.

Palpitations are usually not a cause for alarm, and they’re often harmless. However, if you experience them frequently or if they’re accompanied by other symptoms, such as chest pain or shortness of breath, this could be a sign of a more serious problem.

For example, palpitations can be caused by a condition called paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia (PSVT). This is a type of irregular heartbeat that can be dangerous if left untreated. 

Interestingly, PSVT can be sometimes treated by simply having you suck some air in, close your mouth, and bear down like you do when you’re constipated!

Palpitations can also be caused by high thyroid hormone levels and severe anaemia, so it’s best to see a doctor so they can determine the cause and treat it in a timely manner.

Final words

So those are 9 signs and symptoms that should prompt you to seek immediate medical attention.

Of course, this is not an exhaustive list, and there are other symptoms that could be a sign of a serious problem. However, these are some of the more common signs of serious disease and should definitely be seen by a doctor.

At the same time, it’s important to keep in mind that many of these symptoms can also be caused by less serious conditions. But as they say — it’s better to be safe than sorry!

Finally, make sure to check out our guide on Being Healthy AF But Still Having A Life. After all, the healthier you are, the less likely that you’ll come across any of these symptoms.