When Ordinary Symptoms Turn Serious

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Symptom: Bloating

Normal causes include overeating, water retention, irritable bowel syndrome, or your menstrual cycle. Eating certain foods, such as beans, which cause you to develop gas as you digest them, can also make your abdomen feel swollen and uncomfortable.

When to get help: If bloating occurs more frequently and is accompanied by pelvic or abdominal pain, an urgent or constant need to urinate, persistent nausea, or a feeling of fullness quickly after eating. If you can't get an appointment with your gynecologist within a week, tell the doctor's receptionist that your symptoms resemble those of early-stage ovarian cancer and that the situation is urgent. Many physicians keep time in their schedules for emergencies and this could be one. (Ovarian cancer is not very common and you are far more likely not to have it, but if you do, finding it fast is essential.)

Continued on page 4:  Chills and Fever


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