When is a cough "just" a cough, or a headache a symptom to be concerned about? Following are signs and symptoms that could indicate a serious health condition, and you should see a doctor if you experience any symptoms of concern. Sometimes, a symptom in one part of the body may be a sign of a problem in another part. Even seemingly unrelated symptoms that might be minor on their own could be signs of a more serious medical condition. Listen to your body, note all symptoms, and share them in detail with your doctor.Signs of a heart attack include pain, pressure, squeezing, or feeling of fullness in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes; pain or discomfort in other areas of the upper body; shortness of breath; cold sweat; nausea; or lightheadedness.Signs of a stroke include facial drooping, arm weakness, difficulty with speech, rapidly developing dizziness or balance, sudden numbness or weakness, loss of vision, confusion, or severe headache.Symptoms of reproductive health problems include bleeding or spotting between periods; itching, burning, or irritation genital area; pain or discomfort during sex; heavy or painful menstrual bleeding; severe pelvic/abdominal pain; unusual vaginal discharge; feeling of fullness in the lower abdomen; and frequent urination or urinary urgency.Symptoms of breast problems include nipple discharge, unusual breast tenderness or pain, breast or nipple skin changes, or lump or thickening in or near breast or in underarm area.Symptoms of lung problems include coughing up blood, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, chronic cough, repeated bouts of bronchitis or pneumonia, and wheezing.Symptoms of stomach or digestive problems include rectal bleeding, blood in the stool or black stools, changes in bowel habits or not being able to control bowels, constipation, diarrhea, heartburn or acid reflux, or vomiting blood.Symptoms of bladder problems include difficult or painful urination, frequent urination, loss of bladder control, blood in urine, waking frequently at night to urinate or wetting the bed at night, or leaking urine.Symptoms of skin problems include changes in skin moles, frequent flushing and redness of face and neck, jaundice, skin lesions that don't go away or heal, new growths or moles on the skin, and thick, red skin with silvery patches.Symptoms of muscle or joint problems include persistent muscle pains and body aches that are persistent, for example, numbness or tingling; pain, tenderness, stiffness, swelling, inflammation, or redness in or around joints; and decreased range of motion or loss of function of any joints or muscles.Symptoms of emotional problems include anxiety, depression fatigue, feeling tense, flashbacks and nightmares, disinterest in regular activities, suicidal thoughts, hallucinations, or delusions.Symptoms of headache problems (not including everyday tension headaches) include headaches that come on suddenly, "the worst headache of your life," and headache associated with severe dizziness, nausea, vomiting, and inability to walk.Symptoms of eating or weight problems include extreme thirst, dehydration, excessive hunger, losing weight without trying, binging, vomiting, starvation, preoccupation with food and weight, distorted body image, compulsive exercise, abuse of laxatives or diet pills, and depression.
A symptom is any subjective evidence of disease, while a sign is any objective evidence of disease. Therefore, a symptom is a phenomenon that is experienced by the individual affected by the disease, while a sign is a phenomenon that can be detected by someone other than the individual affected by the disease. For examples, anxiety, pain, and fatigue are all symptoms. In contrast, a bloody nose is a sign of injured blood vessels in the nose that can be detected by a doctor, a nurse, or another observer.Health-care professionals use symptoms and signs as clues that can help determine the most likely diagnosis when illness is present. Symptoms and signs are also used to compose a listing of the possible diagnoses. This listing is referred to as the differential diagnosis. The differential diagnosis is the basis from which initial tests are ordered to narrow the possible diagnostic options and choose initial treatments.Our Symptom Checker for children, men, and women, can be used to handily review a number of possible causes of symptoms that you, friends, or family members may be experiencing. There are many causes for any particular symptom, and the causes revealed in the symptom checker are not exhaustive. That is, they are not intended to be a listing of all possible causes for each symptom but are representative of some of the causes that can be underlying various symptoms.
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