We all get sick from time to time. But sometimes it gets to be too much, and we know it’s time: “I really need to see a doctor!”
While listening to your intuition is a good starting point, sometimes we feel too busy or stubborn to actually make an appointment. While this is not an exhaustive list, we have compiled twenty common symptoms that signal you should make an appointment with your doctor:
- Vomiting or inability to keep fluids down
- Painful swallowing
- Coughing that lasts more than two weeks
- Cold symptoms lasting more than 7 days
- Black or bloody stools
- More than 6 to 8 watery stools (for children)
- Symptoms of dehydration (such as very dry mouth and armpits, confusion, decreased urination, particularly in children and the elderly)
- Development or change in heartburn, especially during exercise
- Persistent nausea
- New or worsened shortness of breath when exercising
- Unexplained weight loss
- Dizziness or an about-to-faint feeling
- Persistent fatigue
- Sweating, especially heavy or cold sweats
- Memory loss or confusion, blurred or double vision, slurred speech, seizures, numbness or weakness, severe headache that peaks in intensity within seconds
- Fever great than 100.4 degrees F
- Painful swelling or rash
- Swelling or redness in or around the eye
- Moderate to severe abdominal pain
Having a primary care provider has many benefits. A primary care provider becomes familiar with your family medical history and can provide extensive medical insight on the full picture of your health.
Having a primary care provider will help you stay healthier as you age. This includes lower risk of dying from cancer, heart disease or stroke. The reason for this is what’s known as “continuity of care.” This means that you establish a relationship with a health care provider and you enhance that relationship year after year. This provider knows your habits, manages ongoing conditions or ensures your being properly screened for disease. For these reasons and more, if you don’t have a primary care provider, there is no better time to establish one!
Use our “Find a Doctor” tool to find a primary care provider in the Upper Peninsula. Or, learn more about Family Medicine services online at: http://www.mgh.org/our-services/family-medicine.