Be aware of these three health symptoms you should never ignore…

Most of us follow the rule that if we eat well, exercise regularly, avoid smoking, manage our stress levels and only indulge in moderation, we should be able to maintain generally good health and avoid major illnesses. However, knowing when you should and shouldn’t ignore a health symptom is also key to maintaining good health well into the future.

While none of us want to rush to the doctors’ office every time we feel a slight niggle or pain, there are a few health symptoms that often go ignored that should warrant a little more investigation.

Suspicious moles

In Australia, getting outdoors and soaking up the sun is simply part of our culture. Starting from childhood most of us can recall spending long days at the beach, playing outdoor sports or simply being outside enjoying nature, also continually exposing ourselves to potentially harmful UV radiation. As a result, almost all of us have at least some moles on our body.

Caused by an overproduction in melanin, while most moles are completely harmless, some may not be. Usually occurring in parts of the body that have been overexposed to the sun, melanoma is the fourth most common cancer in Australia, with one in 13 men and one in 22 women being diagnosed with the cancer which can be deadly if left unnoticed and untreated.

If you have a suspicious mole that you think could be cancerous, the warning signs to look for usually include a change in size, colour or shape, or if they begin to ooze, bleed or weep. If you notice any of these symptoms, you should see a doctor immediately.

If caught early, most people can have the mole removed and continue to live a long and healthy life, making having a regular mole check very important. If you do need to have a mole removed, the procedure is usually relatively straightforward, with places like this mole removal clinic in Melbourne able to remove the mole very quickly with almost no recovery time.

Major toothache

Have you’ve had a toothache for a while but haven’t got around to getting to the dentist to have it checked out? Don’t delay any longer. While there can be a range of causes of a major toothache, if the pain is being caused by gum disease or tooth decay, the longer you leave it untreated, the worse your condition will get.

When the bacteria, acid and food debris in our mouths combine, it forms plaque which can then lead to a range of problems. Dentists can usually find cavities during a regular check-up and treat them relatively easily by removing the decayed portion of the tooth with a drill, before repairing the hole with an amalgam, resin, alloy or porcelain filling.

However, if a cavity is left untreated for too long, it could reach the root or pulp of the tooth (which may have already happened if you’re experiencing pain) and require more major root canal treatment to also remove the nerve, blood vessels and tissue. You may also need a crown to replace the missing portion of the tooth.

Not only is a root canal procedure likely to cause a lot more pain and require a longer recovery period than a simple filling but it’s also likely to cost a lot more, so it’s well worth making an appointment with your dentist sooner rather than later.

Unexplained weight loss

If you’ve recently increased the amount of exercise you do or started paying more attention to what you’re eating, weight loss can be a sign that you’re making some great progress. However, if you haven’t made any major changes to your diet or exercise regime lately but have noticed you’ve lost a significant amount of weight, it could be a sign that something in your body’s not functioning as it should.

Unexplained weight loss could occur because of things like a thyroid issue, gut disease, rheumatoid arthritis or depression, or in some cases could be a sign of diabetes or even cancer. While you shouldn’t jump to any conclusions, it’s important that you see a doctor to try to identify what could be behind your weight loss so you can address any underlying health issues you may not have been aware of.