A LUMP IN YOUR NECK

Because the neck isn’t encased with bones, it’s a common location for noticing lumps and bumps.

Some growths have been there all along, even if you’re just noticing them. The larynx (voice box), you can feel in the bottom V-shaped part of your neck. And in men, there’s the Adam’s apple. Other lumps, however, could be a new sign of a medical condition, ranging from the common cold to cancer.

Treat yourself at home:

* You have, or just had, cold symptoms (fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose) and have tender neck lumps: An upper respiratory tract infection is the most common and least dangerous cause of neck lumps.

Infections such as the common cold are the usual culprits - the painful lumps are swollen lymph nodes reacting to your infection. The nodes are usually tender, moveable and on both sides of the neck.

Antibiotics are rarely necessary. Things should go back to normal in a week or two. Large (greater than 1cm) nodes lasting more than two weeks will require a scan.

See your GP:

* You have a lump near the middle of your neck, feel hot all the time and have lost weight: You could have an enlarged thyroid gland, known as a goitre; or a growth arising in the thyroid gland, known as a nodule. You’ll need blood tests.

* You have one or more firm, non-tender lumps and recently travelled to Mexico, India, South-East Asia or sub-Saharan Africa: You may have tuberculosis (TB); this can cause fever, night sweats, weight loss and chronic cough. In some cases, TB can primarily infect lymph nodes, usually in the neck.

* Recurrent high fevers and a large lump: You may just have a bad viral infection, but you could also have a bacterial infection in your throat or nearby lymph node. Your doctor may try prescribing antibiotics. If the lump remains, you’ll need tests.

* You have a rock-hard lump that does not move: Hard nodes firmly attached to one spot are more likely to be cancer.

Go to hospital:

* You have a muffled voice or difficulty swallowing: These symptoms indicate the lump is compressing vital structures in your throat. You need an emergency evaluation to ensure your airway isn’t about to close down.

BLOOD IN URINE

Most discoloured urine doesn’t contain actual blood, but some by-product of your food or medicine that looks like blood

Treat yourself at home:

* You just had a beetroot salad or soup: Some pigment may get absorbed into your blood and colour your urine.

* It’s that time of the month: In almost all cases, your urine is just contaminated with menstrual blood.

* You just ran a marathon: Nearly one in four people experiences bloody urine after intense aerobic exercise. Doctors don’t know why it occurs, but it hasn’t been linked to long-term kidney problems. If your muscles are really hurting after an intense workout, you could have rhabdomyolysis (muscle breakdown). The damaged muscle fibres release chemicals that colour the urine brown and can cause kidney failure. The condition is serious, get medical help fast.

See your GP:

* You look like the Michelin Man: The combination of red urine and body swelling, particularly in the face and legs, strongly suggests kidney damage. The struggling kidneys can’t get rid of fluid fast enough, so it ends up under your skin. The kidneys also fail to keep blood out of your urine. You need an urgent evaluation.

* You take lots of pain medicine:

If you take pain medication known as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (ibuprofen, naproxen or aspirin) for a long time in high doses, you could experience kidney damage. In some cases, the first symptom is bloody urine. If you have chronic pain, see your doctor.

* You take a blood thinner: If you have heart disease or a history of blood clots, you might be on a blood thinner such as warfarin.

One consequence of these drugs is the increased risk of bleeding.

Sometimes the bleeding is from something minor, but sometimes it is from a problem that requires immediate attention, such as a tumour.

In this case, the blood thinner may have saved your life by revealing the problem early.

* You’re a man, and your urine dribbles out: You’re likely to have an enlarged prostate. As the prostate gets bigger, the urethra gets squeezed, and you have to generate more effort to force urine through. The enlarged prostate can bleed into the urethra, turning urine red. You’ll probably need tests.

Go to hospital:

* You have spasms of severe pain in your lower pelvis and/or back:

You’re probably passing a kidney stone - these can get stuck in the tube that drains to the bladder. As that tube tries to squeeze the stone through, you experience spasms of intense pain. As the stone inches its way down, it often shears a few blood vessels. Once the stone finally reaches the bladder, the pain and bleeding should slow down. You should get to hospital for an urgent assessment.

* You have fever, chills, feel light-headed: You may have a severe infection in your kidneys or bladder requiring intravenous fluids and antibiotics. Daily Mail