Subtle Symptoms You Shouldn’t Ignore

The symptoms may be mild and temporary, but that doesn’t mean everything is fine. Subtle signs are often ignored but hinting toward a medical emergency. The immune system is quick to respond to any health complication, no matter how benign. It is so responsive that people may often shrug off the little symptoms that seem to go away on their own. However, these symptoms may be only the beginning. Just like receding shore waters before a tsunami, these subtle cues may be indicating that something serious is on the way.

subtle symptoms of emergency conditions

Itchy Skin

In most cases, dryness causes itchy skin and may only require moisturizing lotion, oatmeal, or a special ointment. However, many people may not realize that itchy skin is commonly associated with life-threatening conditions.

  • Kidney failure. One in three people with kidney problems experiences discomfort from itching. The kidneys are responsible for removing toxins from the blood. With enough damage, they can no longer perform this function, and the toxins remain in the bloodstream, causing itchy skin.
  • Blood disease. Itchy skin also correlates with long-term blood diseases such as lymphoma and leukemia. Cytokines released by the body’s immune system in response to these diseases are most likely the cause for itching.
  • Liver diseases. Similar to kidney disease, a damaged liver can also cause toxins to remain in the blood system, resulting in skin discomfort. Itchy skin is a standard indicator that there is something wrong in the liver.

Right Side Stomach Pain 

Stomach pain on the right side of the body is a symptom of so many health issues that it is easy to misdiagnose the cause. Many stomach aches are the result of diet or foodborne illness. However, it is essential to know that even the slightest amount of pain on the right side of the stomach can mean something potentially fatal.

Appendicitis causes pain in the right side. This condition is the inflammation of the appendix. Untreated appendicitis increases inflammation and can lead to a rupture. Internal ruptures then spread the inflammation to other organs and become fatal. Since pain in the lower right side of the abdomen can be confused with a stomach ache, this medical condition tends to fly under the radar until it becomes dangerous. It is vital to seek emergency care if this symptom becomes overwhelming.

Pain in Calves, Arms or Hips

Pain in the calves, arms, or hips is familiar, especially for those that are physically active. Therefore, one may not take the redness, swelling, and pain in these areas as a sign of a severe medical condition. Regardless, it is essential to know that there are central veins in these areas of the body that can compromise blood flow, under the right circumstances.

  • Deep vein thrombosis. When a person experiences a very thick blood clot in the legs, arms, hips, or other areas containing deeper veins, it is known as deep vein thrombosis. Potentially life-threatening, deep vein thrombosis is often undiagnosed because people that have them don’t always associate the pain and swelling with a blood clot.
  • Pulmonary embolism. If not treated immediately, pieces of pain-causing blood clots can quickly break away and travel through the bloodstream and into the lung. The result is a pulmonary embolism, and it can be fatal soon after it occurs. Pulmonary embolisms are always a medical emergency.

Lower Back Pain On One Side

Lower back pain can mean a lot of things. This area of the body carries a lot of weight and houses many vital organs. However, when only one side of the lower back is in pain, do not ignore this symptom because it could be an emergency. For instance, the cause could be kidney stones. When salt and mineral deposits develop in the kidneys or bladder, the result is known as renal colic or kidney stones. Kidney stones can be excruciating. The areas affected most by this pain are the lower back, kidneys, gallbladder, urinary tract, or urethra. This pain can often become so intense that it causes nausea and vomiting. When pain in these areas occurs, seek medical attention. A doctor can administer blood and urine tests to determine whether or not a kidney stone may be present.

Seek Medical Care if Symptoms Persist or Become Severe

Everyone experiences symptoms that might be ignored or thought of as temporary. Sometimes all that may be required to reduce or stop these symptoms is rest or over the counter medications. However, if these symptoms persist or worsen, it is the body sending a distress signal because something is wrong. Ignoring these ongoing problems can be dangerous. Never hesitate to seek medical attention if these silent symptoms persist.

The Emergency Center is here for you. Do not hesitate to come to The Emergency Center right away.  The Emergency Center provides up to 23 hours of Observation and offers 24/7 care with NO WAITING. Visit our freestanding emergency room in San Antonio, to get the care you need, or call us at 210-485-3644 for more information.


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The Emergency Center

San Antonio
11320 Alamo Ranch Pkwy
San Antonio, TX 78253

Phone: 210-485-3644