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Symptom::symptoms    Medical::which    Patient::disease    Symptoms::example    Normal::negative    Noticed::positive

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A symptom (from Greek σύμπτωμα, "accident, misfortune, that which befalls",<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref> from συμπίπτω, "I befall", from συν- "together, with" and πίπτω, "I fall") is a departure from normal function or feeling which is noticed by a patient, reflecting the presence of an unusual state, or of a disease. A symptom is subjective,<ref>Pathology - Glossary{{ safesubst:#invoke:Unsubst||date=__DATE__ |$B= {{#invoke:Category handler|main}}{{#invoke:Category handler|main}}[dead link] }}</ref> observed by the patient,<ref>eMedicine/Stedman Medical Dictionary Lookup!{{ safesubst:#invoke:Unsubst||date=__DATE__ |$B= {{#invoke:Category handler|main}}{{#invoke:Category handler|main}}[dead link] }}</ref> and cannot be measured directly,<ref name="pmid1479160">{{#invoke:Citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=journal }}</ref> whereas a sign is objectively observable by others. For example, paresthesia is a symptom (only the person experiencing it can directly observe their own tingling feeling), whereas erythema is a sign (anyone can confirm that the skin is redder than usual). Symptoms and signs are often nonspecific, but often combinations of them are at least suggestive of certain diagnoses, helping to narrow down what may be wrong. In other cases they are specific even to the point of being pathognomonic.

The term is sometimes also applied to physiological states outside the context of disease, as for example when referring to "symptoms of pregnancy".


Symptom sections
Intro  Types  Possible causes  Symptom versus sign  See also  References  

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