5 signs it's time to go to the doctor
#1. The problem you’re having keeps happening
The culprit: You’ve been getting bad headaches for the last few weeks. Your period came like it usually does, but it hasn’t stopped in three weeks.
Why it’s a problem: One headache? No biggie. Eight-day period instead of six? Eh, not terribly odd. But if it keeps on keeping on, it’s time for an expert opinion. If something keeps happening in your body—something unusual for you—it could be a sign that something else is wrong. Even if you’re fine, it’s a good idea to get checked out, just in case.
#2. You’re maxing out over-the-counter medication
The culprit: You’ve been taking as much Tylenol as you can every single day for a couple days in a row, with no end in sight. Your allergy meds aren’t making a dent in your can’t-make-it-to-school seasonal dilemma.
Why it’s a problem: Just because you can walk into CVS and buy a bottle of pain medication doesn’t mean that it can’t hurt you. Taking a lot of OTC Tylenol or Advil can have bad effects on your organs if you continue to take it, even if you’re not exceeding recommended dosage. After a few days, it’s time to go see a pro.
#3. You can’t do something you typically can without a physical problem
The culprit: You can’t run without pain in your hips. Your big toe is so tender when you touch it, you can’t put on a pair of closed shoes.
Why it’s a problem: You might be told to just stop doing the thing that hurts or makes a weird sound or whatever the problem is. But sometimes, it could be a problem that requires medical attention. That toe? Likely an infection that can be treated with antibiotics.
#4. The problem you’re having is interrupting your daily routine
The culprit: You’ve been waking up a few times every night to go to the bathroom. You’ve been feeling so sick to your stomach lately, you only pick at your food.
Why it’s a problem: You need sleep and food to function, so when something starts messing with your healthy day-to-day activities, it’s time to take action to address them so you can get back on track.
#5. You’re worried, stressed out or scared about how you’re feeling
The culprit: You lie awake at night thinking about possible worst-case scenarios. You can’t focus during school because it’s hard to breathe and you don’t know why.
Why it’s a problem: Stress can severely impact your immune system, so if something wasn’t seriously wrong when you started freaking out, it could start going wrong the more you worry about it. Make an appointment for a physical or a simple conversation with your doctor, just to set your mind at ease.
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