TODAY   |  March 06, 2014

Chest pain or nausea? Trust your gut!

Dr. Roshini Raj joins TODAY to chat about trusting your gut when it comes to various physical discomforts. She advises you to seek medical attention if you show symptoms that could be signs of illnesses like heart disease.

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

>> ever have those days where you feel dizzy, extremely fatigued and you have that gut feeling something just isn't right?

>> in many ways or many cases it isn't serious but sometimes you have to trust your gut and see your doctor. so do our bodies really tell us what's going on? through evolution, through science, do we know before there's a problem?

>> i think we really do. as a doctor, i do trust my patients and what they feel. they know their bodies the best. if you feel something is not right -- and i'm not talking about a few hours, but for several days and weeks, something doesn't feel normal, get it checked out. if your first doctor doesn't get to the answer, go to another one.

>> some of us try to self-diagnose and we go on the internet and come up with all these crazy scenarios.

>> i'd love to say stay away from the internet but nobody is going to listen to me. use that information in context with a conversation with your doctor. some of these web sites are not necessarily written by credible people. want to stick to places like mayo clinic , harvard, nyu. you can't generalize when it comes to symptoms. chest pain might be heart disease for you, it might be acid reflux . check with your doctor.

>> let look at heart disease . what are some of the symptoms we should not ignore?

>> this is the number one killer for men and women. it's very important. the classic symptoms are things like the chest pain or chest pressures are pain radiating down your left arm or to your left side of your jaw. but women in particular can have very different symptoms, things like nausea, abdominal discomfort , extreme fatigue. never play around with your heart. if you even think about it, go see your doctor.

>> diabetes and what are some symptoms to keep an eye out for?

>> frequent urination, an extreme thursday or extreme hunger, rapid weight loss , but often diabetes doesn't cause any symptoms. that's why screening is so important, especially if you have a family history. diabetes has many long-term complications. get it checked out early.

>> you probably know if you're obese or not but there are health-related issues as a result of carrying too much weight. what should we have checked out?

>> and you may not realize things like acid reflux , infertility, arthritis. we know it's not good to be obese but you really want to get to the root of the issues because it can lead to problems down the road.

>> high blood pressure . there aren't a lot of symptoms.

>> in extreme cases of high blood pressure , you may feel dizziness, headaches or frequent nose bleeds. most of the time there are no symptoms. that's why the annual checkup is so important.

>> and last, cancer. you hear people say they never had any symptoms. what are the symptoms you suggest we should be looking for?

>> for all types of cancers but they're very different. some common symptoms, weight loss , fatigue, abdominal pain or pain where the cancer may be. a lot of people fear cancer, the "c" word and they almost don't go to the doctor because they're afraid of getting that diagnosis. the truth is many cancers are treatable if found early. if you get the diagnosis early, there's a very good chance you could be treated and even cured.

>> great information, doctor. thank you very much.