It's so easy to put your body on the back burner because you're too busy to deal with it. Maybe you pop an Advil for recurring muscle pain or tell yourself that muscle twitch will go away on its own. Well, these symptoms could be your body trying to tell you something serious is going on.
Here are a few symptoms you shouldn't ignore.
1. Twitching eyelid
This is a common symptom, which can indicate you’re tired, stressed or have been looking at the computer screen for too long. As long as these are isolated incidents (occurring in just one eye), there’s not much cause for concern.
Though, Dr. Natalie Azar, NBC News medical contributor, noted that if you’re experiencing additional symptoms it could be a more serious issue.
“Things that can also cause eye twitching are Bell's palsy and multiple sclerosis,” Azar said. “If you have other involuntary movements in other parts of the body maybe there’s an underlying muscle or nerve disorder, and you should see somebody."
2. Ears popping
This is your body’s way of stopping your eardrum from rupturing.
“It’s a good thing — it’s releasing a pressure, like if you’re on an elevator that goes up too fast,” explained Brightfield. If your ear doesn’t pop in a timely manner, that's when you should worry.
“The concern is that you will rupture an eardrum. If you have drainage, severe pain or fever, you want to go see someone,” Azar explained.
Burps release the air in your stomach that could otherwise build up and become uncomfortable. On the more serious end, burps can occur in people with underlying ulcers or acid reflux disease. In that case, you’d also be experiencing abdominal pain, weight loss or bloody stools, and you should be evaluated.
4. Cramping muscles
You’re probably dehydrated or experiencing an electrolyte imbalance. This is more common when you’re exercising a lot and sweating.
“The times that I get concerned about cramping is when people say their calves and the backs of their legs hurt when they’re walking,” Azar warned. “That’s something that’s called claudication and could indicate something called peripheral vascular disease, which means you have hardening of that arteries that go to the leg. The other kind is something called neurogenic claudication, where you actually have arthritis in your back which also causes pain, fatigue and cramping in the legs.”
The moral of the story: Listen to your body. If an issue is recurring, it's probably something you should talk to your doctor about.
Don't put it off for your next annual visit in six months — your health should be a priority.