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Listening To Your Body

Every one of us, at times in our lives, have experienced body symptoms such as headaches, abdominal pains, a skipped beat sensation of the heart, sadness, back/knee/ankle pains and many other sensations that we deem is not “the normal state of health”.  How do we know when something is serious and we should seek help or try to “work through” the issue(s) and/or reach for over the counter treatments?

People differ in their sensitivities and approaches to body symptoms.  There are some people (and I am sure you know one or more) that will, at the very first symptom, will hop on WebMD and be certain they are dying from some dreaded disease.   This is in contrast to those people that will ignore symptoms until they are unbearable or something very bad occurs.  At one end of the spectrum are the “hypochondriacs” and at the other end are the “deniers”.  Most people sit somewhere in between these extremes.

There are situations when the body does not “tell us” that something is wrong.  An example of this is when diabetics have neuropathy and they cannot feel certain types of pains.  If a person with diabetic neuropathy has coronary artery disease, he/she may not feel the chest pain warning signals (“angina”” that occurs if coronary arteries are blocked.  This may lead to a catastrophic severe heart attack because the affected person will not go a cardiologist early enough to prevent this outcome.  Similarly, people with neuropathy may not feel certain foot injuries/infection pains and will not seek care early enough to prevent major complications.  These scenarios are why people with diabetics with neuropathy or people with other types of neuropathy should go in for preventative stress tests, foot exams, eye checks etc.

Concerning weight control and “listening to your body”:  Poor weight control will lead to symptoms that may include joint pains, breathing issues, energy decrease and other “not the norm” symptoms.  It is important to have regular checkups and equally important is the need to focus on your weight control efforts.  Do not do the “ostrich sticking its head in the sand” thing, i.e. ignore your body symptoms.  Listen carefully!

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