Not-So-Minor Health Issues
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16 Health Problems You're Not Getting Help For — But Should

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Not-So-Minor Health Issues
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An Apple a Day Is Not Enough

Going to the doctor can end up at the bottom of anyone's to-do list — but certain problems shouldn't be ignored. While many ailments can be managed with medication and regular check-ups, letting them go untreated, to the point where your body is practically telling you to go to the doctor, can lead to bigger problems. Make time to seek medical attention when it comes to these health problems.

Related: Most Common Health Issues for People Over 60

Shorter Workweeks
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Chronic Stress

Can lead to: Insomnia, heart disease, depression and obesity
Affects: Up to 44 percent of Americans
We all live busy lives, but being constantly overwhelmed with stress can create real problems for your health. In addition to being a leading cause of insomnia, chronic stress can lead to serious physical ailments. A survey by the American Psychological Association revealed that 33 percent of Americans never discuss ways to manage stress with their healthcare provider. Consider talking to your doctor or a medical health practitioner for ways to cope.

Diabetes Type 2
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Diabetes Type 2

Can lead to: Kidney damage, eye damage, limb amputation
Affects: More than 29 million Americans
Staying on top of your diabetes — and making regular check-ups a part of your care — is critical in managing this disease. Though symptoms can be easy to ignore, especially in the early stages, the long-term complications can be blindness, Alzheimer's disease, heart disease and even a lost leg or foot.

High Blood Pressure
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High Blood Pressure

Can lead to: Heart attack, stroke, aneurysm
Affects: 75 million American adults
While most people don't realize they have this problem unless they have their blood pressure checked, that doesn't make the problems associated with leaving it untreated any less severe. Damage to your heart, arteries, brain and kidneys are all very real possibilities.

Hypothyroidism
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Hypothyroidism

Can lead to: Mental health issues, goiter, heart problems, birth defects
Affects: Up to 20 million Americans
While many people may notice one of the more unsettling symptoms of hypothyroidism — weight gain — they may want to ask their doctor to check their thyroid, especially if they know they haven't been eating more lately to explain it. Untreated hypothyroidism can cause a lengthy list of problems, and if you're pregnant, the baby can have physical and mental development issues.

Related: 10 Lessons I Learned When My Thyroid Stopped Working

Mental Illness
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Pelvic Inflammatory Disease
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Pelvic Inflammatory Disease

Can lead to: Infertility, chronic pain, uterine abscess
Affects: More than 750,000 women a year
While terrible menstrual cramps can have many causes, it's never a bad idea to check in with a doctor. Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) is easily treated with a round of antibiotics, but left untreated can cause infertility or a dangerous ectopic pregnancy.

Sleep Apnea
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Sleep Apnea

Can lead to: High blood pressure, diabetes, liver problems
Affects: 22 million people
While many people complain about their partner's snoring, it may be more than a nuisance. Because a person's airway is closing repeatedly through the night, daytime fatigue and sleepiness is one problem — but more serious ones, like diabetes and high blood pressure, can also occur.

Related: 15 Things That Make It Harder to Sleep As You Get Older

Anemia
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Anemia

Can lead to: Heart problems, pregnancy complications, severe fatigue
Affects: Roughly 10 million people
While fatigue or cold hands and feet can sound like a silly reason to see the doctor, it's important to rule out iron deficiency anemia. Untreated anemia can result in an irregular heartbeat and other serious heart problems.

Postpartum Depression
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Postpartum Depression

Can lead to: Chronic depression, problems with mother-child bonding, suicide
Affects: Approximately 950,000 women per year
Many women feel too embarrassed to mention the "baby blues" to their doctors, but they should, especially if their feelings don't fade within two weeks of giving birth or get worse. In addition to helping a mother bond with her baby, treatments can stop depression from becoming chronic.

Osteoporosis
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Osteoporosis

Can lead to: Spine fractures, hip fractures, deformity
Affects: Roughly 54 million Americans
While osteoporosis is considered a silent disease, as you can't feel your bones weakening, it doesn't make it less serious. Often the first outward symptom is a broken bone, but if you notice a loss in height or curving of your spine, get to a doctor so you can get to work on your bone strength.

Herpes
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Herpes

Can lead to: Meningitis, encephalitis, open sores
Affects: One out of six Americans between ages 14 and 49
Because herpes can lay dormant in the body for years, it's possible 80 percent of the people who have it are unaware of it. However, an outbreak can result in an inflammation of the membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord (meningitis) or inflammation of the brain itself (encephalitis), so see a doctor to get checked and find out about antiviral medication.

Cystic Acne
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Cystic Acne

Can lead to: Puss-filled cysts, permanent scars
Affects: Two in every 1,000 Americans
While acne is a common consequence of adolescence, cystic (or inflammatory) acne can result in permanent, deep scarring if left untreated, or worse, subjected to some home treatments. Because it can be traumatic and even painful, see a doctor for treatment.

Chlamydia
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Chlamydia

Can lead to: Infertility, pelvic inflammatory disease, miscarriage
Affects: More than 1.5 million cases per year
Chlamydia is one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases, and can have permanent consequences for a woman's reproductive system — even causing ectopic pregnancy, which can be fatal. However, it's easily treated, and women 25 and under should be checked for it annually.

Celiac Disease
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Celiac Disease

Can lead to: Bowel cancer, bone loss, lymphoma, depression
Affects: At least 3 million people
Because celiac disease can cause different symptoms in different people, it can often be hard to diagnose — on average, getting a correct diagnosis takes most patients between six and 10 years. But it may be worth it to pester your doctor if you have any of the many symptoms attributed to celiac disease, as it can cause digestive cancers if untreated.

Syphilis
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Syphilis

Can lead to: Paralysis, blindness, dementia
Affects: Over 115,000 new cases a year
If you're sexually active, you may be most worried about contracting HIV — but it turns out it's much more likely you'll catch syphilis. According to the CDC, the fastest-spread sexually transmitted disease had 115,045 new cases reported in 2018, with only 38,739 new diagnoses of HIV and 583,405 cases of gonorrhea during the same period. While syphilis is often called "The Great Pretender" because symptoms, including a rash and sore throat, can look like other illnesses, don't be shy about mentioning this as a possibility to your doctor.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
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Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Can lead to: Permanent nerve damage
Affects: Over 4 million people 
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is more commonly a problem for women, and while everything from pregnancy to diabetes can contribute, repetitive use is a common cause. Typing away on your computer — and resting your wrists on your desk to do it — is a bad habit you may want to break if you experience tingling, numbness, or swelling in your fingers. Surgery, steroid injections, or a wrist splint can address the issue.