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


Problems down there

It’s normal to feel embarrassed or afraid when you can’t explain what’s happening in your private area, Craig said. But understanding your lower region helps you know when something just isn’t right, and when you should take action. Redness, bumps and sores may be signs of a sexually transmitted disease or a less serious vaginal infection.
 
The Center for Disease Control estimated that U.S. youth account for nearly half of the 19 million new sexually transmitted diseases that occur each year, although they only make up 25 percent of the sexually experienced population. If you want to get tested for these infections, visual samples and swabs are simple tests.
 
Go to the doctor if: you’re experiencing itching, burning, discoloration or any other physical differences in the pubic region.
 
Never-ending exhaustion

You hit the bars with friends, cram to finish assignments and then chug caffeine to stay awake in class. “It’s surprising to me how little sleep so many of our students get by on,” Craig said.
 
But if you’re getting your recommended six to eight hours of nightly shuteye and still feel tired, there may be another explanation for your lack of energy. Mononucleosis (“the kissing disease”) and issues with blood sugar levels are two of the most common causes of exhaustion. If you suspect either of these problems, have blood work done as soon as possible.
 
Two years ago, UF junior Alexandra realized she was unusually tired. When she returned home for the holiday break, she went to the doctor’s office for blood tests. “The results came back and said I was anemic. Even though I’m able to regulate it over the summer when I’m home, the problems come back by the end of every fall semester,” Alexandra said.
 
Go to the doctor if: your sleep patterns or your mood are affected by constant exhaustion. If the left side of your body is swollen, you may have an enlarged spleen, which is a sign of advanced Mono. An untreated case can result in death if the organ ruptures.
 
Irregular Periods

Severe diets, different exercise schedules and emotional factors can change your menstrual cycle. “Sometimes, if you’re worrying or stressing, it will disrupt the very delicate hormonal cycle,” Craig said.
 
Sudden changes could be signs of thyroid or hormonal problems though, which can be regulated with medicine. If you are sexually active and skipped a period, pregnancy is a possible answer. Craig said she performs blood work once a girl has missed four menstrual cycles if she is not pregnant. Her go-to solutions for controlling unpredictable periods are contraceptives, other hormone regulators or a combination of both.
 
Go to the doctor if: you are nervous because you have skipped a period (or two, or three). Listen to your body. Remember that an irregular cycle can lead to complications such as infertility if left untreated.