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Expensive co-pays and deductibles often have people turning to the internet to self-diagnose themselves instead of going to a medical professional. When it comes to seeking medical advice, however, it is often best to go to the doctor. Any of these signs means it’s time to make an appointment to prevent further health problems.

Persistent Fevers

While a mild fever that lasts a short amount of time can usually be controlled at home with fever reducers, persistent, high fevers are a concern. Fevers are an indication that the body is fighting an infection. A fever 103 degrees Fahrenheit or higher that lasts three or more days may indicate a serious infection.

Unexplained Weight Loss

Losing weight without trying may seem like a dream to many, but it can also indicate a serious medical condition. Diabetes, depression, an overactive thyroid, or some types of cancer result in unexplained weight loss.

Shortness of Breath

While it’s normal to find it difficult to catch a breath after exercising or being at a higher altitude, being unable to breathe properly at other times is serious. Shortness of breath without activity may mean asthma, bronchitis, or heart problems could be an issue.

Severe Colds that Don’t Go Away

With all of the advances in science and medicine, there is still no cure for the common cold. This is because colds are viral and don’t respond to antibiotics. Many people wait out a cold in hopes that it will run its course. If it doesn’t go away or worsens within two weeks, however, it may have developed into something more serious, such as bronchitis or pneumonia. Colds with a severe cough, having a cough with phlegm, experiencing fevers, chills, and body aches or having difficulty with swallowing need to be checked up with by a doctor.

Changes in Urination or Bowel Movements

It may be a little embarrassing to talk about, but urination and bowel movements often indicate serious conditions that may be occurring inside of the body. A decrease in the amount of urine, dark, yellow urine, or feeling pain while urinating may be the result of a bladder or kidney infection. Diarrhea that doesn’t go away after a week, or black or bloody stool, may also indicate a serious problem.