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A woman’s body goes through so many changes through her lifetime. But here we are not talking about the natural transition from a child to a teen to an adult to a woman. From getting her periods, to growing breasts, to bearing a child, a woman’s body experiences much. In all this, there are certain unexpected symptoms which can trigger alarm bells, and every woman should look out for them. To stay healthy, you need to keep a close watch on your health, and report it when you find something out of the ordinary.
We look at 7 changes in a woman’s body that are a sure-shot cause of alarm.
1. Lump or swelling in your breast or underarm
Women in their 30s should observe their breasts very closely. Have you noticed a sudden thickening or formation of a lump in your breast or even in your underarm area? While in majority of the cases these tumours are benign, and need to be operated upon, they can also be a symptom of breast cancer. Either way you need to see your doctor and get her to examine the lump. A lump or swelling in the breast is usually an early sign of breast cancer in women.
2. You are frequently down with fever
We all have fevers once in a while, and have it treated with medicines et al, but running a high temperature several times in the month, is a definite symptom of ill health, and it is no more about prosaic pain-killers. It is often diagnosed as a symptom of Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) which needs a different set of treatment and medication. In worst cases the fever becomes rampant, and you feel it spike every few hours. Visit your doctor when the fever recurs.
3. You complain of back pain everyday
Now isn’t that really common? We all complain of daily backaches without ever taking the repercussions seriously. Backache is triggered due to a variety of reasons such as pregnancy, or excess weight gain, sitting and working in a wrong posture through the day, or stress at work. If left untreated, back pain can lead to cervical problems, spondylitis, and can permanently disable you from taking up arduous physical activity like running, hiking among others. Meet your doctor, get into a daily yoga ritual to correct your posture, go for physiotherapy if needed, and other adapt other pain relief measures.
4. Your urine is a dark yellow
Acute dehydration can be a symptom of yellow-colour urine, but the colour of urine can vary from reddish brown, brown to dark yellow. If you have been under prolonged medication, the change in the colour of urine can be subsequent, but don’t take this symptom lightly if you have been having it for longer than a week. Visit your doctor, it could also be an indicator of a urinary infection, liver or kidney problem, or an allergic reaction to a food you have been consuming regularly. Your doctor will certainly ask you for a urine culture, put you on a lot of fluids and ask for a slight modification in your diet.
5. You find it difficult to sleep at nights
You hit the bed anxious and restless, and find it tough to naturally fall off to sleep despite having had a long day. You end up staying awake until very late, either reading or browsing the social media. Some days can definitely be sleepless, but it should not be a ritual.
It is a symptom of insomnia, and when you go about your day in a sleep deprived state you put yourself at the risk of heart attack, stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes, and of course extremely poor concentration. Your lifestyle habits, your meal timings, smoking and drinking too have a bearing on your sleep pattern, and it is critical you sleep the requisite 7-8 hours every night to lead a healthy, disease-free life. Refrain from falling back on sleeping pills, they do more harm than good in the long run.
6. You are always panting and gasping
You easily run out of breath. The slightest of brisk walk or climbing so much as a fleet of stairs is enough to get you out of breath, and you need to sit down to catch your breath. There are a variety of reasons for this, such as you lead a sedentary lifestyle, you live off junk food, drink too much tea/coffee, smoke and drink and never get any physical activity. It could also mean high stress, over-exercising or even lung related problems such as asthma or bronchitis. Heart disease too cannot be ruled out. But if you are always easily tired and start to gasp, time you made an appointment with your doctor before it is too late.
7. Your periods are irregular
Your menses do not follow the usual 21 or 35 day cycle. Some months you may not have periods at all, and in the other you have it twice. Some women even complain of irregular blood flow during periods. Either their periods are too heavy and last longer than a week or are too light, and gets over in a couple of days.
All these conditions are causes of alarm as they point at diseases like PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) where there are benign lump formations in the ovaries which when left untreated lead to several gynaecological problems including infertility. This usually happens due to an imbalance in the pregnancy and sex hormones, progesterone and estrogen, in women. You need to have timely and moderate periods in order to ovulate every month, and this ovulation is a sign of a healthy body, and can help you get pregnant in the future.