Friday, February 10, 2012

When to call the doctor

Having lupus can be very scary, being that it can go into any organ and cause major damage, and even become fatal.  It is very important to know when to seek medical attention,  somethings need to be taken care of by a doctor.  It can be very confusing to differentiate between a normal flare and pain to  needing medical assistance.  When dealing with lupus we usually try to ignore as many symptoms as we can but sometimes that can be dangerous.  I would urge everyone to proceed on the side of caution, and always call your doctor if and when there is any uncertainty regarding your health.

Lupus Sufferers: When To Call A Doctor

From , former Guide

As most patients with lupus understand, though you can’t cure the disease, you can treat the symptoms, through which a person can live a long and relatively normal life. But with any chronic illness, it is imperative that you understand your disease, and know when warning signs are begging you to seek help – either with a call to your physician or a trip to the E.R.
Lupus is no different. Know the following warning signs and what they’re trying to tell you.

When to call a doctor:

  • You are suffering from chest pain or
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Trips to the bathroom are occurring less often, and you are urinating in smaller amounts than usual. Note any blood, as well.
  • A fever over 100.5 without recent exposure to the cold or the flu
  • Numbness or tingling in your hands or feet
  • Dizziness
  • Muscle fatigue
  • Swelling in your lower legs or feet
  • An noticeable behavioral changes, like anxiety or depression
  • Loss of appetite
  • Loss of hair
  • Skin rashes
  • New mouth or nose sores
  • Any worsening of previously known symptoms.

When to call 911:

You also need to be aware when the best course of action is to call 911 or visit an emergency room. These symptoms include:
  • Crushing chest pain accompanied by sweating or nausea
  • Sudden shortness of breath and difficult breathing
  • Signs of stroke, including
    • Numbness, tingling, or weakness or paralysis of all or part of one side your body
    • Sudden vision changes – blurring, double vision, etcetera
    • Seizure
    • Difficulty speaking or understanding speech
    • Sudden nausea or vomiting
    • Sudden, severe headache, different than previous headaches
    • Sudden dizziness, staggering, fainting

When to call a doctor if you haven’t been diagnosed

You may be reading this without being diagnosed as suffering from lupus – but wondering if you have the disease. Consider these symptoms if you haven’t been diagnosed:
  • Unexplained joint pain
  • Unexplained fatigue
  • Skin rashes 
  • When should I call the Doctor?
    You should call the doctor about any change in symptoms or worsening of your lupus as soon as possible. You should also be aware that there are certain symptoms that may require that you see your doctor immediately. These symptoms or signs include the following:
  • Blood in your stool or vomit -you should call your doctor and let him/her know immediately
  • Severe abdominal pain
  • Chest pain
  • Seizures
  • New onset of a fever or if your fever is much higher than it usually is
  • Excess bruising or bleeding anywhere on your body
  • Confusion or mood changes
  • A combination of symptoms such as severe headache with neck stiffness and fever. This combination could be serious and you need to let your doctor know immediately.
There are other reasons why you should call your doctor. For example, if the doctor has put you on a new medication and you've been taking it as prescribed, and for the period of time prescribed and your symptoms are no better or they are worse, you need to let the doctor know.

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