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Sure Signs Your "Mild Symptoms" are the Sign of Something Serious

Don’t be a hero. See a doctor.
FACT CHECKED BY Emilia Paluszek

It's normal to not feel well from time to time—but if you're experiencing ongoing symptoms and ignoring them because they're "mild," you could be putting your health at risk. Here are five signs your seemingly-mild symptoms could be a sign of something serious. Read on—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had COVID.




Feeling tired could be a sign of type 2 diabetes. "While unusual, uncontrolled diabetes can be the cause of fatigue," says Otis Brawley, MD. "These patients generally also have other symptoms of diabetes such as excess thirst, frequent urination and blurred vision. Some drugs used to treat diabetes can cause fatigue by causing anemia or a metabolic change known as lactic acidosis. These are unusual side effects."


Shortness of Breath

Woman pressing her chest.

Shortness of breath could be a sign of heart disease. "Many people who have heart conditions experience shortness of breath every day," says the British Heart Foundation. "Heart conditions such as angina, heart attacks, heart failure and some abnormal heart rhythms like atrial fibrillation can all cause shortness of breath. These conditions may cause breathlessness for different reasons. If your heart isn't pumping enough oxygen-containing blood around the body, your body responds by breathing faster to try to get more oxygen into your body, making you feel short of breath."   


Sleep Issues

woman sleeping peacefully

Sleep issues such as insomnia could be connected to long COVID. "Sleep disorders are one of the most common symptoms that patients who suffer from post-acute sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 infection are having these days," says Cinthya Pena, MD, sleep specialist for Cleveland Clinic. "So mainly what we are finding is that they complain from insomnia, fatigue, also brain fog, some of them present sometimes circadian rhythm disorders."



woman holding thermometer and checking forehead of sick boyfriend.

Fever is a common symptom of monkeypox, experts warn. "Fever and other prodromal symptoms (e.g., chills, lymphadenopathy, malaise, myalgias, or headache) can occur before rash but may occur after rash or not be present at all​," says the CDC.



Woman rubbing her eyes.

Jaundice—where eyes and skin take on a yellowish tone—could be a symptom of liver disease or cirrhosis. "High levels of bilirubin may be attributed to inflammation, or other abnormalities of the liver cells, or blockage of the bile ducts," according to Johns Hopkins Medicine. "Sometimes, jaundice is caused by the breakdown of a large number of red blood cells, which can occur in newborns. Jaundice is usually the first sign, and sometimes the only sign, of liver disease." And to protect your life and the lives of others, don't visit any of these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.

Ferozan Mast
Ferozan Mast is a science, health and wellness writer with a passion for making science and research-backed information accessible to a general audience. Read more about Ferozan
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