TODAY   |  November 12, 2013

Stand up to scary symptoms

Dr. Roshini Raj stops by TODAY to dispel some of the anxieties we get when our blood pressure is high, we feel nauseous, or feel some lumps beneath our skin.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> ever get a sharp pain in your chest or feel a bad bump and run to the internet to check out your symptoms?

>> that may cause needless anxiety when there's nothing to worry about.

>> scary symptoms you can stress less about. she is the contributing medical editor for health as well as a today contributor.

>> nice to see you all.

>> you feel the symptoms and go online and google what's wrong with you. is that a good idea?

>> generally no. especially people that get anxious and worried about these things. really, when you go on the internet and put in a symptom, you get so much information. most of it does not apply to you as a particular individual. remember, the people that post things on the internet usually have quite severe or serious versions of your symptoms. so you don't want to go down that road and cause a lot of unnecessary anxiety.

>> let's get to our first of the scary -- some what scary symptoms. single blood pressure reading that's a little bit elevated. if you kind of take it a time a day and it's a little bit higher than normal. how concerned should you be?

>> one single elevation is not a reason to worry. we do want our blood pressure around 120 or 75 or under. but if you have that elevated 130 or 140 it could be due to an anxious mood. we call it white coat hypertension . when you go to the doctor it's elevated but at home it's fine. i'm not going to say don't worry about high blood pressure . discuss it with your doctor but don't panic if you're at a health fair and you get one single elevation.

>> what about low pressure ? your blood pressure is too low?

>> i have readings in the 90 range and they say oh, it's too low. that means it's good. that means your heart is not having to work as hard. your arteries are not working as hard. of course if it's very low and you have symptoms of fainting or dizziness you need it checked out.

>> next one is nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. if it lasts less than a day or two your okay.

>> yes, i get calls about this all the time and i usually say wait it out for 48 hours . these things resolve on their own. if you have a high fever or see any blood going to the bathroom or throwing up then you need to seek medical attention but of the time it will work it's way out of your system quickly.

>> let's talk about painless lumps. sometimes they appear under the surface of the skin. don't hurt at all but you notice they're there.

>> especially as we get older we tend to develop these things and it could be a little fatty deposit. it could be a cyst. if it's painless, if it's not hard and it's not growing rapidly it's probably nothing to worry about. bring it up with your doctor but don't stress too much. anything in the prbreast area, get checked out right away.

>> you have this sharp pain in your chest that starts to increase with a cough.

>> right.

>> should you be concerned?

>> chest pain we always take very seriously and everyone thinks about heart first of all but often it's due to things in your lungs. especially if you're getting more with a cough. it could be a lung issue or muscle issue. so that's not as concerning as the heart issue but certainly chest pain in general talk to your doctor about it. make sure it's not your heart.

>> another one is rashes. that puts people into a panic. when should you worry and when shouldn't you worry about a rash?

>> a rash slowly developing might be due to a new product you're using on your skin or new detergent so that is not so worrisome. however if it's rapidly increasing throughout your body it could be a hypersensitivity and allergic reaction that's severe. something rapidly developing, talk to your doctor.

>> if you're having a new medicine and having a reaction, you want to see your