Listening to our bodies Listening to our bodies

Depending on the case, the symptoms of different diseases may actually be similar. It is therefore always best to see your doctor to find the right diagnosis.

Medical Advisor, Julián Hurtado Mondragón, General Physician, practitioner at Coomeva Private Healthcare

 Your body knows best. When it sends out a sign of unusual pain or discomfort, it may be indicating that a part of it is not working well. Listening to these signs can help you recognize health problems that should be addressed so that they do not lead to more serious diseases or so they may be detected on time.

First, you must get to know yourself. “Not all bodies work the same. Everybody must get to know their own body to identify symptoms that may indicate something is wrong,” recommends Dr. Julián Hurtado Mondragón.

In addition to feeling that something has changed in your body, some symptoms – such as weight loss, fatigue, blood in the stool, a persistent cough, recurrent pain in a specific area in the body, among others –may be a sign that a condition is affecting your quality of life. (Learn the signs of mental illness)


According to Dr. Hurtado, with diseases such as diabetes mellitus, there are three signs that may indicate you have the disease, “These are known as the 3 P’s: polyuria, which is the constant need to urinate; polydipsia, which manifests as excessive thirst; and polyphagia, which is a constant desire to eat. Just because someone has these symptoms, however, does not mean they suffer from this condition.” Diabetes mellitus occurs when there is a high concentration of glucose in the blood that, over time, can turn into conditions as serious as the vision loss, and heart or kidney disease, among others.

These symptoms alone, or any other symptoms, should not be considered definitive diseases before being seen by a doctor, as healthcare specialists have the ability to examine the patient, review their medical history and order diagnostic tests that can help determine if such symptoms are concerning or not. With all the different potential conditions there may be, however, it is entirely possible for similar symptoms to be a coincidence.

“It’s irresponsible to say some symptoms only belong to a specific disease and have nothing to do with other ones. It is very risky to generalize and say that some symptoms are more dangerous than others. The only way to find out for sure is through diagnostic tests,” explains Dr. Hurtado. Hurtado believes that it is important to let go of the habit of looking up symptoms on the internet. These searches are often made on unverified sources, which can just exacerbate the patient’s anxiety.

There are also those that avoid visiting their doctor because they simply do not like going. “We must create a culture among patients where their healthcare focuses on prevention as well as healing, as the majority of people only see their doctors when they have some type of symptom,” states Dr. Hurtado.

The best thing you can do if you suspect a problem or abnormality is to react, even before the body begins to send you signals and the situation gets worse. “That is why routine exams exist, which should be done at least once a year: cholesterol, triglycerides, blood sugar, and anemia, among others,” he states. According to Dr. Hurtado, requesting routine exams can help prevent “a pain in the neck,” or in any other part of the body for that matter •

When it’s time to see a doctor

While there are some patients that are apathetic about doctor visits, there are also those at the other extreme: those who see their healthcare provider constantly, even though they have already been diagnosed as not having a disease.

“It is important not to let a problem go on for too long, but it’s also not about seeing your doctor for any given symptom or about taking a pill as soon as a symptom appears. The body has its times for recovering naturally, you have to let it act. If you go to the emergency room at the slightest sign of a symptom, you can end up unnecessarily saturating healthcare services,” says Dr. Hurtado.

According to Hurtado, it is important to see a doctor when pain or discomfort become persistent, when you experience a noticeable physical change, or if the pain is severe and prolonged. (May interested you: 15 tips for staying active)

A hypochondriac, for example, is a person who sees their physician and specialists frequently. They talk to people they do and don’t know about their ailments, they are anxious, they look up information to confirm that they are sick and they constantly analyze their body.