Symptoms of a Serious Illness and What to Do After Diagnosis

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In 2020, approximately 1.8 million Americans will learn they have cancer. Heart disease will claim 647,000 people, and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports coronary artery disease affects 18.2 million adults. Heart disease and cancer are just two of the many serious illnesses people may develop throughout their lives.

With many illnesses, early diagnosis and prompt treatment are crucial. Use these tips to determine when to see your doctor and what to do if you’re diagnosed with a severe illness.

Symptoms of a Heart Attack


Sudden, severe chest pain can be a sign of a heart attack. If you have a heart attack, your blood is blocked from reaching the heart. Your tissue needs blood to provide oxygen. The tissue in the part of your heart not receiving oxygen will die. If you have a heart attack, you may also experience pain in your back, neck, or arms. An abnormal heart rate, fatigue, and dizziness can also indicate you’re having a heart attack.

Indications of Heart Disease


Indications of heart disease include feeling pressure on your chest or feeling like your chest is being squeezed. Your arms and legs may be numb or cold. You may also experience pain in your limbs, throat, back, neck, or jaw. Prolonged chest pain can also be an indication of heart disease. The same factors that increase your risk of a heart attack increase your risk of suffering from heart disease.

Symptoms of Cancer


There are many types of cancer and several different potential symptoms. Cancer is the second-highest cause of death in the United States. It occurs when abnormal cells multiply and spread throughout your body, killing healthy tissue. If you feel a lump under your skin, you should see your doctor. Cancer can also cause your skin to be yellow or darken. Fatigue is common, and many people who have cancer experience sudden, unexplained weight loss. Exposure to the sun, radiation, chemicals, and some viruses can increase your risk of developing cancer. Smoking, obesity, and poor diet are also risk factors.

Symptoms of a Stroke

When blood is blocked from reaching your brain, you can suffer from a stroke. A stroke can cause numbness or paralysis in your limbs and face. Strokes can be fatal, and you must seek immediate medical help if you experience these symptoms. Fortunately, with prompt treatment, much of the damage caused by a stroke can be reversed. Diabetes, alcoholism, smoking, high salt diet, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure can increase your chances of having a stroke.

Other Serious Symptoms


Severe, prolonged abdominal pain can be an indication of gastrointestinal disease. If you experience recurring diarrhea, you may have irritable bowel syndrome, celiac disease, or inflammatory bowel disease. Rectal bleeding can also indicate a problem affecting your bowels or stomach.

Changes in appetite may also indicate you have a health issue. If you have significant appetite changes that last more than a few days, it’s a good idea to see your doctor.

Financing Medical Treatment

Medical treatment can be expensive. If you have a severe diagnosis, you may be able to consider viaticals. Reputable viatical settlement companies, such as American Life Fund, work with you to sell your life insurance policy. The buyer pays you a lump sum of cash. With a viatical settlement, you receive more than your policy’s cash-in value, but less than the policy would pay your beneficiary upon your death.

If you opt to pursue a viatical settlement, the buyer will become the policy’s beneficiary, but they will also be responsible for any remaining premium payments. A viatical settlement is an effective way of reducing your monthly expenses.

Managing Your Pain


You may experience chronic pain due to your illness or the medical treatment you receive. Cannabidiol products, such as CBD oil, are made from cannabinoids found in cannabis plants. These naturally-occurring chemicals can effectively reduce your pain. CBD also stimulates your appetite, which can help you overcome weight loss from illness. CBD products also reduce inflammation and can be used to treat pets. Taking pain relief CBD can help you manage your illness and improve your quality of life after your diagnosis.

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