This title poses a great question: when should you seek a professionals help during a viral infection. Different people have different opinions on this subject matter, but is either one correct?
Here I will give you a well thought out opinion and support as to why you should or should not ignore the symptoms of viral infections.
From living in countries that provide free health care and one’s that do not, it is interesting to see the different points of view and to consider them when choosing.
When I lived in the United Kingdom, I made friends with numerous British people. You may think that their view on health care when seeing a doctor may be different than those of American birth, but in reality it was not.
You have those who always think they are sick, better known as hypochondriacs, and those who never think they are sick, like me, and rarely go to the doctors.
My mindset comes from having to pay to see the doctor with their copay and then having to pay for prescriptions afterwards. When I lived in the UK, I was all about the free prescriptions and would then go to the doctors. Now the question is, should you ignore viral symptoms or not?
Here is my answer: listen to your body, it will tell you what to do.
What to Not Ignore
Unexplained weight loss. If you are trying to lose weight, then good job! If not, then you should not be losing vast amounts of weight. When following healthy living tips, you should be keeping a stable weight.
When fluctuating 3 or 4 pounds that are fine due to water weight, but if you are losing 8 or more pounds, then I would consult a doctor. It could be a viral infection you are not aware of, and this is your body telling you something is wrong.
Continual high fever. If taking Tylenol is not reducing your fever, or it keeps coming back, this is your body telling you something is not right. Your fever should never go above 103 F/ 39.4 C and should not last longer than 3 days.
If it does, call your physician immediately. This could be signs of lymphoma or other dangerous cancers. This is not something you should ignore it could be lifesaving if caught early.
Shortness of Breath
If you are doing an HIIT class (high intensity interval training), you should be out of breath when done, but if you are going for a leisurely walk outside then, you should not be out of breath. If you are out of breath during light activity, this could be a sign of more serious problems.
Not to scare you but think pulmonary, a blood clot in your lungs or even pneumonia. These could lead to heart attacks or strokes if not treated properly.
Change in Bowel Movements
If you have changed to unhealthy eating habits, this will explain the change of bowel movements, but if you are still eating the same way, then your bowel movements should not be changing.
If you are noticing unexplained bowel movements, constant diarrhea, or even bloody and black stool, you need to see your doctor immediately.
This also could be a bacterial infection or salmonella. An antibiotic should be taken immediately to help assist the situation. The other diagnosis could be irritable bowel syndrome which is not life threatening, or colon cancer. Best have this checked.
Unexplained Personality Changes
This is something your friends and family will notice about you, rather than you noticing it about yourself. When I was on too strong of a dose of birth control, and I was in tears about everything, my friend had to point out that it was not me and that I needed to be taken off the medication.
Sometimes it can be as simple as that, but for others, it may not be a new medication changing their thoughts or causing them to be confused. It could be due to poor nutrition, existing mental health issues or even medication.
The safe thing to do is to have your friend or family be checked by their doctor to make sure they are ok.
Flashes of Light
When stressed you may see flashes of light which can be caused by migraines. An occasional migraine is fine, but when you have them more than once a week, or even more than twice a month, you should visit your doctor.
It may be worse than just a migraine, but it could be retinal detachment which can be quite dangerous.
This could result in permanent vision loss which can be preventable if you see your doctor or ophthalmologist. The ophthalmologist is better able to diagnosis the retinal detachment since they specialize in eyes and vision.
Your doctor may tell you to visit your ophthalmologist rather than you making an appointment their first.
Eating Little, but Feeling Full
This may seem like a dream to over eaters, but it is actually quite dangerous. If you are not eating enough and then vomiting, it may be a condition called GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease).
This can be simply peptic ulcers or something more serious like pancreatic cancer. If you are experiencing this weight loss, do not hesitate to call the doctor – it may save your life.