Five Health Concerns Women Shouldn’t Ignore
Aging brings on aches and pains. How do you know if you should see your doctor?
The NHS is certainly under incredible strain and we are advised to explore alternative avenues such as visiting your local pharmacy or calling the UK’s non-emergency 24/7 phone number 111, before arranging an appointment with an overstretched GP.
With recent statistics revealing that over the last six years the NHS has paid out over £1 billion as a result of medical negligence compensation claims and with GP waiting times skyrocketing to nearly three weeks long due to the increased demand for medical attention and a lack of GP doctors, many of us have been put off visiting the GP.
Furthermore, there is widespread confusion on when you should visit your GP in order to not waste their time and burden NHS’s resources. In this article, we explore which symptoms shouldn’t ever be ignored and reveal what steps to take if your illness is misdiagnosed.
Some illnesses can be self-treated but for many you may need to seek medical advice to prevent the illness deteriorating. So it is important to not be put off by the media’s portrayal of only going to the GP if you are absolutely certain.
Below we explain a plethora of common symptoms and whether they warrant a visit to the GP.
Headaches are very common and are often nothing to be concerned about. They can frequently be quickly solved with paracetamol or similar and can easily be triggered by dehydration or stress.
However if you are experiencing constant headaches that are affecting your ability to carry out your everyday life and medication isn’t alleviating the pain, it is certainly time to book a GP appointment.
Also if you have experienced a head injury prior to suffering from headaches this should not be ignored as these headaches could be a sign of a serious problem following the injury.
If you are experiencing additional symptoms such as vomiting, a temperature, dizziness or numbness you need to seek medical attention to ensure you are not suffering from a more serious illness.
2. Feeling Thirsty?
We have all heard the recommended daily intake for water is 8 glasses a day and this should keep you hydrated. However, if you feel constantly thirsty and if no amount of hydration eradicates this feeling this could indicate something may be wrong with your health.
If the problem continues for a significant period or is accompanied with other symptoms such as fatigue, blurred vision or sickness then it is important to visit your GP for an expert opinion.
3. Breathing Problems
Have you been experiencing breathlessness? Allergies, exercise and asthma can all trigger shortness of breath, but if you are experiencing shortness of breath outside of these situations for no obvious reason, it may be time to visit your local doctors.
In extreme cases of a sudden shortness of breath call the emergency services on 999 as this could be the start of a heart attack – especially if you feel a tight sensation across your chest. Make sure to book an appointment with your GP if your shortness of breath worsens when lying down, sleeping or exercising especially if this has lasted longer than a month.
4. Moles and Freckles
Your skin is an important body organ that should not be neglected, it maintains our body temperature, protects are insides and gives us the ability to sweat. With skin cancer on the up with “around 131,000 cases of non melanoma skin cancer are diagnosed in the UK each year” now is the perfect opportunity to check your freckles and moles.
If one of your moles has changed size or colour, become painful or even itchy or if you have had an influx of new moles you must get them checked for peace of mind!
Sunbeds, a family history of skin cancer and high ultraviolet radiation can significantly increase your risk of skin cancer. Make sure when on holiday in hot climates to avoid the hottest part of the day, cover up, wear a hat and use sun cream to prevent falling victim to this disease.
5. Unexplained Weight Loss
If we are dieting or under a lot of stress, you can expect to experience weight loss but unexplained weight loss is a completely different story. A decrease in fat, muscle or body fluid can all cause a decrease in your weight.
So how much of a weight loss is a concern? If you are experiencing weight loss alongside a loss of appetite or a change in your toilet habits, this could be a warning sign of an underlying condition such as Cancer, Diabetes, Irritable Bowel Syndrome and many more.
Refrain from self-diagnosing, instead explain your symptoms to a GP who can help whittle down what the unexplained weight loss could have been caused by.
Unfortunately as a result of an overstretched healthcare system, illnesses can be missed, misdiagnosed or found too late which we all do not want to experience. Staggeringly, “by 2020 the NHS will be paying out £3.2bn a year in claims”.
In the event you feel you have fallen victim to a misdiagnosis, you are entitled to claim against the NHS. This compensation will help you get the issue corrected or enable you to afford the modifications you need to continue to live with the repercussions of the mistake.
With the majority of cases, there is a three-year limit to claim for the mistake so there is no time to waste if this has happened to you. In extreme cases where due to medical negligence it is unlikely you will ever recover, you have your entire lifetime to claim.
The NHS has a duty of care to you as a patient so do not feel intimidated to not make a claim against such a large organisation if you have experienced medical negligence.