There are people who take really good care of their health. Unfortunately, care doesn’t only mean the right foods and proper exercise, but a large part of it means not looking for symptoms of dangerous diseases. Hypochondria is quite a common problem in modern society. It is made even more popular by the internet, where we can quickly describe our problems and find a list of diseases that cause them. Thanks to the internet, people regularly (and often incorrectly) diagnose themselves with dangerous diseases.
We at Bright Side have compiled a list of popular symptoms that people often mistake for signs of terrible diseases. But in fact, most of the time, they don’t indicate any serious health problems. At the end of the article, there is a bonus about tingling in the hands.
1. Chest pain
The heart is one of the most important organs of the human body. It is no wonder that chest pain scares a lot of people and makes them think that they have a dangerous condition.
But healthy people often have intercostal neuralgia which causes such an unpleasant feeling in the chest. Some people have chronic neuralgia but most people have such symptoms when they make a sudden movement or are extremely active physically. Most of the time, such symptoms disappear quickly without any treatment. Panic attacks and other types of anxiety also often cause chest pain.
If you’ve never had any heart, blood pressure, or vascular problems, you are unlikely to have a heart attack. If the pain becomes more serious when you breathe in or bend down and it doesn’t affect the heart rate, then the issue isn’t with your heart. In most cases, you can just relax and calm down and you’ll feel better soon.
2. Pain in the calves
Such unpleasant symptoms often occur in people who have varicosity. However, this is not a really usual symptom and definitely not the only one: veins become more prominent and there are other skin changes.
Healthy people also often feel pain and discomfort in their legs and some notice swelling. But before you get worried, you should pay attention to other, less dangerous, factors that could cause such a condition. For example, excessive physical activity, work that requires standing for long periods of time, uncomfortable clothing, shoes, or positions.
If you experience such symptoms rarely after a difficult day, it’s unlikely that they are caused by a serious illness. If the pain doesn’t disappear the next day and keeps bothering you for several weeks or even months, only then you should visit a doctor.
3. Sudden dizziness
All people, including healthy ones, have experienced dizziness. But some people are scared of this symptom. Because a loss of concentration and balance can be symptoms of a stroke.
But just like with chest pain and pain in the legs, dizziness is not a symptom you can base any conclusions on. It may be caused by stress — it provokes a flush of hormones which leads to weakness and dizziness.
You might feel dizzy because of hot weather or a weak inner ear, especially when it happens on transportation. This state can be caused by a sudden turn of the head or if your collar is too tight. If you irritate your carotid sinus too much (a place on the neck where the artery is wide) the pressure will drop and you will begin to feel dizzy.
In other words, if you experience dizziness only once, there may be a lot of different reasons. If you don’t have any other strange or weird symptoms, you should not be worried.
4. Sore throat and voice change
Even though you felt absolutely fine yesterday, today you woke up with a sore throat and a weird voice. But you don’t have any other symptoms of an illness, like a fever or a blocked nose.
Don’t suspect that you have a serious illness. It’s much more likely that the reason for such a change is bacteria or a virus. Some diseases, for example, angina or pharyngitis, can develop without showing any regular symptoms. Most likely, you will get worse during the day, the throat will get even more sore, but the temperature will stay normal.
Don’t start searching online for cancer symptoms. Go to the doctor: pills and other types of medicine will cure you much faster than worrying about a terrible disease.
5. Temperature higher or lower than normal
We are used to thinking that the normal human body temperature is 97.8°F. But you most likely don’t know what the normal temperature is for you. You probably take your temperature about twice a year when you are sick and never do it when you are healthy.
The normal body temperature varies from 96.9°F to 98.9°F. On average, it really is 97.8°F but there are healthy people whose normal body temperature is 98.9°F. So if you took your temperature and found out that it’s higher or lower than normal, don’t panic. If you feel good, this temperature is probably normal for you.
In order to find out what your normal body temperature is, take it 3 times a day for 10 days. Write down the results. The average is your normal temperature.
6. Swollen lymph nodes
Any change in lymph nodes scares a lot of people because this symptom develops when someone has cancer. However, they may change even when the problem is not serious. A regular cold can cause them to increase in size. In this case, the change in the size of the lymph nodes signals that the organ starts working more so that the production of cells fighting the virus is increased.
Instead of panicking, just touch the lymph nodes after several days. Most likely, their size will go back to normal after the infection is gone.
Some people may notice that their lymph nodes are more prominent than other people’s. But this also doesn’t mean that they have a disease since the size depends on age, height, weight, and other physiological characteristics.
7. Irregular menstrual cycle
On average, periods come once a month. But many girls and women take this a bit too literally. Once a month doesn’t mean it will happen on the same day every month. A healthy menstrual cycle can be anywhere between 21 to 45 days.
Things you don’t even notice can influence the change of your menstrual cycle: stress at work, going on vacation, and even very small changes in your diet. Girls whose period is irregular or who started taking birth control pills may have variable periods too and this is perfectly normal.
So, don’t panic if you notice that your menstrual cycle is a bit irregular.
8. Increased heart rate
When we are calm, we rarely notice how our heart is beating. But some people experience and even hear their heartbeat and it can cause some discomfort. By measuring the heart rate, a person can notice that their heart beats faster than normal and go to a doctor.
But in most cases, an increased heart rate is perfectly normal. Since childhood, we’ve heard that the normal heart rate is 60 beats per minute. But in fact, the range is wider: from 60 to 100 beats per minute.
The heart rate depends on many factors: food, lifestyle, stress level and more. So if you counted more than 60 beats, try looking for reasons in regular things. Smoking, a lack of physical activity, extra weight, and constant worries about health are not an illness, yet can be the reason for an increased heart rate. Also, it’s possible that nothing is wrong with you and your average heart rate is simply 75 beats per minute.
9. Skin pigmentation
Skin cancer, just like all other types of this disease, really scare people. So, many of them notice a spot on their cheek or forehead and start to worry. But, of course, in most cases, pigmentation is not dangerous at all.
In the summer, dark spots appear on the skin because of tanning. Sunlight is dangerous for the skin but it’s not deadly. There are many other reasons for pigmentation: stress, a lack of vitamins, or changes in hormonal balance caused by pregnancy.
If the small pigment spots don’t cause any pain, don’t get bigger and don’t cause any discomfort, then you’re most likely fine. Anyone can get spots on their skin and it doesn’t mean that they’re ill.
Bonus: tingling in the hands
Tingling in the hands or feet is a symptom that many people often experience. Most of the time, it’s benign and it isn’t serious. Maybe you sat with your legs crossed for too long or you slept in an uncomfortable position. Either way, the tingling disappears soon after the cause is removed. However, if the tingling doesn’t go away and you also experience pain or itching, it may be a sign of nerve damage, bacterial damage, or diseases like diabetes.
Taking care of your health is an incredibly important thing to do. However, stress, hypochondria, and a constant fear of diseases are not good for your health. If you notice any symptoms and it worries you, don’t waste your time trying to diagnose yourself online. Go to the doctor. This way, you will reduce stress and start a treatment plan if you really need it. Do you have a habit of looking for diseases online? Tell us in the comments section below!