If you’ve been finding yourself feeling more exhausted than usual, and cannot pinpoint why, it could well be your body trying to tell you something. Usually, we think of our doctor only when we feel really sick. But it pays to be aware of symptoms simply by observing ourselves. Not to the extent of being a hypochondriac – but reasonably alert so that you can catch the early symptoms and treat them before they get worse.
Health warnings you should never ignore
Here are some common symptoms to watch for:
Darkish colored urine that’s yellow, orange or brown
Urine brings to mind kidney health. If you take vitamins and other medications, these can influence the color of your urine. Drink plenty of water. If the color does not improve, talk to your doctor, who may suggest a urine dipstick test to check for risk of kidney disease.
You don’t know why you’re exhausted most of the time
Usually, anemia or thyroid issues can cause this. Try getting enough sleep and take your vitamins. If you don’t feel better, see your doctor.
The whites of your eyes are yellow
This is likely to be a sign of liver problems. Even if there are no other symptoms, you must get a liver function test done with your doctor’s prescription.
You have a constant headache with or without blurry vision
This happens from high blood pressure. Get your BP checked right away, once immediately and another time later in the day. If it exceeds 140/90, consult your doctor.
Your skin feels dry with marks or cracks
An underactive thyroid can cause this. It can also be due to vitamin C and zinc deficiency or a hormonal imbalance. See your doctor and ask about vitamin C and zinc supplements to see if it gets better. If you already suffer from thyroid or hormone issues, you may need a blood test.
This, like dry skin is also due to a vitamin C/ zinc/ magnesium deficiency. You may need to take supplements for 2-3 months with your doctor’s advice.
Hunger, thirst and frequent trips to the loo
These are classic symptoms of a risk for diabetes. In fact, this is exactly how I was diagnosed as a type 2 diabetic. See your doctor and get your blood glucose tested two hours after breakfast. Do it on two different occasions and if it is higher than 7, your doctor may advise a glucose tolerance test.
Dark stools with an unusual stink
This happens when there’s bleeding in the stomach or a stomach ulcer. If the stool is light or white in color, it may be an indication of gall bladder or liver problems. See your doctor for urine and blood tests.
Unexplained weight loss or gain
Weight gain could mean an underactive thyroid or hormonal imbalance and weight loss could be an overactive thyroid, cancer, TB or diabetes. See your doctor for blood tests right away.
Swollen feet with a feeling of lethargy, anxiety, chest pain or palpitations
These are signs of heart problems. Get a cholesterol, glucose and blood pressure test done. If the results are not normal, see your doctor right away.
Here are easy health tests you can do at home