Examining ailments for a broader health care picture
In layman's terms, we often think of ailments as the everyday annoyances—a sore throat, an aching knee and other little nagging aches and pains. But by definition, the term "ailments" is used to describe all medical conditions and disorders.
When it comes to the big picture of health care, many times when a series of small ailments present together, it can lead to a diagnosis. Your doctor will have a better understanding of which ailments may present together as symptoms of a greater disease or disorder, and can help you get to the root of what is causing your minor pains and issues.
Types of Ailments
There are many ailments that appear small but may actually be part of larger health conditions. If you're experiencing any of the following ailments, you'll want to keep an eye on your symptoms and speak to a doctor at the first sign of alarm:
- Stomach ailments. Gas, bloating and diarrhea are fairly mild ailments, but they can be symptoms of serious issues such as irritable bowel syndrome or Crohn's disease, which are highly treatable.
- Head ailments. The occasional headache is normal, but persistent or severe headaches can be indicators of migraine, diabetes and even brain tumors. While it's not necessary to see a doctor for every headache, keeping track of the frequency and severity of your headaches can help you determine whether there is a persistent issue.
- Heart ailments. Rapid or irregular heartbeat, chest pain and other heart ailments could be early warning signs of stroke or heart disease. It's important to tell your doctor about any issues you are experiencing with your heart, regardless of how small they may seem.
Treatment for Ailments
Sometimes, even the smallest symptom or ailment can be critical in your long-term health care. Minor foot ailments, for example, when combined with symptoms such as fatigue and dizziness, may be an indicator of type 2 diabetes. It's important to report all unusual symptoms to your doctor, so he or she can help create a broader picture of your overall health.
It's also important to report symptoms early to help keep even the most minor conditions under control. A nagging cough and cold could develop into pneumonia, a sore throat into laryngitis and so on. While these minor problems are easy to ignore, even as they persist, treating them quickly can help limit their impact on your health.