Don’t ig­nore THESE SYMP­TOMS

Jamaica Gleaner - - HEALTH & FITNESS - Jody-Anne Lawrence

GO­ING TO the doc­tor is not like go­ing to the sports bar and grab­bing a drink, it is a nerve-rack­ing ex­pe­ri­ence, and some­thing that men would rather not do. How­ever, there are a few symp­toms that you might be ex­pe­ri­enc­ing and should seek med­i­cal help for. We so­licited the ex­per­tise of gen­eral prac­ti­tioner Garth Rat­tray for some of these symp­toms and what they might mean.

Ch­est pain or tight­ness

All ch­est pains must be sus­pected, even if it is on the right side of the body. Many peo­ple think that the pain may be due to ‘gas’. Ch­est pains may be due to other con­di­tions like acid re­flux, ch­est in­fec­tions, nerve pain, ir­ri­ta­tion of joints in the ribs and in­flam­ma­tion of the soft tis­sues on the front of the ch­est. Heart con­di­tions must al­ways be in­ves­ti­gated also. An­other very se­ri­ous cause of ch­est pain is the dis­sec­tion of the aorta within the ch­est cav­ity. This can mimic a heart at­tack.

Bad feel­ings

That hol­low, aw­ful feel­ing in the ch­est that we some­times think will soon pass may be an emer­gency caused by heart con­di­tions or clots in the lungs.

Short­ness of breath

Short­ness of breath may or may not ac­com­pany ch­est pain or dis­com­fort, but it must al­ways be in­ves­ti­gated. Se­ri­ous causes may be a heart at­tack, se­ri­ous ar­rhyth­mias, clots in the lungs, se­ri­ous lung in­fec­tions, heart fail­ure, fluid in the

lungs, se­vere anaemia, and a host of other ail­ments.

In­abil­ity to pass urine eas­ily

This may be due to an en­larged prostate or a nar­row­ing or con­stric­tion of the ure­thra. Those are the two most com­mon causes, but it may also be caused by ob­struc­tion from a stone in the blad­der or a prob­lem with the nerve that serves the blad­der.

Se­vere and sud­den headaches

These can be caused by a haem­or­rhage. Some­times tu­mours are sus­pected; how­ever, they are not usu­ally sud­den at the on­set.

Sud­den loss of use of a limb or limbs

This can be caused by a stroke or dam­age to a set of nerves ex­it­ing the spine in the neck or lower back.

Sud­den faint­ing or blackout

This can be caused by car­dio­vas­cu­lar prob­lems and so, too, prob­lems af­fect­ing the brain and se­ri­ous in­fec­tions.

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