A dull pain around your belly button
When you think of appendicitis, you probably think of sharp, shooting pains in your midsection. While those pains will come as the infection progresses, a dull discomfort around the navel is an earlier indicator. Other symptoms may include a loss of appetite, fever, nausea, and vomiting. If it is appendicitis, you’ll likely need surgery—and quickly—because if your appendix bursts, it could cause a serious infection throughout your abdomen.
Sharp abdominal pain
Depending on where—and how severe—the pain is, the cause could be relatively normal or deadly. Gas pains or food poisoning could be the culprit; more serious conditions include irritable bowel syndrome, appendicitis, gallbladder issues, bowel obstructions, colitis, diverticulitis, pancreatitis, kidney stones, and stomach ulcers. The bottom line, according to Dr. Rajput: “It is a big deal when you have any type of pain that is progressing rapidly and not getting better. If it hurts more when you move, you need to go to the doctor to find the true nature of the pain.”
A “thunderclap” headache
Sudden and severe are the two words that best describe this type of head pain. Thunderclap headaches reach maximum force within 60 seconds and last for at least five minutes, according to the American Migraine Foundation, and they seemingly come out of nowhere. While this type of pain might be a simple—but painful—headache, it could also signal a brain bleed or clot, a ruptured blood vessel in the brain, leaking cerebrospinal fluid, a spike in blood pressure, a stroke, or a serious infection like meningitis or encephalitis, according to the Mayo Clinic. Don’t wait around—see a doctor right away.
Ringing in your ears
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The fancy word for this very common affliction is tinnitus, and it affects one in five people. While annoying, it’s generally not dangerous, and it’s often the result of age-related hearing loss, noise exposure, or even a buildup of earwax. However, as the Mayo Clinic explains, it can also be a symptom of other conditions, such as a blood vessel disorder, a tumor, or Meniere’s disease. If you have the ringing in only one ear, that could be more problematic. “Asymmetric tinnitus can be a sign of an acoustic tumor or an aneurysm, and it should be further evaluated with an MRI,” says Dr. Durairaj. “Ears are sensitive predictors of central nervous system health, and any drastic changes in hearing function should not be ignored.” Find out the 5 silent signs of hearing loss that are often ignored.