Wikipedia defines a symptom as a “departure from normal function or feeling noticed by a patient, indicating the presence of disease or abnormality. A symptom is subjective, observed by the patient, and can’t be measured directly.”
It is important to understand and appreciate symptoms, because they are often early warning signs that there is something medically wrong with you. Quite often it is minor and you don’t need to do anything except perhaps rest, eat or drink some water and you will feel better.
But there are lots of symptoms that tell you to go and see your doctor before a problem gets worse. Some people ignore symptoms until they are feeling very bad, and this is not a good thing. Men are notorious for refusing to see a doctor because it’s “not a masculine thing to do.” Although this is a stereotypical reaction, it still happens quite often.
Sometimes symptoms can’t be ignored. If you break your leg, it is obvious that you need immediate attention. The same thing applies if you start vomiting up blood for no reason and can’t keep any food down. You won’t know the reason, but it is essential that you see a doctor to find out why this is happening and get treated to prevent it from happening in the future.
If you are extra thirsty it could mean you’re dehydrated. Most people actually are dehydrated but don’t know it. Drinking tea, coffee, soft drinks or alcohol won’t properly hydrate you. You need to drink glasses of clean, fresh water to flush out the toxins in your system and rehydrate the body properly. Dehydration can be misdiagnosed as hunger, high blood pressure, constipation, asthma, heart problems and kidney problems.
Diabetes is an insidious disease that has many early symptoms people often ignore. These include: fatigue, hunger, extreme thirst, increased urination, slow healing cuts and sores, tingling and numbness in feet or hands and an itchy, dry skin.
Because diabetes isn’t curable at the moment, you may only have pre-diabetes when you first notice these symptoms. It is essential that you see a doctor to prevent contracting full-blown diabetes. Just because some of the symptoms may not seem severe at the time, it doesn’t mean you should ignore them.
If you’re always short of breath or wheeze a lot, you could have asthma or maybe another disease of the lungs, especially if you are also a smoker.
These are only a small number of possible symptoms and causes. You live inside your body 24/7 so you will know if something is wrong or different. Never ignore a problem because you feel embarrassed or too vain to see a doctor. He can only help if he knows about your symptoms. Then tests can be run to determine the real cause and, if needed, decide on a treatment to make you feel better and maybe even save your life.