Recognising A Specific Illness

8 Most Common Symptoms For Recognising A Specific Illness

Sunday 16th Jul 2023 |

In an era of advanced medical technology, understanding your own body remains paramount. Recognising early warning signs of common illnesses can be the first step in obtaining proper treatment.

From the common cold to cancer, every illness has a way of presenting itself. That’s why you should look out for the following symptoms if you are worried about the illnesses below.

The Common Cold: A Runny Nose

The common cold is a viral infection affecting your nose and throat. Symptoms usually appear one to three days after exposure. However, the first symptom you are likely to notice is a runny nose. You may also receive a blocked nose instead. This is because the cold virus can irritate the inner lining of your nose. Your body’s natural response in this scenario is to produce mucus to trap or expel the virus or the bacteria causing you to be sick.

Other symptoms of a cold can include:

  • A headache
  • Sore throat
  • A Cough
  • Fatigue

Fortunately, the common cold is not fatal. As such, your symptoms should subside after several days of bed rest. However, complications can occur- especially in people with weakened immune systems. Seek medical advice if symptoms persist longer than a week or are severe.

Are you wondering, can I take ibuprofen 4 hours after aspirin? When recognizing specific symptoms of an illness, it’s crucial to consult a healthcare professional or refer to reputable medical sources for accurate advice on medication timing and symptom management.

Flu: Fever

Flu is a more severe version of a cold. Sometimes referred to as influenza, the flu is essentially an infectious viral illness. It can become serious in the elderly or those with an underlying health condition, such as asthma.

The first symptom of flu that presents itself is a sudden fever. This happens when your body quickly reaches a temperature that is over 37.8 Celsius as your immune system tries to burn off the virus. The main symptoms that follow are very similar to a cold, like a sore throat and fatigue, and you can use bed rest for a week or more to recover. Although, prompt medical attention is important if you’re in a high-risk group, such as the elderly, pregnant women, or individuals with chronic illnesses.

Type 2 Diabetes: Frequent Urination

There are two major types of diabetes- one that you are born with and another that you may be diagnosed with later in life due to lifestyle choices. Type 1 diabetes is the main type of diabetes patients are born with. It occurs because the body’s immune system routinely attacks the cells that produce your insulin. With type 2 diabetes, your pancreas will fail to produce enough insulin after sustained damage from a poor diet.

The first sign of type 2 diabetes that you may notice is that you start to urinate more frequently. This is because the insulin in your body is needed to remove the excess glucose stored in your bloodstream. As such, it is harder for your kidneys to filter out your intake of water. You may also feel more thirsty than usual when first exhibiting signs of diabetes. Other symptoms include blurred vision, fatigue, and unexplained weight loss. Early detection of diabetes can help manage your condition effectively. Diabetes treatment normally includes regular insulin injections and monitoring your sugar intake.

Eczema: Itching

Eczema is a skin condition that can appear on any part of your body. Its main causes are not known, but some cases can be caused by exposing your skin to allergens or a sudden hormone change in your body.

The result is a red, itchy, and sometimes inflamed area of skin. The eczema rash may also spread if scratched and irritated, although you can treat the condition with hydrocortisone cream. While eczema can appear quite quickly, the first sign of the illness is a persistent itch in a specific area of the skin. This itching can manifest even before the rash does. A quick consultation with your doctor is necessary if you experience itching. Also, make sure you keep any treatment cream that works just in case you have another flare-up in the future.

Cardiovascular Disease: Chest Pain

Cardiovascular disease is any disease that affects the heart or blood vessels. This includes conditions such as:

  • Heart attacks
  • Strokes
  • Coronary artery disease
  • Aortic disease
  • Peripheral arterial disease

While a cardiovascular incident will happen quickly, you do need to be aware of any sudden chest pain or discomfort. This could be a sign of a clot that could result in a heart attack or stroke. Other accompanying symptoms for an attack like this include shortness of breath, dizziness, or any pain and numbness in your arms and legs. Seek immediate medical attention if you experience these symptoms. If not treated, they could prove fatal.

High Blood Pressure: Headaches

A common cause of cardiovascular disease is hypertension, otherwise known as high blood pressure. Often asymptomatic in the early stages, high blood pressure can lead to severe health complications if left untreated.

The most common symptoms of high blood pressure are shortness of breath, dizziness, and nosebleeds. However, the first symptom you should look for is a headache, which will not disappear after taking aspirin. This is because high blood pressure can cause your blood to build in your cranium. Regular check-ups can help identify hypertension before it causes complications.

Mental Health Disorders: Mood Swings

There are so many different types of mental health disorders, so it can be difficult to pinpoint one initial symptom to keep in mind. However, one of your first experiences of a mental health disorder may be a series of mood swings.

These mood swings include an intense change in how you feel. The next symptoms that occur after mood swings are likely to include persistent sadness, suicidal thoughts, detachment from reality, or insomnia. Seek help if you or someone you know exhibits these symptoms. Treatment can include routine medicine or talking therapies and can significantly improve your quality of life.

Cancer: Unexplained Weight Loss

Cancer, like cardiovascular disease, comes in many forms. That is why ruling out one common symptom is difficult. Most forms of cancer are accompanied by unique symptoms based on where the cancer is located. For instance, lung cancer presents itself with a persistent cough, while skin cancer can start with noticeable skin changes. However, almost all cancers will cause unexplained weight loss.

This weight loss occurs because of the chemicals that are released by the cancer. Obviously, this weight loss is going to become more severe the longer the disease persists. Early detection of cancer greatly improves the success of treatment. Regular screenings and check-ups are important, but you should see a doctor if you notice any unexplained weight loss.


While this guide helps you spot common symptoms, it’s important not to self-diagnose. These symptoms may overlap with those of other conditions, making professional medical advice essential. They might advise you to undergo tests to help find the cause of the symptoms you are experiencing. For the most part, the tests could return with nothing concerning, helping to put your mind at ease. If there were to be any anomalies, they can advise you on the next steps.

Ultimately, regular check-ups, a balanced diet, adequate exercise, and proper rest can go a long way in keeping you healthy.