Q:

What should you include on a list of symptoms to get an accurate diagnosis?

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Quick Answer

To increase the likelihood of receiving an accurate diagnosis, a patient should describe to his health care provider all of the symptoms in detail, noting when he started experiencing the symptoms, explains WebMD. The patient should inform his doctor if a symptom is present continuously or intermittently, if anything causes a symptom to subside and if anything causes the symptom to disappear.

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Full Answer

To assist the health care provider in making a correct diagnosis, a patient’s list of symptoms should include specific information about how he feels, according to WebMD. If pain is experienced, it is helpful for the patient to describe the severity level of his pain. Whenever possible, objective rather than subjective information should be provided, such as providing a record of temperature readings as opposed to just stating he has a fever. Stating a time frame of how often a symptom occurs is also helpful, as is reporting symptoms as a list of facts without presenting an opinion about possible diagnoses.

In addition to providing a doctor with a list of symptoms to investigate, the patient also can provide information on his family medical history, previous medical records and test results, and any medications being used, advises WebMD.

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