indicators of underlying illness image healthtips images


What they might mean

Severe headaches

Stroke, meningitis, aneurysm/bleeding brain, brain tumor

Fever that lasts a week or more

Hidden infections (e.g. urinary tract infection, tuberculosis), lymphomas, cancers

Shortness of breath

Bronchitis, obstructive pulmonary disease, heart problems, anxiety, panic attacks, pneumonia, blood clot in the lung, pulmonary fibrosis, pulmonary hypertension

Diarrhea for more than 2 days, bloody diarrhea, black stools

Infections of the bowel (e.g. bacteria, virus, or parasite; inflammatory bowel disease, colon cancer

Weight loss (5%/month or 10%/year)

Hyperthyroidism, depression, liver disease, cancer, malabsorption disorder

Mental status changes, e.g. confused thinking, disorientation, sudden aggression, hallucination

Head injury, stroke, low blood sugar, infection

Flashes of light

Retinal detachment

Loss of vision, speech, or movement

Imminent stroke

Stomach full after little eating

Stomach cancer, pancreatic cancer

Hot, red or swollen joint

Rheumatoid arthritis, joint infection