Archive for the ‘Mount Sinai School of Medicine newsletter’ Category

9 Warning Signs You Shouldn’t Ignore

Monday, March 26th, 2007

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By Jocelyn Voo
Mt. Sinai School of Medicine "Focus on Healthy Aging" newsletter

Creaking joints, a sore neck, the occasional bout of insomnia—just natural signs of wear and tear as you age, right? Not necessarily. For example, nighttime tossing and turning can indicate a need to adjust your sleep habits to the natural sleep changes that occur with aging, or it could reflect a medication issue, poor sleep hygiene, obstructive sleep apnea, or even depression. Discussing any symptom you’re experiencing with your doctor is the crucial first line of defense in determining its cause.

“Any new symptom is worth an evaluation,” says Audrey Chun, MD, assistant professor of geriatrics and adult development and medical director of the Coffey Geriatrics Practice at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine. “Some symptoms may be part of normal aging, but they can also be warning signs of more serious illness and should not be ignored.”

Although you should first run most symptoms by your general practitioner, more severe warning signs such as new shortness of breath, sudden weakness or slurred speech, chest pain, and heart palpitations require immediate attention, Dr. Chun says. Here are nine warning signs that you need to take seriously, and what you should do if you experience them: