Never ignore these five subtle symptoms

Posted on 1 January 2020

They might be subtle – but these subtle symptoms could also indicate serious conditions that require medical intervention. Don’t ignore these symptoms.

Leg pain in only one side

Could be: A pulled muscle.

However, if the area is also swollen and warm, it could signal deep vein thrombosis (DVT). DVT is a blood clot that forms in an interior vein, usually in the lower leg or thigh.

The good news? It’s treatable. However, if not caught in time, DVT can be fatal if the clot breaks off and travels to the lungs.

Erectile dysfunction

Could be: Due to anxiety, depression and stress.

However, ED can also be caused by blocked arteries in the heart that prevent adequate blood flow to your penis.

The good news? Erectile dysfunction symptoms often precede the onset of heart symptoms by at least two years. In other words, intervention could stop cardiac disease from progressing.

Weight loss

Could be: A sign of many different illnesses, including an over-active thyroid (hyperthyroidism) or an inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) such as Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis.

However, sudden weight loss (more than 5% of your weight within six to 12 months) when you haven’t changed your diet or exercise regime could signal something more serious, such as pancreatic, stomach, esophageal, or lung cancer.

The good news? Not all weight loss is serious and it could be triggered by a sudden life change or significant event. Take note of any other symptoms when you discuss this with your doctor.

Frequent urination

Could be: The sign of a urinary tract infection or kidney or ureter problems.

However, frequent urination could also signal Type 2 diabetes, as your body tries to flush the glucose build-up from your system.

The good news? The sooner Type 2 diabetes is diagnosed, the easier it is to reverse it with lifestyle changes such as weight loss and exercise.

Tingling arm

Could be: A pinched nerve, bursitis, a herniated disc or a torn rotator cuff.

However, a strange, numb feeling that starts in your chest and moves down your arm is a common symptom of a heart attack.

The good news? Even though a heart attack can be deadly, tens of thousands of people survive them every year. Acting quickly and calling ER24 (084 124) can greatly improve your chances for survival.



If you are concerned about any subtle symptoms, schedule an appointment with your GP to discuss your concerns.

Mediclinic hospitals, day clinics and staff are ready to welcome you for your regular doctor’s appointments and screenings.

Published in Healthy Life

In the interest of our patients, in accordance with SA law and our commitment to expertise, Mediclinic cannot subscribe to the practice of online diagnosis. Please consult a medical professional for specific medical advice. If you have any major concerns, please see your doctor for an assessment. If you have any cause for concern, your GP will be able to direct you to the appropriate specialists.