Subjective Symptoms


Medicine and psychology often intertwine in the discussion of subjective symptoms. Subjective symptoms are symptoms that are reported by the individual and can only be noticed by that individual. Physical symptoms like headaches, dizziness, and fatigue can be objectively measured, but subjective symptoms such as anxiety, depression, and confusion cannot be measured with a tool or instrument. It is important for medical professionals to consider both physical and psychological factors when a patient is experiencing subjective symptoms as psychological distress can act as a barrier to diagnosis and/or treatment. Psychological therapies can be employed to help manage subjective symptoms and provide a sense of relief for the individual. By combining medical and psychological approaches, it is possible to accurately assess the individual’s mental and physical state and develop a comprehensive plan for treatment and recovery.

Central Nervous System Symptoms

The central nervous system is the control center for our bodies, and when there is something wrong, it can manifest in a variety of ways. Subjective symptoms related to a disorder of the central nervous system can include feeling generally unwell or fatigued, changes in mood, difficulty concentrating, difficulty with memory, changes in sleep patterns, and difficulty with coordination or balance. These types of subjective symptoms can be difficult to diagnose, as they are not physical and cannot be seen. It is important to work with a medical professional to assess these symptoms and the underlying cause, as they may be linked to a serious medical condition that requires treatment.

Respiratory System Symptoms

Respiratory system symptoms are an important part of the subjective symptoms that a patient may experience. Those symptoms can include coughing, wheezing, breathlessness and chest pain. In some cases, a patient may experience fever, fatigue, headache and other non-specific symptoms which are connected to the respiratory system. In many cases, the respiratory system symptoms may indicate a more serious underlying condition, such as pneumonia, asthma, COPD and more. A thorough physical exam, as well as relevant and additional testing, can be utilized by medical professionals to determine the origin of these symptoms so that the best and most appropriate treatment can be administered.

Gastrointestinal Symptoms

Gastrointestinal symptoms are common in a variety of medical conditions and can be very distressing. They can include abdominal pain, cramps, bloating, nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea. Here is a list of some common gastrointestinal symptoms:

  1. Abdominal pain
  2. Cramps
  3. Bloating
  4. Nausea
  5. Vomiting
  6. Diarrhoea

These symptoms can be caused by many different underlying medical issues, from food sensitivities and infections to digestive disorders and inflammation. It is important to talk to your doctor if you experience any of these symptoms for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan.

Cardiovascular System Symptoms

Cardiovascular system symptoms are often subjective, meaning that they are experienced differently from one person to the next. Some people may experience a strange feeling of tightness in the chest or some other discomfort that comes and goes with no particular pattern. Other people may have an irregular pulse or heart rate. In some cases, certain specific medical conditions can actually cause the sensation of a heart flutter, for instance. Additionally, certain physical activities, such as strenuous exercise, can trigger sensations in the chest or abdomen due to increased rate and volume of blood flow. Bearing this in mind, it is important to take notice of any changes in intensity or frequency of symptoms that may suggest an underlying health issue. Proper diagnosis and treatment can be the difference between life and death in some cases, so being aware of chest discomfort or other unusual sensations is incredibly important.

Musculoskeletal System Symptoms

Musculoskeletal system symptoms, as the name implies, are subjective symptoms that are related to the muscles, bones, and joints of the body. These symptoms can range from mild discomfort to severe pain or disability. Some of the most common musculoskeletal system symptoms include:

  1. Joint pain or stiffness
  2. Muscle weakness or fatigue
  3. Tenderness or soreness in the joints or muscles
  4. Limping or difficulty walking
  5. Swelling or redness in the joints
  6. Numbness or tingling in the limbs

These symptoms can be caused by a variety of conditions and diseases, such as arthritis, osteoporosis, and bursitis. Treatment of musculoskeletal system symptoms may involve medications, physical therapy, and lifestyle changes. In some cases, surgery may be necessary to alleviate the symptoms. It is important to consult a doctor in order to receive an accurate diagnosis and to determine the best course of treatment.

Genitourinary System Symptoms

The genitourinary system is responsible for several important functions, including producing and eliminating urine, maintaining reproductive health, and delivering hormones to the body. This system can be a source of many subjective symptoms, such as pain, burning, and discomfort in the lower abdomen or bladder. Urinary frequency, urgency, and incontinence can also be experienced. Other potential genitourinary symptoms include difficulty in urinating, blood in the urine, and genital discharge. Additionally, men may experience erectile dysfunction or pain in the testicles. Women may have issues with the menstrual cycle, or experience pelvic pain or painful intercourse. All of these sensations can be a signal of an underlying medical condition and should be discussed with your healthcare provider.

Dermatologic Symptoms

Dermatologic symptoms are among some of the most common subjective symptoms in medicine. Skin conditions can range from mild to severe and can affect people of any age, gender, or race. Examples of dermatologic symptoms include itching, burning, and peeling of the skin, rashes, hives, skin discoloration, and acne. Allergies, sun exposure, and certain illnesses can be some of the causes of dermatologic symptoms. Treatments may include lifestyle modifications, skin products, and medications. It is important to discuss any dermatologic symptoms with a doctor as soon as possible to get the best help in managing them.

Ocular Symptoms

Ocular symptoms are common in medicine, and can range from minor issues to severe problems. Ocular symptoms can be a sign of a variety of conditions, such as infections, structural changes, or neurological disorders. Common ocular symptoms include:

  1. Blurred or double vision
  2. Pain or discomfort in the eye area
  3. Sensitivity to light
  4. Dry, itchy, or watery eyes
  5. Tired eyes
  6. Redness or swelling
  7. Floaters or flashes of light

Anyone experiencing any of these symptoms should seek medical attention. An eye exam may be necessary to diagnose the underlying cause. Treatment for ocular symptoms may include medications, lifestyle changes, or surgery.

Hematologic Symptoms

Hematologic symptoms are those related to the blood and related organs, such as the spleen, lymph nodes, and bone marrow. Symptoms of hematologic disorders can range from mild to severe, and may include anemia, pale skin, fatigue, enlarged lymph nodes, and bruising or bleeding. People with anemia may also experience dizziness and lightheadedness. In more serious cases, hematologic disorders can cause a decrease in red blood cells, which can lead to an increased risk of infection. If left untreated, hematologic disorders can result in organ failure, stroke, or even death. It is important to seek medical help if any of these symptoms occur, as early diagnosis and treatment can make a big difference in the outcome.

Endocrinologic Symptoms

Endocrinologic symptoms are subjective symptoms related to endocrine system dysfunction. They can range from mild to severe and can be caused by any number of conditions, including hormonal imbalances, thyroid disorders, diabetes, and others. Endocrinologic symptoms can manifest as fatigue, weight loss, excessive sweating, depression, anxiety, loss of libido, changes in body temperature, and difficulty concentrating, among others. The treatment for endocrinologic symptoms depends entirely on the underlying cause as well as the severity of the symptoms. Hormonal treatments, dietary and lifestyle changes, and medications can all help to ease endocrinologic symptoms and improve overall quality of life.


The subjective symptoms of a medical condition can often be difficult to diagnose or treat. Despite this, they can have a huge impact on the patient’s wellbeing and quality of life. Symptoms like fatigue, pain, or nausea can significantly hinder a person’s ability to be productive or participate in life. It is important for healthcare providers to recognize these symptoms and attempt to address them, often using available treatments and support services. Overall, subjective symptoms are a major factor to consider when treating medical conditions. Recognizing and addressing these symptoms can lead to increased patient satisfaction, improved function and a better quality of life.

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