When we think of Diarrhea, we usually think of at least 4 watery stools per day. Some people are a little obsessive about their bowel movements, think that they always have to be well-formed, and get shaken if stools become loose. One or two loose stools a day can happen to anyone, and does not constitute disease.
Also, if there’s a watery stool, and another one within 5 minutes, that’s just because the rectum hadn’t quite finished. It only counts as one episode.
For the clinician’s condensed thought-process when face-to-face with a patient, select below. Those summaries will have links to more in-depth texts on the topic.
Arthritis is when joints are painful, red, hot, swollen. Arthralgia means that joints simply hurt. The same diseases can cause both. But often “joint” pains may not involve joints at all, but be due to tendons, ligaments, bursa, bones, or muscles. That’s a different topic (Musculoskeletal Conditions).
Some diseases affect many joints, usually small ones like wrists, hands, fingers; ankles, feet, toes. This gets called Polyarticular (“articular” = “joint”). Others affect only one joint (Monoarticular), or a just few (Oligoarticular). These are usually the larger joints, like shoulder, elbow, maybe wrist; hip, knee, maybe ankle.
Select a topic on diagnosing Joint Diseases (arthritis / arthralgias):
An Acute Cough is one which has been going on less than 2-3 weeks.
Anyone with “acute cough” may not be allowed inside a building without a Covid Test. But some patients need to be seen no matter what; every office or clinic has its own mechanism, maybe in a designated exam room, maybe sending them to an Urgent Care or E.R. These are patients who, in addition to a cough, also have:
Test Negative → Might still be, but go to Step #2. May repeat test in 2-3 days; if still Negative, most likely it’s NOT Covid.
Results still pending → Isolate just in case. If Dec.- April, and suspect Influenza (abrupt onset, fever, muscles aches, and going on less than 3-4 days). Test or just treat for Influenza
STEP #2 — If not Covid, or test results pending, is the illness causing COUGH from …..•Upper Respiratory Tract (from nose, sinuses, throat); or …..•Lower Respiratory Tract (from the lungs); or …..•We Can’t Tell ?
Upper Respiratory: Significant nasal symptoms (runny nose / sneezing / congestion); AND
— No Fever, No SOB, Normal Lung Exam (by stethoscope)
a mild fever is possible at beginning, goes away soon
fever can occasionally occur with Sinusitis
Lower Respiratory: Any of the following
Fever, especially if also muscle aches
SOB [always a dangerous symptom, if it’s “true” SOB]
Abnormal Lung Exam (by stethoscope)
Can’t Tell: Just a “Cough”
No nasal symptoms, No fever, No SOB
Normal Lung Exam (by stethoscope)
If We Think LOWER RESPIRATORY cause of COUGH (Covid tests Negative twice) These may be dangerous; if Covid negative twice, or pending, seek other cause.