Dido’s White Flag song was about ‘going down with the ship of love’ with no plans to surrender. A chequered flag heralds the winner of a race as many Formula 1 motor racing fans know and the green flag denotes high standards of parks and green spaces. Red flag symptoms in Medicine are always of concern as they could very quickly convert everyday symptoms to medical emergencies. We recently wrote about Self-Care and advised that ‘red flag symptoms’ require prompt review by a qualified health professional. Let us briefly discuss some of them:
Low Back Pain is a very common problem all over the world. It is not a disease and is one of the main reasons for GP attendance. Regardless of treatment, most back pain resolves within 6-8 weeks. X-rays are largely a waste of time and money. Do you have constant back pain which wakes you up in the night? Problem with passing urine or opening your bowel? Loss of (or abnormal) sensation in your inner thighs or around your private parts or back passage? Get seen straight away!
Haematuria (peeing blood) or hematochezia (blood in the stool) should never be ignored. The former may be caused by an infection of the urinary tract but there are other causes along the genital and urinary system. Black stool may also be a sign of bleeding from the gut. Altered bowel for several weeks could be a warning sign. Get medical advice
Blood is expected to remain within the blood vessels. Bleeding can be retained within the body (internal) or get out of the body (external).
Nose bleed is commonly spontaneous and requires reassurance and education about first aid. It may be a sign of high blood pressure, blood or clotting disorder and in older persons if associated with unilateral blocked nose may signify something more sinister.
Cough is such a common problem. It can be caused by infections in the upper and lower airways. It is common in asthma; we have so-called “smokers’ cough” as well as silent or troublesome acid reflux. A particular form of blood pressure medication can cause persistent, irritating cough.
|Supply of Prescription and Non-prescription Medicines on private prescription from a UK registered pharmacy.
Do you want personalised Health Advice or wish to see a Private GP or Consultant? Please contact us.