It’s Better To Be Safe Than Sorry: Niggling Health Problems You Shouldn’t Ignore

When it comes to your health, it’s always advisable to live by the mantra that it’s better to safe than sorry. You don’t need to rush to the ER every time you’ve got a cough. But sometimes, it’s best to get checked out if you’ve got niggling problems. Often, there’s nothing to worry about. But occasionally, innocent-seeming symptoms may be a sign of something more sinister. Here are some common health problems you shouldn’t ignore.

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Many of us suffer from headaches now and again. Most commonly, headaches are associated with stress and dehydration. You may have been busy at work all day, and not had enough to drink, for example. There’s probably nothing to worry about if you get the odd headache. But if you have persistent headaches, you should seek advice. If you find that you get headaches after using a computer or tablet, it’s wise to book an eye test. If you’re straining to read what’s on the screen, this can contribute to headaches. Sometimes, headaches can also be caused by grinding your teeth at night. In rare cases, headaches can be caused by brain tumours. This is why it’s so important to get checked out. If there is a tumour, the sooner it is spotted, the higher the chances of successful treatment.

If you have headaches on a regular basis, arrange to see your doctor or investigate services like Our Urgent Care. You can call in at short notice if you can’t get an appointment at your regular clinic.

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Bowel changes

From time to time, it’s normal to have days when you don’t have much of an appetite. Having an upset tummy is also fairly common. Usually, this is caused by eating something that hasn’t agreed with you. Vomiting and diarrhoea can also be caused by food poisoning or viral illnesses, such as norovirus. With tummy bugs, you tend to be sick for 24 hours, and there’s no real treatment that will help. You just need to rest and try and keep your fluids up. If you notice persistent changes in your bowel movements, this is when you should see a doctor. Are you going to the toilet more frequently? Or are you straining? It’s also incredibly important that you seek urgent advice if you notice blood in your urine or feces. These symptoms can be a sign of some forms of cancer. It’s also wise to seek advice if you’ve lost weight without changing your diet or increasing the amount of exercise you do.

Tiredness and lethargy

Everyone has days when they feel tired, and they struggle to find the energy to get through the day. Usually, this follows a sleepless night or a period of feeling under the weather. If you feel tired all the time, or you’re finding tasks you normally complete with ease exhausting, consider seeing your doctor. Tiredness can be a sign of anaemia or hormonal imbalances. Many women also feel experience fatigue in the early stages of pregnancy.

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Sore throat

Winter is just around the corner, and sore throats are incredibly common at this time of year. Sore throats are usually accompanied by runny noses and earache. If you’ve got these symptoms, it’s likely that you’ve got a common cold. If you develop severe pain in the throat, this may be caused by tonsillitis or glandular fever.

If you have a sore throat for a prolonged period of time, this may be a sign of something more serious. On very rare occasions, a persistent sore throat can be a sign of oral cancer. If you’re worried, see your dentist or doctor. Other symptoms to look out for include slow-healing mouth ulcers, lumps and red or white patches in the mouth or throat.


Coughs and colds fly around in the colder months. If you’ve got a cough, it will usually subside within a few days without the need for any treatment. However, if you find yourself coughing for more than two weeks, seek advice. You should also see your doctor if you cough up blood. A sore throat can be characteristic of lung cancer. There’s every chance that there’s nothing to worry about. But having some tests will put your mind at rest. Lung cancer is often associated with smoking, but it can affect non-smokers too. Other symptoms to look out for include chest pain, breathlessness, and unexplained weight loss. Tiredness and sweating excessively during the night can also be warning signs.


Do you struggle to sleep? Does it take you a long time to get to sleep? Or do you wake several times during the night? It’s normal to have the odd sleepless night now and again. But if you experience problems most nights, you shouldn’t ignore this. Insomnia can be caused by stress and anxiety, and it can increase your risk of depression. Missing out on sleep can also make you more susceptible to illnesses and infections. It can also affect your mood and your energy levels. When you see a doctor, they will help you to try and identify reasons why you may be finding it tough to sleep. They can also recommend stress management techniques and give you tips on improving your sleep routine. If simple changes don’t work, your doctor may prescribe medication or recommend talking therapies. Exercise is also a really powerful remedy for stress.

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Your health is something you should never take for granted. Often, you’ll have days when you don’t feel 100 percent, and this is nothing to worry about. However, if you feel ill on a regular basis, or you notice recurring symptoms, see an expert. In the majority of cases, the tests will come back clear. But there may be a risk of something more serious. If there are problems, the sooner they are diagnosed and treated, the better. Don’t ignore persistent, unexplained or severe symptoms. Many of us presume that symptoms will simply disappear. However, this may not always be the case. A quick phone call to the doctor could make all the difference.

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