Ten signals for cancer, stroke & heart attack
For which pain patients urgently need to see the doctor
Heart attacks, strokes and malignant tumors are often associated with pain. Therefore, sufferers should take the alarm signals of their body seriously and consult a doctor. Because not always abdominal, back or headaches are harmless. This is what Hartmut Göbel, chief physician at the pain clinic Kiel and specialist in neurology and pain therapy, points out in conversation with the magazine „focus“ down.
Pain as an alarm signal for serious diseases like cancer
Pain is always a warning signal of the body, which occurs as a result of a stimulus - for example, a dull blow or a cut with the knife. The sensation of pain is generated by certain body-specific substances that are transmitted via the nerves. Endorphins act as an antagonist to make the pain bearable. They have a soothing and anxiolytic effect.
Most complaints are based on harmless causes. This can cause back pain as a result of excessive lifting or poor posture. Mostly they disappear after a few days. Almost everyone knows bellyaches after a luscious meal. They are not worrisome. However, if the symptoms suddenly and very violent, caution is required. Thus, strong, acute abdominal pain can be an alarm signal for a diseased organ. Cecal irritation or inflammation, gallstones, pancreatitis, kidney stones, pyelonephritis and many more diseases that require urgent treatment, may be behind it. In the worst case, the pain is due to a malignant tumor. Especially with abdominal cramps affected people should act quickly, because it could threaten an appendectomy, which can end up deadly untreated. If the symptoms occur in the upper area of the abdomen, a gastric ulcer or an inflamed esophagus is the cause of the pain reaction in question.
Alarm signal backache
Almost everyone knows back pain. However, if they occur very suddenly without any previous causative causal event, a doctor should also be consulted quickly. In this case, an aneurysm as well as heart or lung problems come into question as a diagnosis. In addition, a lumbago or herniated disc can cause severe pain. Kidney pain mainly occurs on the flank, but can also radiate in the back and abdomen. If these are accompanied by nausea and vomiting, it seems likely that kidney stones will cause the discomfort. If the problems concern the back between the shoulder blades, this could indicate an arthritis. But heart attacks, stomach or abdominal complaints are sometimes associated with pain in this area. In the worst case threatens a life-threatening aortic dissection (rupture of the inner wall of the main artery).
Leg pain, which is not due to overwork, could be caused by thrombosis or venous thrombosis. To be on the safe side, a doctor should be consulted in the event of persistent or sudden leg pain. Burning the feet, the problems could indicate diabetes. Other possible causes of foot discomfort include gout, leg vein thrombosis or non-diabetic circulatory disorders.
Chest pain may indicate a heart attack
If a sudden severe chest pain occurs, which may radiate into the neck, neck, jaw, shoulder blades, arms, or upper abdomen, contact a doctor immediately. These symptoms may indicate a heart attack that requires medical attention as quickly as possible. About a quarter of the approximately 200,000 people who suffer a heart attack in Germany each year die. Chest pain associated with shortness of breath may also indicate pulmonary embolism or discomfort of the digestive system. Frequently, lower back pain radiates to the chest.
Violent headaches can also be a warning sign of a serious illness. If the symptoms are sudden and severe, they may announce a stroke. If the person complains about influenza-like symptoms, it can also be a meningitis. Mirgrene, cluster headache, or trigeminal neuralgia are also considered causes of severe headache.
Neuralgia (nerve pain) can affect various tissues and cause severe discomfort caused by nerve damage. This causes damage to the nerves, for example due to shingles. Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) may also be associated with nerve pain.
Gender differences in dealing with the alarm signal pain
When dealing with pain there are marked differences between the sexes. „Experimental studies have shown that men are embarrassed to show pain“, Göbel explains. The female sex, on the other hand, deals much more openly with complaints. „Women focus more on emotional and interpersonal aspects of pain. In contrast, men pursue problem-solving and instrumental strategies.“ As a result, women often receive treatment more quickly. „Women have a wider range of options for dealing with pain than men. They tend to help, seek more social support, tend to take medication, and go to the doctor earlier.“ Men, on the other hand, would tend to want to solve the problem themselves. „The result may be a faster chronification, a vain warning of possible damage and overload“, warns the expert. Contrary to popular belief would „Women are almost twice as sensitive to pain as men.“ (Ag)