You're a busy guy, and it's easy to be your own doctor. That means writing off a nagging headache as the result of a hellish few days at work, or blaming your takeout tendencies for a nasty case of heartburn. But sometimes, brushing off these annoyances means ignoring a more serious health problem. After all, aches and pains are your body's way of telling you that something is off.
So, how do you know the difference between an ache that you can alleviate at home versus one that requires medical attention? Ultimately, your doctor should make the call based on your individual situation, but there are clues that you can use to get an idea of what's going on in your body. We talked to two experts, Alan Reznik, M.D., and Jeffrey Benabio, M.D., about red flags that could indicate that your ache or pain requires more than a trip to your bathroom's medicine cabinet.