Feeling Sick? These Are the Symptoms You Can’t Afford to Ignore
We all suffer from a little hypochondria. Considering that we are still hung over from 2020, there is little wonder that everyone is a little bit on the crazy side. If you are stuck on a crowded subway train and the person next to you coughs, you jump as if she fired a gun. How quickly we’ve forgotten that sometimes a cough is just a cough. People still have allergies. A cough shouldn’t be taken as a sign of plague. The part of our brain that understands that is quite a bit slower to kick in. It will probably be that way for some time to come.
The paranoia might not be on your own behalf. If you are a first-time parent of a small child, you jump at every cough they have as if it were from the person next to you on a crowded subway train. If their nose looks a little red, or they cry for no reason you can confirm, or their forehead feels a smidge above room temperature, you lose your ever-loving mind. While such a reaction is not helpful, it is natural. What is more helpful is to learn the signs that matter when you’re feeling sick so that you know which symptoms you can’t afford to ignore. Here are just a few:
Hot Flashes and Night Sweats
All women over 50 already know what these signs point to. If you are in your late 40s, you might already be experiencing hot flashes and night sweats. You know it’s a hot flash because you are getting very hot for no good reason. your brain is falsely telling your body that it is burning up. That causes your body to start performing a cool-down routine. These are typical early menopause symptoms.
It is important that you are familiar with these symptoms because they could easily be mistaken for other things or missed altogether. Sometimes, you will have a hot flash during a time when it is actually hot. If you live in a particularly hot climate, you can miss the symptoms. The same goes for night sweats. The most likely reason you are sweating at night is that you have wrapped yourself in a pile of blankets and turned yourself into a nocturnal burrito. Just know that night sweats can be a symptom of even more serious problems. If you suffer from night sweats, start by using less covers and running a fan. If the symptom persists, let your doctor know.
Some people are reporting feelings of burnout due to remote work and Zoom meetings. There is nothing about using Zoom that makes a person sick. It has nothing to do with screen time. It could be the fact that we have to work a little harder to project ourselves over a camera than if we were there in real time.
That said, feelings of being burned out can point to something more serious such as clinical depression or anxiety. Work should get you tired at the end of the day. And it is natural to be a little frustrated by office politics. But it shouldn’t make you feel as if the walls are closing in all around you. Something as simple as feeling overly tired and lethargic could be a sign of low-grade depression. So don’t just laugh it off. Take it seriously and make an appointment with a medical professional.
Loss of Smell and Taste
Not so many months ago, lots of people were convinced they had COVID and were demanding to be tested every time they got a slight temperature. What they forgot is that it is also a feature of colds and flus. A lot of people didn’t know that the scariest sign of COVID was the loss of smell and taste. If your favorite food or drink doesn’t thrill you anymore, you should call your doctor and get tested. It is still one of the most telling symptoms of COVID.
The vast majority of occasions that you think something is wrong, it isn’t. But pay special attention when you have hot flashes and night sweats, burnout, or a loss of smell and taste.