What is a symptom?

February 3, 2015
What is a symptom?

Using certain words, we do not always know exactly what they mean. In most cases, a rough idea is enough to express your thoughts. But in some cases it is better to ask the specific meaning of the term.

In this article we will examine in detail what a symptom is.

What does the word "symptom"

The term is derived from the Greek word, which translates as "coincidence", "incident" or "attribute". In medicine, it is treated as a regular manifestation of a certain disease in a large array of similar cases.

Types of symptoms

All signs of disease can be divided into three groups:

  1. Specific symptoms. They are inherent in a particular group of diseases. For example, a cough indicates a problem with the throat, that is, when making a diagnosis, the examination is reduced to checking the ENT organs.
  2. Non-specific symptoms. They accompany very many, and, diverse diseases.For example, a rise in temperature is a symptom of some kind of malfunction in the body; but it accompanies almost all diseases, therefore it requires the presence of specific symptoms, which allow narrowing down the search for the cause of ill health.
  3. Pathognomonic symptoms. Appear only in the case of a single disease. For example, uric acid crystals form in the nodules solely with gout.

Set of symptoms

If the same symptoms occur together in the overwhelming number of cases of the disease, they are called a syndrome or symptomatology. For example, flu syndrome is a combination of aches, fever, lethargy and headache.