When You Need to See a Doctor

It can be hard to determine when you need professional medical attention and when you just need to “tough it out.” Minor symptoms are a normal part of life, so every time you feel a little off you don’t need to run to the doctor. But when do you need to make the trip?

You Have Difficulty Breathing or Chest Pain

When you’re congested, chest pain is something that might bother you. But persistent, especially painful, chest pain can be a sign of something more serious. You might need an x-ray to rule out pneumonia, get evaluated for bronchitis or make sure you don’t have a serious heart condition.

You Have a Persistent Fever

Having a low-grade fever for a spell will happen from time to time. Having a fever that lasts for days or is high, however, is not normal. You’ll need to contact your doctor to make sure you don’t have an infection.

You’re Vomiting and Can’t Keep Fluids Down

The stomach bug, or any gastrointestinal disease, can be awful. You lose a lot of fluids with vomiting and diarrhea and you need to be able to keep drinking even if you can’t eat. If you can’t keep fluids down either, it’s time to go to the doctor. You’ll be at serious risk of becoming dehydrated.

Persistent Back Pain

Aches and pains will occur, but chronic back pain needs to be checked out. If your back pain is accompanied with shooting pain down your legs and/or weakness, you need to see a doctor. You could have a pinched nerve.

Headaches with Stiff Neck and Back Pain

Headaches are another common malady that can occur during illness or stress. If you get headaches every day, especially with a stiff neck or back pain, you should see a doctor. You might be suffering from a more serious conditions, like migraines.

More Options for Your Health Care

Some of these symptoms may be one time illnesses or infections. Others can be chronic conditions that require monitoring. If you need to see a doctor for any of these symptoms and can’t get in to your primary care doctor, try an urgent care clinic. They’ll help get relief from these symptoms and any chronic conditions you can follow up with your doctor.