There are several health signs and symptoms that warrant immediate attention and which you neglect at your own peril. Here are a few:
Unexplained weight loss: Losing weight without trying might sound like a dream come true, but in reality it can signal a health problem. If you have lost up to 10 percent of your weight during the past six months, consult your doctor.
Persistent or high fever: A fever is not necessarily a cause for alarm as it plays a key role in fighting infection. Persistent fever can signal a hidden infection, which could be anything from a urinary tract infection to even more serious health conditions. If you have persistent high fever, consult your doctor as soon as possible.
Shortness of breath: Constant shortness of breath could signal an underlying health problem. If you are unable to get your breath, or wheezing and gasping for air, seek emergency medical care. Feeling breathless when lying down also is a symptom that needs to be evaluated promptly. Difficulty in breathing can also occur with panic attacks — episodes of intense anxiety that can cause rapid heart rate, sweating, shortness of breath and other physical symptoms.
Confusion: Seek medical attention if you feel disoriented and confused about time and place, if you have sudden problems with concentration or memory, and sudden personality or behavior changes, such as becoming aggressive.
Feeling full on eating little: If you consistently feel full after eating less than usual, get checked by your doctor. This feeling, known as early satiety, also may be accompanied by nausea, vomiting, bloating, fever, and weight loss or gain.
Flashes of light: Bright spots or flashes of light and other visual disturbances sometimes indicate a migraine. In other cases, sudden flashing lights could signal retinal detachment. Immediate medical care can help prevent vision complications.