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6 Deadly Symptoms You Should Never Ignore: 'Doc Hollywood' Author

6 Deadly Symptoms You Should Never Ignore: 'Doc Hollywood' Author
(Copyright Associated Press)

By    |   Wednesday, 15 November 2017 11:37 AM

Pain. Numbness. Slurred speech. These are just a few things you should never ignore because they could be warning signs that you may have a serious health condition — particularly if they come on suddenly, say experts.

We all know that severe chest pain can be assign of a heart attack, but there are some lesser known ways our bodies talk to us when something may be dreadfully wrong.

“I worked in emergency rooms and was bothered that people waited a long time before checking out something that was important,” says Dr. Neil Shulman, associate professor of medicine at Emory University School of Medicine.

Shulman — author of the book “Doc Hollywood” that was made into a hit movie starring Michael J. Fox — has written another book called “Your Body’s Red Light Warning Signals: Medical Tips That May Save Your Life,” with co-authors Drs. Jack Birge and Joon Ahn.

“We gathered in input of 150 doctors and nurses so people could instantly know if they were having life-threatening symptoms from head to toe,” Shulman tells Newsmax Health.

“There are symptoms that are more common and others that are more unusual but both can be disastrous. We received email from people all over the world stating how the information saved their lives or helped them avoid serious debilitating consequences by getting proper care immediately.

Shulman relates the story of a patient from Canada who emailed him to say the book clued her into the possibility that she had symptoms of what might be blood leaking from a vessel in her brain.

“She read about this symptom in our book and went to an emergency room immediately,” he says. “Although the ER doctor insisted she was fine, she countered that a brain scan was in order. Her persistence paid off and the scan revealed she did indeed have an emergency situation and received immediate treatment by a neurosurgeon that saved her life.”

Shulman and his colleagues are now offering free accessibility to the information in the new book at his Website. The book can also be downloaded via Google Play and iTunes.

Here are some of the most common examples of potentially deadly symptoms that should prompt immediate medical attention:

Sudden leg pain. Pain or tenderness in the back of your lower leg, especially if it appears to be sudden and accompanied by swelling, may signal a blood clot that could break off and travel to your lungs which could be life-threatening. This is called a Deep Vein Thrombosis or DVT.

Numbness, tingling, speech problems. If you suffer paralysis if your arms or legs and feel weakness or numbness especially on one side of your body, you may be having a stroke which requires immediate attention. Slurred speech is another indicator.

Blood in the urine. Blood even without pain can signal a serious problem. The most common causes are kidney stones or prostate infection but it could also be cancer.

Bleeding gums. National talk show host Dr. Mehmet Oz says that this could be a sign of leukemia. People with leukemia bleed more readily than those with normal blood platelets. Other symptoms include fatigue, nosebleeds, fever and night sweats.

Striped hair. This could signal a lack of dietary protein and iron, say authors Joan Liebman-Smith and Jacqueline Nardi Egan, authors of “Body Signs: How to Be Your Own Diagnostic Detective.” The stripes may be blond, gray, or reddish. They may be a sign of ulcerative colitis, a bowel disease that causes inflammation of the digestive tract or another condition like irritable bowel syndrome.

Seeing spots or floaters. Dr. Cary Silverman, a leading ophthalmologist from Vision Care 20/20 in New Jersey, says that if you see tiny specks or spots or a flashing light in your vision, it could be caused by a retinal tear or detachment of the eye that requires immediate attention.

Shulman notes that the advice in his book is not intended to be a substitute for the medical recommendations of a physician or other healthcare provider.

“You should always access proper medical care regarding matters relating to your health in order to get the most up-to-date treatment,” he says.

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Is that pain in your leg a cramp or a blood clot? 'Doc Hollywood' author Dr. Neil Shulman says you should never make an uneducated guess about sudden pain in your leg, or elsewhere. In fact, it's one of a handful of potentially deadly symptoms you should never ignore.
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