Chest tightness, palpitations, coughing and breathlessness run the gamut of heart and lungs-related problems. Your doctor may recommend lifestyle modifications like dietary modifications, regular exercises by joining a local gym, and adequate rest; medications for anxiety, hypertension, obesity etc, then, further testing/investigations. Surgery may be required to manage severe symptoms.
In any case, if you are experiencing severe symptoms, do not sit your ‘lazy fat ass’ down thinking if you should see a doctor or not. Just go to the hospital. Chest tightness accompanied by squeezing, weakness, nausea, fainting, progressively worsening pain, and/or pain that radiates outward to your jaw, arm, or shoulder could signal a more serious condition. Call emergency services if available, call your health care provider or see the doctor immediately.
You Have A High Fever
Fever is a common symptom indicative of an inflammatory process in the body. In inflammation, white blood cells in your body are recruited and stimulated to release certain chemicals called cytokines. These cytokines are responsible for the pain you experience and the increased temperature.
Fever is suggestive of an underlying infectious disease (viral, bacterial and/or fungi), an inflammatory disease like autoimmune and hypersensitivity disorders, and in some rare cases, it could indicate the presence of a tumour or malignancy.
Natural medicine may be appropriate at some times but may not be recommended at other times. For example, it is generally alright to take warm tea and honey for the common cold, and ginger for an upset stomach. Though, orthodox medicine may not have an evidence-based explanation of how these natural products work for those ailments. Their use may be for palliative or just for relief until the body handles the illness by itself through its immune system. However, certain levels of effectiveness have been reported when using natural medicine.
For minor cases, the use of natural products may suffice, but when symptoms become severe or abnormally persistent, it is important to consider seeing a doctor. For instance, MSN Lifestyle recommends that you see a doctor if you have high-grade fever (103°F or 39°C or greater) for an adult and greater than or equal to 102°F (38.9°C) for children; or if the fever lasts longer than three days at a stretch of time. It is not okay to rely solely on natural methods for persistent high-grade fever.
Depending on how severe the symptoms are, you may consider scheduling an appointment with your doctor at your next convenient time, or you may need to see the doctor immediately without delay.
Two things to note here are as follows:
- Delay may be dangerous, especially for severe symptoms
- Persistent high-grade fever not resolved by self-medication warrants that you see the doctor
Fever with associative symptoms like rapidly spreading rash, pain on leaning forward, vomiting, difficulty breathing, or chest pain, that relates to other major organs of the body (lungs, heart, liver, etc) may signify a need for emergency medical care.
You Have Back Pain
Back pain is an extraordinarily common complaint. As many as 16 million U.S. adults regularly experience back pain, and often without treatment or any significant relief. Just because something is common does not necessarily mean that it is normal. When do you need to see a doctor for back pain?
The American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) recommends seeing a doctor about your back pain if the pain lasts more than a few weeks at a time, the pain is constant, the pain is accompanied by muscle weakness or numbness, the pain presents with fever, the pain radiates down into your legs, or the pain comes with sudden weight loss. See your doctor if you have a fever or if you have swelling alongside your pain.
Back pain may be related to a number of different causes. Your back pain may be related to osteoporosis, muscle strain, arthritis, or a ruptured disk.
Doctors may prescribe medications, refer you to a physical therapist or to chiropractic treatment, or ask you to lose weight and make lifestyle changes to help mitigate your back pain.
You Suffer From Frequent Digestive Issues
It may be tempting to put off doctor’s appointments until they are truly necessary. That raises the question, “When are they truly necessary?” or “When do you need to see a doctor?”
Some of the answers might surprise you. For example, it is unwise to ignore lasting digestive issues.
GERD, gas, stomach ulcers, gluten sensitivity, food allergies, the flu, inflammatory bowel syndrome (IBS), and gallstones may cause a persistently upset stomach or constant stomach pain.
To reach a diagnosis, your doctor may order diagnostic testing, like allergy testing, advise you to make dietary and lifestyle changes, ask you to avoid alcohol or specific medications or take steps to reduce stressors in your life.
If your doctor asks you to change your diet owing to digestive issues, they may ask you to avoid coffee, alcohol, spicy foods, fried foods, fatty foods, acidic foods, and carbonated drinks. Instead, choose mild foods, high-fibre foods, and low-fat foods. Purchase bulk superfoods or frequent farmer’s markets to keep your grocery bill low.
The answers to the question, “When do you need to see a doctor?” aren’t always straightforward. If your symptoms persist after prolonged lifestyle or dietary changes, schedule a follow-up with your doctor.
You Are Struggling With An Addiction
Again, the answer to “When do you need to see a doctor?” is not always obvious. Relatively few patients know that those who are struggling with addiction can turn to their primary care doctors for help.
According to the American Addiction Centers (AAC), “A general physician can be the ideal partner in fighting substance abuse and staying on the recovery path.” That holds true for several different reasons. Here are the surprising ways doctors can help, even if you are fighting severe addictive symptoms:
Work closely with your doctor and kickstart your recovery with medication. Getting clean is hard work. Do not go it alone. Talk to your doctor about medications that can help. If your doctor agrees that medication is the right path for you, medication may help reduce withdrawal symptoms, balance your brain chemistry, and even deter you from giving into cravings and/or significantly decrease them.
Receive compassionate monitoring. Drugs and alcohol “poison your liver, damage your heart, and affect your entire system,” the AAC continues. As such, stopping cold turkey can be dangerous. Your doctor will work with you to help treat current damages and mitigate any further damage that may be caused during the withdrawal process.
Armed with your full medical history, a doctor can help you make the best possible decisions for your recovery. Your full medical history may include your current medications, surgeries, illnesses, allergies, and mental health background. A doctor can use this history to help you make informed decisions about your recovery.
A doctor can refer you to a high-quality rehab facility. Those who are recovering from drug and/or alcohol addiction achieve greater success when they have support. Ask your doctor to refer you to outpatient treatment, a support group, or, for severe cases, a quality, inpatient rehab facility.
When You Are In Pain
“Pain is your body’s warning sign that something is not right and it isn’t something you should ‘tough out,'” MSN warns. When do you need to see a doctor for pain?
See a doctor if your pain persists for more than a few weeks at a time, if you experience numbness or loss of sensation, if your pain is increasing in severity, you lose muscle control, or you sweat while in pain. In fact, if you feel that your pain is in any way abnormal, it is best to visit your doctor for a formal diagnosis.
The doctor may recommend anything from medications, cold or hot compresses, elevation, rest, clinical massage, or physical therapy. Depending on the root cause of your pain, they may refer you to a specific professional, like a joint preservation specialist. A joint preservation specialist will work with you to help heal and preserve your natural joints and tissue rather than artificially replacing them down the line.
You Are Pregnant and Expecting
If you get a positive pregnancy test, one of the first questions you should ask is, “When do you need to see a doctor?” Call your provider. They will let you know when they want you to come in. For an expectant mother without a history of early pregnancy loss or other complications, providers will generally schedule their first antenatal appointments between seven and 12 weeks. If you are experiencing any unusual symptoms, they may ask you to come in sooner to confirm all is well.
During your first trimester visits, your doctor will advise you about any food and lifestyle restrictions, perform a viability or dating scan, conduct lab tests, and tests for fetal abnormalities, like Down Syndrome and spina bifida.
If you are 35 years or older, the course of your treatment may be somewhat different. This is considered advanced maternal age in the medical community. Your doctor may perform extra screenings or ultrasounds and perform additional genetic testing.
When do you need to see a doctor? First and foremost, doctors across the country urge patients not to ignore symptoms and delay necessary appointments owing to their fears of COVID. Doctors’ offices, walk-in clinics, and hospitals are taking extra precautions. If you still feel uncomfortable, you may be able to schedule a virtual appointment or talk to your doctor about their safety measures at length.
In conclusion, what appointments are necessary? Go to annual exams and cancer screenings. See your doctor if you have persistent pain, back pain, a high fever, chest tightness, shortness of breath, digestive issues, or if you are pregnant. You will be thankful for it.
If you still have any more concerns, drop them in the comment box below. Stay well and healthy.