As the colder weather approaches, so does cold and flu season. We all know the common symptoms of a cold: runny nose, headaches, coughing, sore throat, etc. For the most part, all you can do is drink a bunch of orange juice and try to get some rest.
But there are times when your cold symptoms are more than just a common cold. Usually, colds last no more than 10 days. See your doctor and trust your gut if you think you could be suffering from any of these possible illnesses.
A persistent cough is not unusual with a cold, but it could also be a sign of the following:
- Allergies: you may be having a reaction to something in the air
- Asthma: your asthma may be acting up due to weather conditions
- Bronchitis: an infection may have found its way to your lungs, and will need antibiotics to treat it
- Edema: your lungs could be retaining fluid, causing your cough
- Lung Cancer: a more serious possibility, contact your doctor
- Lymphoma: a type of cancer, most common in children.
- Roundworms: a parasitic worm that can be found in both humans and dogs
- Sleep Apnea: a disorder in which you take shallow breaths, or stop breathing all together, while sleeping
- Tuberculosis: TB has a 50% death rate, and can affect your lungs as well as other organs. It's extremely contagious.
A fever should always be monitored closely, especially in children. Keep an eye out for extreme temperatures. A fever could also be a sign of:
- Appendicitis: if left untreated, an inflamed appendix can burst and cause serious health problems
- Cellulitis: a potentially fatal skin infection that can spread quickly.
- Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: it's a complicated disorder that can't really be explained by an underlying medical condition
- Crohn's Disease: a type of inflammatory bowel disease that can affect the digestive tract
- Food Poisoning: it could be from anything as simple as expired food to under-cooked meat
- Gout: one of the most painful forms of arthritis, caused by a build up of uric acid.
- Hepatitis: a disease caused by infection, leading to the inflammation of your liver tissue
- Influenza: more commonly known as the flu
- Kidney Stones: a solid piece of calcium build up which ends up in the urinary tract, causing an extreme pain to the patient
- Sinus Headache: when inflammation in your sinuses causes deep, throbbing pain in the top or back of your head.
- Ulcerative Colitis: an inflammatory bowel disease that causes long-lasting inflammation and ulcers in your digestive tract
- Urinary Tract Infection: an infection caused by microbes
Headaches are even more common than a cold, but one that persists for too long could be a sign of something more serious, such as:
- Anemia: when your body is experiencing low iron.
- Bone Cancer: CONTACT YOUR DOCTOR
- Brain Cancer: CONTACT YOUR DOCTOR
- Endocarditis: an infection of the inner lining of your heart chambers and heart valves
- Fibromyalgia: widespread pain, along with fatigue, sleep, memory, and mood issues.
- Food Poisoning
- Glaucoma: a condition which causes damage to your optic nerve, and eventually causes blindness
- Hypertension: also known as high blood pressure
- Hypothyroidism: an underactive thyroid gland, which causes an unbalance in hormones in your body
- Lyme Disease: a disease caused mainly by ticks, which can cause facial paralysis and neurological disorders
- Meningitis: inflammation of the protective membranes covering the brain and spinal cord.
- Mononucleosis: a contagious disease that causes inflammation of the spleen, also known as the "kissing disease"
- Mumps: a contagious, viral disease that can lead to sterility in men
- Stroke: occurs when the blood supply to your brain is interrupted or reduced
- Tension Headache
But these are just some of the symptoms of a common cold. There are others as well.
Losing your voice or having a strain in your voice is generally a sign of a more sever cold, but it could also mean the following:
- Angioedema: an area of swelling of the lower layer of skin and tissue just under the skin or mucous membranes
- Food Allergy
- Acid Reflux: a long-term condition where stomach contents come back up into the esophagus.
- Laryngitis: an inflammation of the voice cords in the voice box
- Measles: a viral infection of the respiratory system.
Nasal congestion is one of the more basic cold symptoms. There aren't many other causes of nasal congestion, but it could also mean:
- Sinus Headache
Pharyngitis, or a sore throat, is possibly the most annoying part of a cold, but it could be a warning for the following diseases:
- Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
- Acid Reflux
- Sleep Apnea
Have your cold symptoms ever been something more?