Patients and their caregivers can help improve the quality of care they receive from physicians and other health care providers by accurately tracking and reporting patient symptoms to their physician and other health care providers. Solutions Law Press, Inc. Project COPE thanks Gene Uzawa Dorio, M.D. for permission to republish the following February 28, 2018 Doctor’s Diary on Symptoms originally published in the SVC Physician Report.
Your body talks to you. Billions of cells work in harmony allowing you to live and survive our environment. But when something goes wrong, the body cries out = symptoms.
Sometimes symptoms resolve, while persistence could signify a threat.
The symptom of chest pain though doesn’t always mean a heart attack. A headache doesn’t always mean a brain tumor. Blood in your stool doesn’t always mean colon cancer.
Heeding symptoms brings us to the doctor, and it is the job of the physician to interpret them and make a diagnosis. Nowadays, time spent in conversation with a doctor is limited, so bring notes and be prepared to go into detail.
For example, does the chest pain radiate to the arms, back, or abdomen; is it associated with nausea, vomiting, dizziness, or palpitations; does it come with exertion; do you sweat with the chest pain? Elaborating symptoms allows your doctor to decide if it is a threat.
The body talks to you through symptoms. Make sure your doctor is listening.
About The Author
Dr. Gene Uzawa Dorio practices geriatric, palliative, and hospice care in Santa Clarita, California. For additional information or to read other articles by Dr. Dorio, see SVC Physician Report.
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