When seeing your doctor, you have have found your sickness impossible to describe in words. Luckily, medical professionals are fairly adept at interpreting what you say. However, giving your doctor as much clear and precise information as possible will help lead to an accurate diagnosis. If you tend to find yourself tongue-tied at your next examination, here is a guide to describing your symptoms:
Anticipate the doctor’s questions
It’s always a good idea to describe how you are feeling. Here are some questions to think about. Where in your body does each symptom appear? Does the physical sensation stay in one place or move around? What kind of symptoms do you have? The doctor or nurse examining you will also want to know when the symptoms first appeared and how frequently they occur. Keep an eye out for potential triggers.
Keep a diary
As soon as you start feeling sick, pull out a pen and paper. Keep track of how your symptoms develop. For example, if you have an acute cough, take note of any particularly severe episodes. Certain foods, weather conditions or emotions may exacerbate your illness. Keep track of the events to help you determine any potential irritants that aggravate your symptoms. You will want to include basic information such as how frequent your symptoms occur. Use a scale of one to 10 to gauge the intensity of a particular symptom. Presenting this notebook to your doctor can ensure that you don’t miss any important details.
Try a thesaurus
Some symptoms are extremely difficult to explain. Unfortunately, imprecise descriptions may lead to inaccurate diagnoses. Use a thesaurus to help hone in on how you are feeling. Perhaps that tingling feeling is actually more like a throbbing feeling.
Don’t be shy
Doctors are used to hearing the nitty-gritty details. Euphemisms may make it more difficult for them to pinpoint the exact nature of your sickness. You should recount anything that may be relevant from your medical history, however fleeting or embarrassing. Past medical conditions often shed a new and important light on any current diagnosis.
Describe recent lifestyle changes
Your daily activities have a huge effect on your overall health. Maybe you just started a new diet or exercise program. Your diet might be exposing you to allergens, while poorly conducted exercise may be hurting your body. Changing jobs can potentially impact your health as well. New work places may be inducing stress or exposing you to environmental irritants. High stress levels and life changes can exacerbate underlying health issues. A diagnosis is not simply based on anonymous symptoms. To treat you effectively and personally, a doctor will consider how these symptoms fit into your current lifestyle.