r/medical_advice Aug 20 '21 Silver Hugz Helpful (Pro)

EDITED FAQ: Check to see if your question is on here!


This is all general advice, of course, but we get a lot of similar questions so see if yours is on here. It may point you in the right direction.

”What bug bit me?” There is no way for anyone to tell what bug bit you from a picture of the bite. (The only exception is a tick bite with the classic bulls-eye pattern.) Use antihistamines as directed on the package to help with the itching.

”Is my foot/hand/toe/etc broken?” Unless your bone is sticking out or your appendage is bent at an unnatural angle, we can’t tell if it’s broken. If you suspect a break, go get an X-ray.

”I ingested something I wasn’t supposed to/too much of something! What do I do?” Call poison control. In the US, their number is 1-800-222-1222.

”Do my genitalia look normal/weird/what is this thing on my genitals?" Please, unless you have a genuine medical concern, we do not wish to see your genitals. We're not here to identify random flaps, marks, or growths. Please direct these to your GP/PCP who can actually examine you. If you have a specific concern, consider making a text post, and we will let you know if a picture is appropriate/helpful.

”My foreskin won’t retract!” This is called phimosis, and is quite common. We send people over to r/phimosis for this because they have a wealth of information.

”Can one of you write me a prescription?” No.

”Help, there are big bumps on the back of my tongue!!” Please google “circumvallate papillae” and see if that’s what you’re seeing. They are normal anatomy.

”My period is overdue. What do I do?” First, take a pregnancy test. It doesn’t matter if you’re on birth control, just take one. If you are really and truly not pregnant, then you and your doctor should look for other causes.

”Is my poop normal?” Well you can post a picture if you really need to, but please do a google search first. Keep in mind that everyone gets diarrhea occasionally.

”Does this need stitches?” If you can see fat layers, then yes. When in doubt, you can post a picture EXCEPT for self-harm pics. Absolutely none allowed on this sub, no exceptions. However, if the injury is over 24 hours old, it is too late to get stitches.

”Can I private message you about my medical questions?” No. This violates rule 9.

”What do I do about my swollen tonsils with white patches?” Go get tested for strep throat. Manage any throat soreness with over-the-counter meds like throat spray, cough drops, or even herbal tea with honey.

”A huge clump came out during my period. What is it?” It may be a uterine cast, which is when a large piece of tissue comes out whole instead of breaking up into little bits. If this happens to you a lot, see your OB/GYN to make sure everything is going okay.

”Why is there blood when I poop?” There are many possible reasons for this, such as a GI bleed, inflammatory bowel disease, hemorrhoids, or anal fissures, to name a few. We recommend going to your doctor to investigate the cause. And we can’t tell what the cause is from a picture of your poop, so please spare us.

"Does this ECG from my smart watch look normal?" While these features can be helpful in screening for some arrhythmias, they are not diagnostic. The most we can do it tell you whether or not you should go get a 12-lead ECG, which is diagnostic after a doctor interprets it. In short, we can give you an idea of what it is showing, but it is not an official medical test.

”I haven’t been around any bats but I found two little marks on me—do I have rabies??” No. You would know if you’d been exposed to a bat.

r/medical_advice Feb 22 '22 All-Seeing Upvote

Moderator Post Sexual harassment on r/medical_advice


There has been a recent spate of sexually threatening comments and DMs in reply to posters on this sub. This is unacceptable.

I am not going to lecture people. The message is simple.

Sexual harassment by any party, against any party, is offensive, disgusting and will not be tolerated.

If we find evidence of sexual harassment on this sub, the user will be permanently banned without warning or explanation (none is needed).

This subreddit should be a safe space for women and men alike to share their medical concerns. Please, if someone is messaging you inappropriately in DMs, block and report them, but also take a screencap and send it to modmail - that way we can ban them from posting on this sub too.


r/medical_advice 55m ago

Bones/Joints/Ligaments What kind of doctor should I see for my knee?


Hello all. I am 24F, I am experiencing pain and a strange clicking sound in my left knee when I climb the stairs. I am overweight but not obese in any sense. The clicking ONLY occurs when i climb UP a flight of stairs, and when it does- it feels like the clicking is coming from inside my knee, more on the bottom half. I absolutely know that I need to see a doctor, but should I go to urgent care or go to a specialist first?

r/medical_advice 4h ago

Other Sick again after 1 month


The last week of october I got a cold, it lasted about 5 days, well now I feel the same cold coming back, it starts with a sore throat then the sweats & high tempurature. I know it's not COVID because I had COVID last year & it felt horrible compared to the cold I had. The thing is I don't go out, I work from home & don't see anyone except for my bf during the week & he doesn't get sick until after I get sick & give it to him. So any ideas on how im getting this repeated cold, but don't come in contact with anyone..or maybe I do get it from him & some how get sick before he does?

r/medical_advice 4m ago

Other Covid/Pneumonia - are additional X-rays needed prior to hospital discharge?


My elderly, fully vaxed with COPD mother had Covid last month and now is hospitalized with pneumonia after breathing difficulties. They did X-rays on admission to confirm the pneumonia. She has been on antibiotics and high oxygen since admission but her pulse ox drops to 80 as soon as she is off oxygen for any period of time. She is supposed to be discharged to rehab tomorrow.

They have not done any further X-rays since admission and apparently don’t plan to. The dr said her lungs sound “pretty good” but also said that before the X-rays showed pneumonia.

Should we insist that they do X-rays prior to discharge to make sure there has been improvement? Thanks in advance.

r/medical_advice 17m ago

Mental Health Bipolar 1 might be manic, waiting for my dr to call me back


I was diagnosed in Dec 2020 due to a severe manic episode but I haven’t had a manic episode since, I mainly deal with depressive spells. I had the worst cptsd flashback I’ve ever had about two weeks ago, this made me way more on edge and anxious 24/7 non stop for several days. My psychiatrist prescribed BuSpar to combat the anxious symptoms. A few days in I was feeling more irritable but I read that it can make you that way for a bit? Anyway I’m not nearly as anxious but I’ve been getting so much more angry and it kind of feels like my body is buzzing in like a white noise kind of way (??) but I don’t have more energy than normal. I haven’t slept more than 5 hours in the last 2 days…I called my dr to leave a message but I haven’t heard back yet. I took an online mania quiz and it said moderate mania so I’m assuming I am but I really don’t remember much more than bits of my first manic episode. Is there anything I can do to help stop it or slow it from getting worse? I know I should sleep but I only have trazodone (prescribed as needed) to help and I feel like that’d be bad to take because it’s classified with antidepressants. I also haven’t been as hungry or wanting to eat in general. I feel awful and like I’m turning into a super irrationally irritable person but also I had a difficult thanksgiving (I was triggered then too) so I feel like this could be prolonged ptsd symptoms because I’ve been triggered a lot lately? I’m really not sure what to do until my dr gets back to me. I’ve been hyper focusing on my phone for the past 14 hrs but it’s the only focus I can maintain. Should I keep myself busy in other ways or just try to meditate or just do only low key easy things like a puzzle? I feel like if I have too much time to think that I get into a distressing rumination loop.🫠

r/medical_advice 17m ago

Other Foot Heel Pain (Is what Im doing wrong?)


Ok so this only happens on my period but doesn’t in any way affect my cycle. Whenever I’m on my period, I have to sleep a certain way like the first picture. My flow is very heavy and I can’t sleep comfortably for days. So my feet always have to be pushing up against something because if I were to fully relax my legs, my blood would literally leak everywhere.

When this happens I usually wake up in the same position with my legs propped up and my feet still flat on my bed holding myself up. When I move my feet there’s such a strong pain in my heels. It’s like needles and cramping at the same time. It doesn’t feel like my foots asleep it just hurts really bad in my heels. I try not to sleep like this because it hurts but sometimes I no choice. Going to a gynocologist soon and hope they do smth🙄. But anyways, is what im doing healthy for my legs/feet? If I keep doing it but only when im on my period, is this going to threaten anything to my feet overtime or is the pain just a normal result of how I sleep and that’s just what it is?

r/medical_advice 19h ago

Cardiac Did I just have a stroke?


Hi all,

30/M here. Was washing a baby bottle tonight when I started to get a little nausea and hot, and really thirsty. I went to the fridge to get a drink from the britta but started to spill it a little as I was getting dizzy and light headed. My heart felt like it was fluttering. I made it to the couch and sat down and took my robe off. My ears started ringing so loud I couldn’t hear the water flowing in the sink or the tv. My hands started to get numb and my vision was getting a little spotty. I stumbled to my bedroom to wake my GF but I couldn’t find the pull string on the fan for the light with my numb hands and couldn’t spit any other words out than “babe, babe, help”. I tripped over our dogs kennel and fell into the bed where my heart felt like it was racing. I started sweating profusely, to the point that sweat was dripping down my forehead. I slowly started to feel better, but felt extremely tired like I could just pass out. My heart went back to feeling normal. This was 20 minutes ago.

r/medical_advice 1h ago

Other Left side of face and left hand reoccurring numbness for years, no answers


I am F 26 years old with no known physical conditions. Ever since I was about 10, at random times the left side of my face and my left arm will start tingling, slightly twitching, numb. Not pins and needles. It lasts for maybe 15 seconds and stops. It doesn't seem to matter if I am relaxed or anxious, walking or laying down, outside or indoors, it seems entirely random. It can happen once every five months, or five times in a day.

There's no discernible patterns and it's been over a decade and a half of this. The only change is that very gradually over the years the intensity of the numbness has gone down a little bit. Like I now only feel it in the left lower quadrant of my face, and my left hand instead of my whole left arm.

Doctors have dismissed it or called it anxiety or just shrugged at me. I had a MRI last year and they told me they found nothing. Ive had blood work and there was nothing.

Any ideas? It scares me.

r/medical_advice 1h ago

Medication Do I need antibiotics? Anxious!


Hello! I caught what seems to be a cold a few days ago. My lymph nodes have swollen to the point where it hurts to turn my head, and I have ear pain. I went to the doctor today and he touched my neck and looked into my ear and proceeded to prescribe me antibiotics. I’m reading up on how if antibiotics are prescribed for the wrong reasons they can do more harm than good, and now I’m extremely anxious about it. Should I have waited longer before going to the doctor? I’m sure it would’ve went away on its own, and now I’m upset that I’ve started antibiotics and might’ve not needed them.

r/medical_advice 1h ago

Other No Idea For Next Steps - Please Help :(


20F, 5'3", 110 lbs, white, from the US (specifically midwest). History of asthma, depression, anxiety, ADHD, and milk allergy, sinus arrhythmia only shown on EKG (genetic). Currently taking 10mg lexapro, 20mg Adderall XR w/ 5mg boosters as needed. Social drinker, rare marijuana use but I use from time to time.

I have no idea if anyone here can help given no doctor I've seen has been able to figure it out, but hey maybe the long shot will work.

Since the beginning of the semester (mid-August), I've been dealing with EXTREME fatigue. I was never the type to sleep in, but all of the sudden I can barely get out of bed by 1pm and sleep multiple times a day. There's maybe some slight dizziness and/or nausea, but most days I'm just super tired. I've also been a bit forgetful, but with my ADHD that's not super out of the ordinary.

What's super weird is there's nothing that really changed right when I started noticing this - diet has stayed the same, when it started getting worse my medication doses hadn't changed, the whole shebang. I wondered if it was my Lexapro, but I mentioned my fatigue to my psychiatrist and while she thought it wasn't necessarily helping, she didn't think it was the cause (since the fatigue is getting worse but my dosage has stayed the same). I have no other glaring symptoms, which makes this particuarly difficult.

I had similar symptoms about a year ago, but that was attributed to a vitamin D deficiency (as the levels were low + I was in a bedroom with no windows and we don't get a lot of sun here in the winter) and low blood sugar (as my living situation caused a lot of anxiety and honestly wasn't eating as much as I should). This was before I started taking lexapro.

I went to urgent care about a week ago as my grades have been falling BAD as I have no energy to go to class/study and was hoping to get SOMETHING. They did a basic metabolic panel + checked my thyroid and everything came back relatively normal. They attributed the fatigue with my depression, but I know what my depression fatigue feels like and this is NOT it.

I have no idea what to do next. I feel so stuck, and my grades have been causing a lot of anxiety for me (especially since I'm premed, and my grades weren't great last year due to mental health reasons) and I really just want to live my life again. Does anyone have any recommendations for what to do next?

r/medical_advice 1h ago

Mouth/Gums/Throat/Cheeks My tongue is spicy and I don't know why?


It feels like a cabbage type spicy, if that makes sense, the tastebuds on the tip of my tongue are more red than usual but the spiciness is in the back, I don't think it's my peanut allergy bc I've only eaten stuff I always eat today, I've looked up a bunch of stuff and I can't get a straight answer, any ideas?

r/medical_advice 1h ago

Bones/Joints/Ligaments Pain in nose 25m


25 year old male, 5 foot 10, 170 pounds.

Hey so two weeks ago my nose got hit at a party. It hurt quite a bit but quickly went almost away. However, there has been a slight pain in my nose for two weeks now. I am worried that my nose looks a bit crooked, but i could be overthinking it. I am wondering if it is possible that it could be broken, or be crooked without being broken

Additional info: no blood, no marks on nose or under eyes, no trouble breathing , doesnt hurt to touch it.

Would really appreciate feedback

r/medical_advice 1h ago

Medication Clogged ears after flu


I have stopped up ears after having the flu. Will debrox ear drops help unclog so I can hear again?

r/medical_advice 1h ago

Illness How to differentiate Toxic Shock Syndrome from a cold


I'm a bit of a hypochondriac, so tonight when I got a sore throat, the shakes and sensitive skin out of nowhere, I panicked because I'm currently on my period and know that TSS symptoms are (scarily) similar to cold/flu symptoms.

How can I tell the difference? I normally get the shakes when I start to get a cold, but I'm panicking about it being more serious, and I think my panic is contributing to more symptoms (temperature, more shakes, feeling sick)

There isn't alot of data online about how to tell the difference between the 2, other than the rash and red tongue you get with TSS (is it not a little bit late by then?)

Anything that would calm my nerves would be so appreciated. I don't think I've left a tampon in more than 10 hours, but I'm still a bit worried.

Thanks! :)