Unlucky 13 – common symptoms that could mean you may need a doctor

13 symptoms that mean you may need to see a doctor

Common and seemingly harmless symptoms can sometimes indicate underlying health problems that could turn out to be serious.

These are thirteen of the most common conditions people enquire about online these days. Most are nothing to worry about but if any of them apply to you, especially if they persist, then you may need to see a doctor.

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Dry cracked lips

This is a condition that most of us will suffer from at some point in our lives. Unlike the rest of our skin, our lips don’t contain oil glands, leaving them open to becoming dry and chapped. It is usually caused by cold weather but could also indicate the person is suffering from dehydration or malnourished.

‘Fruity’ smelling breath

This can be caused by your metabolism. As foods in your stomach are broken down, chemicals are released when you breathe out. However, it could also be an indication of ketoacidosis, which may occur in diabetes, and would need to be treated.

Yellow-tinged eyes

The white parts of your eyes can turn yellow is you have a condition called jaundice. It’s caused when the body has too much of a chemical named bilirubin, a yellow substance that forms when red blood cells are broken down. Jaundice can be a sign of something serious, such as liver disease, so you need to get urgent medical help.

It is normally nothing to worry about, but always best to have it checked by a doctor.

Pitted nails

Nails can develop little pits within them, appearing as white dots or even indentations. It can occur in your fingernails or your toenails and is more common amongst people with psoriatic arthritis or aged over 40. It could be an indication of various skin conditions and should be easy to treat once diagnosed.

Extra rings in the pupils

There could be a variety of reasons if you develop extra black or coloured rings around the coloured part of your eye. It could be a sign of Wilson’s Disease, which sees extra copper deposit in the blood delivered to the eyes. However, it could equally simply be limbal rings which are not associated with any health conditions.

Dry skin and hair

This can be caused by a variety of reasons such as the weather, your overall hydration levels, what soap and shampoo you are using or it could be a genetic condition. You can do a lot to combat the issue yourself by changing the soap and shampoos you use to wash yourself, and also the washing powder or fabric conditioner you use to wash your clothes.

Moisturising your skin after washing should also have a positive impact but if the problem persists then seek medical advice.

Rash across both cheeks

A rash across both cheeks and the nose is often referred to as a ‘butterfly’ rash. It is associated with lupus, which is a chronic autoimmune disease that can have a serious and widespread effect on the body, including the skin, joints, muscles, and other organs. You should see a doctor if you develop this symptom.

Swollen fingertips

The swelling of the fingertips can be a sign of lung disease, as it causes overgrowth of blood vessels in the tips of fingers. Consult a doctor for a full diagnosis.

Puffy eyelids

This can be caused by fluid retention and go away within about 24 hours. However, if it lasts longer then it could be an infection or inflammation and might need antibiotics to clear up.

Itchy skin

Persistently itchy skin can be caused by an irritation or allergic reaction and usually can be treated at home using remedies from a pharmacy. Moisturising, holding a damp cloth against the skin and having hot or cold baths or showers can all help resolve the matter. If it continues for more than a day or two then you should see your doctor.

Being late and losing sense of time

At some time or another we will all be late for appointments but if it becomes a regular occurrence or you find you lose the sense of time passing then more investigation may be necessary. There are numerous parts of the brain and each is responsible for its own specific function.

Blistery rash

There are countless conditions that can result in blisters forming on the skin in sections or across the body. Causes can range from chickenpox to gluten intolerance and if the problem lasts for more than a few days then it is best to get an expert opinion.

Cold sweats

This physical response comes from the instinct of fight or flight and is a result of the body cooling itself after a burst of adrenaline. It is probably fine if isolated to stressful incidents but if it occurs more regularly it could be an indicator of sepsis or a diabetic attack.

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