pains you should never ignore

here are four types of pain you should heed, and how:

Severe head pain
You feel like it is the absolute worst headache of your life.

The fix: A burst aneurysm can cause brain damage within minutes, so you need to call 911 immediately. Your doctor will take a CT scan to look for bleeding in the space around the brain. If he finds hemorrhaging, you’ll head into the OR pronto for surgery to repair the blood vessel.

Throbbing tooth
Spooning your way through a pint of Chubby Hubby has become an exercise in torture. When your teeth touch anything frosty, you feel a dull throb or sharp twinge.

The fix: Time for a cavity check! You may just need a filling to cover the exposed nerve. But if it’s infected, you’re in for a root canal, in which the tooth’s bacteria-laden pulp is removed and replaced with plastic caulking material. Antibiotics can clear up any infection that has spread beyond the mouth.

Sharp pain in your side
A typical runner’s side stitch pales in comparison to this piercing stab, which intensifies over a few hours or days.

The fix: In both cases, you’re looking at emergency surgery. “If you don’t remove an inflamed ap­pendix, it can burst,” says Lin Chang, M.D., a gastroenterologist and codirector of UCLA’s Center for Neurovisceral Scien­ces and Women’s Health. This can cause dangerous swelling of the tissue surrounding your organs. A twisted cyst also needs to be removed right away, as it can block bloodflow to your ovary within hours. If that happens, the doctor will need to cut out the entire ovary (and the eggs inside) along with the cyst.

Passing chest pain
Periodically, you get what feels like a bad case of heartburn, or a tight squeezing sensation, as if you’re being laced into a corset.

The fix: Feel the burn after feasting on chalupas? Normal. Feel as if you’re being squeezed to death by a boa constrictor after a hard workout? Not normal. In younger women, a heart attack usually happens when you’re working up a sweat. If that’s the case, dial 911. Your doc will do an EKG to determine whether your heart has been damaged, then decide on the best treatment, whether it’s clot-attacking drugs or surgery to clear your arteries.

Abdominal discomfort with gas or bloating
For the past month, you’ve felt gassy and bloated more days than not, and it takes fewer slices of pizza to fill you up than it used to.

The fix: Book an appointment with your ob-gyn to talk about your symptoms. If she suspects cancer, she’ll send you to a gynecologic oncologist for an ultrasound or a CT scan to check for a tumor. The good news: Five-year survival rates for ovarian cancer are 90 percent in women who are diagnosed early.

Back pain with tingling toes
No amount of Advil or heating pads can ease this backache. Your feet may also feel numb.

The fix: An X-ray or MRI can show whether a disc in your back has slipped or ruptured. As long as the numbness isn’t getting worse, your doctor will probably prescribe physical therapy along with oral steroids or NSAIDs to reduce nerve inflammation. But if you’re still laid up after a few months, you may need surgery to remove the disc.

Leg pain with swelling
Your calf is extremely tender in one location, noticeably swollen, and red or warm to the touch.

The fix: Resist the urge to massage the area or to walk it off. If the clot breaks free, it can travel through your veins up to your lungs and cut off your oxygen supply. Instead, see your doctor, who will do a CT scan or ultrasound to look for DVT. If you have a clot, you’ll need to take blood thinners – sometimes for up to a year – to dissolve it.

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read article on Yahoo! Shine by The Editors of WOMEN’S HEALTH: 4 Pains You Should Never Ignore

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