6 Health Problems You're Ignoring (But Need to Get Checked Out!)

Economics test today, history paper due tomorrow and a few too many meetings tonight. Good thing you cancelled your appointment at the student clinic today. After all, your symptoms aren’t that bad. Right?
 
While painful menstrual cramps or that constant sleepy feeling may be convenient to ignore, it is more important now than ever to listen to your body. Phylis Craig, associate director of nursing at the University of Florida Student Health Care Center, offers her advice on when to brush off those pesky little problems, and when to get them checked.
 
Killer cramps

When Mother Nature delivers her monthly gift, collegiettes break out heating pads and Midol. “It’s not unusual for menstrual cramps to seem to get worse with this age group,” Craig said.
 
Most of the time cramps are no match for medication or yoga, which can shift the pelvis and create relief. But unbearable pain could signal a more serious condition such as pelvic inflammatory disease or uterine tumors, according to research by Medical News Today. And what about abdominal cramps that are unrelated to your menstrual cycle? Those could be signs of ovarian cysts, which cause pain and pressure as they enlarge.
 
One episode of severe cramps landed University of Mississippi freshman Crystal in the emergency room after she went completely blind for five minutes. Garner said her cramps cause her to sweat, vomit and nearly faint. She has discovered ways to manage the pain, such as laying on her stomach with a hot towel on her back, but the cramps still concern her.
 
Go to the doctor if: severe abdominal pain disrupts daily activities such as work or school, or if cramps strike when it’s not your time of the month. An ultrasound may help determine what’s wrong.

Headaches

We get it. With your crazy academic and social agendas, tension headaches are bound to happen. But how do you know when the root of these headaches is more serious than dehydration or stress?
 
Kristen, a McGill University sophomore, learned a lesson about listening to her body when she switched from vegetarianism to veganism and began experiencing headaches. “I battled them with extra-strength ibuprofen before ultimately realizing that headaches were my body’s way of telling me something was actually wrong,” Pye said. “I ultimately reverted to simply vegetarianism because with my busy lifestyle, I wasn’t able to properly maintain a nutritious vegan diet.”
 
Headaches may become worse with using contraception. Craig said the quick solution is usually a change in birth control. But if you’re experiencing severe headaches, or anything you would consider “the worst headache of your life,” medical help is a must. In the worst case, this may be a sign of a neurological disorder or tumor.
 
Go to the doctor if: headaches are persistent, cause visual distortion or feelings of weakness in the arms and face. If you’re experiencing excruciating pain, treat your headache as a medical emergency.