How to Know When You Need Professional Medical Help

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Do you go to the doctor, therapist, or other medical specialists every time something is going wrong with your health? Or, like most people, are there instances in which you resolve the problem yourself to avoid a visit? After all, seeking medical treatment of any kind is expensive and time-consuming. And when the problem is very minor in nature, it essentially doesn’t make sense to run for help.

Most might assume that outside of your annual physicals, cleanings, bloodwork, and exams, that seeking professional medical help is only something you’d do if there was an extreme emergency. Sure, it would behoove you to get treatment if you have broken bones, are showing signs of a heart attack, or some other extreme incident, but these aren’t the only times.

There are many medical conditions that manifest through subtle symptoms. A tumor could be mistaken for migraine, the flu could be mistreated at home as the common cold. Essentially, trying to diagnose, treat, or sweep things under the rug could do more harm than good. 

sick person lying on gray sofa 2

Your Symptoms Haven’t Gone Away After a Few Days

No matter what you’re going through mentally or physically, if the symptoms have not subsided after a few days, this means the problem is more serious than what you can treat on your own. If you have a fever that doesn’t clear up, this could mean you have an infection. A cough that won’t go away suggests you have more than the common cold. Feelings of sadness and despair spanning for days at a time could be diagnosed as depression. So, give yourself a day or two, but if you don’t feel any better, get to a medical professional.

You’re Emotionally Overwhelmed

Everyone gets overwhelmed sometimes, but feeling burned out, stressed, depressed, or anxious all the time could mean that something more serious is going on. If you often isolate yourself, go through constant mood swings, have started self-medicating, aren’t performing well at work, have issues at home, have difficulty sleeping, and other drastic changes you need to talk with a doctor or therapist. They can review your medical history, listen to your symptoms, and determine which treatment options like enrolling in Lake Arrowhead Recovery Center or going to independent therapy and taking antidepressant medication.

You’ve Been in an Accident

Whether you slipped and fell on the stairs or you were in a car wreck you should always seek medical attention. Though you may feel that nothing is wrong, sometimes injuries from an accident can be internal or subtle. You could have a concussion, broken bones, internal bleeding, a brain injury, strained muscles, and a number of other things going on with you that need to be treated right away. If you have previously been in an accident from driving under the influence, it’s beneficial to install an interlock device in your vehicle as a safety precaution for both yourself and other drivers on the road.

You Lose a Significant Amount of Weight

Body weight provides serious insight into your health. While losing a bit of weight can be great for those who are overweight, losing too much too fast could mean that something more serious is going on. If you lose more than 10% of your body weight in the duration of six months, reach out to a doctor right away. If you haven’t been actively trying to lose weight and haven’t made any lifestyle changes recently, you could be dealing with anything from thyroid to liver disease.

You Experience Extreme Pain or See Blood

If you’re in a great deal of pain and find that over the counter medications aren’t helping to dull it, this is serious and you need to get medical attention. Whether it’s a throbbing tooth that needs to be assessed by the dentist or severe abdominal pain that needs to be treated by the doctor, don’t wait when pain is involved. The same is true for blood. If you see blood in your stool or urine, notice blood coming out of your nose or mouth when you cough or sneeze, these are serious problems that need to be properly diagnosed and treated.

There are times when you or your family aren’t feeling well that you can treat them at home with soup, tea, meds, and TLC. That being said, there are times when avoiding or neglecting to get professional medical treatment could backfire and make things worse. Whether you need to schedule an online visit with your doctor, pay extra for an emergency oral surgery, or get to the nearest emergency room, when it comes to your health, if you notice signs like those above, it is better to be safe than sorry.

*This is not meant to replace the advice of your physician. When in doubt, always seek medical help – don’t rely on Google to self-diagnose!