YOU AND YOUR DOCTOR
Signs are what a doctor sees, symptoms are what you (the patient) experiences.
Did you know that 90 – 95 per cent of a doctor’s diagnosis will come from what you say? Yes1 If you do not give the doctor all of your symptoms and history, then you are asking him or her to diagnose you based on insufficient information. Whenever you go to the doctor, he or she will take a patient history using a mneumonic called, "OPPQRST." Every doctor on the planet follows this mneumonic. This translates into: Objective, Palliative, Provocative, Quality, Radiating, Subjective and Timing.
It Often Goes Like This:
• COMPLAINT: What’s wrong?
• SEX AND AGE: Male/Female – birth date
• ONSET: When did it start?
• PALLIATIVE: What relieves your symptoms?
• PROVOCATIVE: What provokes your symptoms?
• QUALITY: How would you describe the symptoms? Sharp? Stabbing? Sore? Uncomfortable? Nausea? Achy? Throbbing? Ripping? Tearing?
• RADIATING: Do the symptoms or pain radiate to another area of your body?
• SEVERITY: On a scale of 1 – 10, how would you rate your pain or discomfort?
• TIMING: How often do the symptoms occur?
Typically with chest pain, the additional LMN are added to the neumonic which means: Last, Movement and Notable Symptoms.
• LAST: When was the last episode?
• MOVEMENT: What activities could you do before you first felt chest pain and what activities can you do now?
• NOTABLE SYMPTOMS: What other symptoms do you have with your chest pain?
Here are just a few things that will automatically pop into a doctor’s head when you give the following symptoms. The doctor will then perform various orthopaedic, laboratory or imaging tests on you to confirm or deny his or her suspicions.
Please, keep in mind that there are many other conditions, diseases, syndromes and illnesses that your doctor may be thinking depending on what you stated in your history.
• ABDOMINAL PAIN: – May be indicative of appendicitis, food allergies, food poisoning, gastro-intestinal disorders, hiatal hernia or pre-menstrual syndrome.
• ABNORMAL VAGINAL DISCHARGE: – May be indicative of yeast infection (candidiasis), chlamydia, genital herpes, gonorrhoea or trichomoniasis.
• BACKACHE: – May be indicative of back strain, DJD (degenerative disc disease), lack of exercise, obesity, female disorders, spinal injury or pancreatic disorders.
• BLOOD IN THE URINE, STOOL, VOMIT, VAGINA OR PENIS: – May be indicative haemorrhoids, infections, polyps, bowel tumours, ulcers, cancer of the kidneys, colon or bladder.
• DIFFICULTY SWALLOWING: – May be indicative of emotional stress, hiatal hernia, cancer of the oesophagus.
• EXCESSIVE SWEATING: – may be indicative of thyroid disorder, menopause, stress, food allergies, fever, infection or Hodgkin’s disease.
• FREQUENT URINATION: – may be indicative of bladder infection, a diuretic effect, excessively taking in liquid, not emptying the bladder in a timely fashion or cancer.
• INDIGESTION: – may be indicative of poor diet, lack of enzymes such as HCL (hydrochloric acid), gallbladder dysfunction, heart disease, acidosis, alkalosis, allergies, stress, and adrenal, liver or pancreatic disorders.
• PERSISTANT COUGH: – may be indicative of lung disorders, pneumonia, emphysema, bronchitis, influenza, food allergies or cancer.
• PERSISTANT FEVER: – may be indicative of influenza, mononucleosis, rheumatic disorders, bronchitis, colds, meningitis, diabetes or chronic infection.
• PERSISTANT HEADACHE: – may be indicative of migraines, eyestrain, need for glasses, allergies, asthma, drugs, glaucoma, high blood pressure, brain tumour, vitamin deficiencies, sinusitis or stress due to personal Life experiences.
• RASH WITH BLISTERS: – may be indicative of Herpes Zoster or Shingles.
• SUDDEN WEIGHT GAIN: – may be indicative of over-eating, lack of exercise, thyroid condition (under active) or edema.
• SUDDEN WEIGHT LOSS (UNEXPLAINED): – may be indicative of cancer, diabetes, thyroid condition (overactive), hepatitis, and mononucleosis, parasites, infection or malabsorption syndrome.
• SWELLING IN THE APPENDAGES OR ABDOMEN: – may be indicative of edema, heart condition, kidney dysfunction, medication, food allergies, oral contraceptives or steroids.
• SWOLLEN LYMPH NODES: – may be indicative of chronic infection, lymphoma, various cancers, toxic metals, toxic build-up or Hodgkin’s disease.
• THIRSTING EXCESSIVELY: – may be indicative of diabetes, infection, excessive exercise or fever.