Our body reacts to underlying infections and unhealthy conditions by showing symptoms. These commonly ignored symptoms are the body’s way to draw our notice, so we recognize the need for medical attention. Also, it is important to identify people who are unwell with contagious infections, so that we can prevent ourselves from contracting the diseases.
For various socioeconomic and cultural factors in India, people may not want to visit doctors in time. However, at times people themselves don’t know that something is wrong with their health.
While timely diagnosis is delayed due to these factors, doctors end-up managing patients who are either critically ill or are suffering due to an advanced stage. However, it is possible to identify a person who is unwell just by looking at the person, as there signs that can alert us about all not being well with our health.
“Our body is perhaps one of the most complex technology ever and it constantly throws signs of the system not functioning well. Although some underlying diseases are definitely difficult to diagnose and identify, most do show visible symptoms. Few of the common symptoms of poor health are sleeping problems, feeling low-energy or easily fatigued, dark yellow urine, sudden changes in body weight, continuous cough and flu or frequently catching cold, prolonging bowel and bladder issues. These are the body’s way of letting you know that the system is malfunctioning and it needs your attention. One should not delay the visits to doctor” said Dr Wasim Ahmed Sachora.
Poor sleep can be due to multiple factors, and one of the most common reasons being high stress levels. The stress hormone Cortisol should ideally be dropping during nights to help the body rest, but higher than normal cortisol levels during nights causes insomnia, which turns off the normal self-repair of the body. Disturbed sleeping patterns and not waking up fresh are also causes of worry. Anxiety, stress, depression, breathing problems, diabetes, and even kidney diseases are factors which may be causing you sleepless nights.
“Amongst other factors dark urine is usually a sign of less water intake or content in your body. It is also indicative of waste material not filtering out of your system completely, and is indicative of jaundice, hepatitis, and many liver and kidney diseases. Fatigue is a symptom of a number of diseases such as anemia, diabetes, depression, thyroid problems, sleep apnea, and many more. Our body slows down if there is an underlying infection which is testing the immunity. While unintentional weight gain is linked to hormonal changes and certain medications such as corticosteroids, weight loss can be triggered by undiagnosed cancer, COPD, depression, HIV/AIDS, TB, and many other diseases.”
Catching cold and flu too frequently is indicative of a weak immunity, which makes you vulnerable to infections and even cancers. Prolonging bladder and bowel issues can be indicative of prostate cancer (changing in frequency of urination), colon or ovarian cancer (constipation or diarrhea), inflammatory disorders such as Crohn’s disease, among others.
Interestingly in a study published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B, scientists reported an experiment where 16 healthy adults were injected with placebo bacteria which tricked the immune system to show flu-like symptoms. The unaware participants were photographed before and after taking of placebo. These photographs were shown to 62 medically untrained participants for just 5 seconds each, who were to judge whether the photographed people were sick or healthy. The results were encouraging, with people correctly identifying unwell persons 52% of the time and on 70% of the times, they correctly identified healthy individuals.
“The research is significant because it shows that common observation can help people identify those unwell with contagious disease and take necessary measures to prevent catching the diseases. It is also important that people who are unwell should be encouraged to stay at home and recover fully to prevent infections from spreading”.
By: Wasim Ahmed Sachora