When to take a pill, when to see a doctor

You can’t afford to visit the doctor for every ache, pain or sniffle, and there are plenty of over-the-counter (OTC) remedies for everything from headaches to heartburn Kakao Talk pc version. But when does self-treating put you into the danger-zone? Here are some common examples:

1. You’ve been getting headaches every day – not migraines, but bad enough for you to be taking painkillers at least once a day. This is risky if left unattended. OTC pain medication taken daily for longer than 15 days a month over three months can actually increase your risk for chronic headaches. Yes, you read that correctly! Painkillers can change the pain-processing areas of your brain, becoming part of the problem, rather than the solution. Stop taking the painkillers and get the medication out of your system. If the headaches persist, see your doctor.

2. You’ve had heartburn after every meal for longer than a week, and the only thing giving you relief is that OTC acid reflux medication. The problem is, ignoring the cause can eventually lead to an ulcer. You may need to change your diet or find out if there’s another reason, like stress or a physical condition, that’s causing you discomfort. If the heartburn continues, it’s time to see your doctor.

3. You’re due for a training session, but your muscles are still sore from yesterday’s spin class, and the only way you’re going to make it is to take an OTC painkiller. There’s a snag, though: research done on ultra-marathon runners showed that athletes who took ibuprofen before a race experienced more inflammation. For immediate relief, rather ice down the sore area for 15 to 20 minutes a day.

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For longer-term pain management, keep inflammation at bay by eating fresh vegetables, fruit and fish – no, really, they are excellent anti-inflammatories! Foods like oily fish (salmon, tuna and sardines), whole grains, spinach, kale, broccoli, almonds, beetroots, and spices like ginger and turmeric are examples of anti-inflammatory foods. Remember though, if your muscle aches last more than a week, it could indicate serious injury, so be sure to check it out with your doctor.

See Your Doctor At Least Once A Year

The easiest way to avoid many of these issues? Make – and keep – that appointment with your GP for your annual check-up. If you’d like to chat to one of our doctors, subscribe to Hello Doctor. It’s easy and affordable. Simply sign up on our website, and download the free Hello Doctor app from the Google Play or iTunes store. With the app, you can talk to, or text our doctors, anytime, anywhere!

Source: Oprah.com