Common symptoms are various reactions that represent a systemic response of the body to changes in homeostasis. They can be physiological in nature (for example, thirst or sweating in hot weather) or serve as a reflection of a wide range of pathological processes (fever, intoxication syndrome, chills). Clinical and epidemiological anamnesis plays a primary role in the diagnosis, additional data from analyses and instrumental studies. Therapeutic tactics have a nosological orientation, symptomatic means are widely used to alleviate the condition.

Any pathological process is accompanied by a change in the functioning of almost all body systems. Local symptoms reflect the response of the affected organ itself, general symptoms reflect the body as a whole. Common symptoms develop when the main constants of homeostasis change: ambient temperature, CBS, oncotic and osmotic pressure, hydration level, BCC, pressure, blood gas composition, etc. The following groups of systemic reactions are distinguished:

  • Thirst. A person can experience intense thirst in a hot climate, dehydration, eating salty food, alcohol – in this case, the sensation is a physiological signal indicating the need to replenish water reserves in the body. Pathological symptoms include constant thirst and polydipsia, which occurs in diabetes mellitus.
  • Intoxication. The formation or ingestion of toxins in infectious diseases, poisoning, cancer processes primarily disrupts the work of the central nervous system, so the first signs of intoxication syndrome are lethargy, weakness, drowsiness, severe headache. An increase in vascular tone and a violation of the water-electrolyte balance leads to a feeling of ache throughout the body (especially often in muscles, joints).
  • Weight change. It can occur both in the direction of gaining extra pounds, and in the direction of losing weight up to exhaustion (with anorexia, oncological pathology). If a person deliberately does not follow a diet, then a progressive increase or decrease in weight should be a reason to visit a doctor. Fluctuations (frequent changes) in weight are also possible with hormonal dysfunction.
  • Violations of thermoregulation. An increase in body temperature is one of the most common common symptoms of infectious pathologies. In various diseases, subfebrile, febrile, pyretic, hyperpyretic fever, chills may be noted. Hypothermia is less common (for example, with hypothyroidism). Signs of thermoregulation disorders may also be excessive sweating or, conversely, its decrease (hypohidrosis, anhidrosis).

General symptoms are nonspecific, they accompany the course of most diseases of various nature (infectious, tumor, endocrine-metabolic, etc.). It is impossible to make an accurate diagnosis only on the basis of general symptoms, so it is necessary to compare it with other, more pathognomonic (specific) signs and clarify the nature of the disease using instrumental laboratory techniques.

aching joints

Aching Joints

Aching joints are unpleasant aching, pulling sensations in the area of articular joints, the intensity of which sometimes reaches the degree of pain. The symptom is combined with muscle aches, weakness, bruising, crunching, limited movements and may precede joint pain (arthralgia). Joint pain is accompanied by lesions of the musculoskeletal system, infections, diseases of the…

muscle aches

Muscle Aches

Muscle aches are a specific pulling and “twisting” pain, an unpleasant burning and tingling sensation in the muscles. The symptom is often accompanied by weakness, stiffness of movements, local hyperemia of the skin. Pain is observed in myositis, fibromyalgia, vascular pathology, infectious diseases, intoxication. To identify the cause of the disorder, electromyography, radiography, ultrasound, laboratory…

weight fluctuations

Weight Fluctuations

Weight fluctuations are small changes in body weight in the direction of increasing or decreasing, occurring in a short time. Often, weight jumps are caused by natural factors: errors in the diet, fluctuations during the menstrual cycle. Among the pathological prerequisites for weight changes, renal and cardiovascular diseases are distinguished. To verify the cause of…



Exhaustion is an extreme degree of weight loss (more than 20%), in which the work of various organs and systems is disrupted. The condition is often accompanied by symptoms of nervous exhaustion, weakness, adynamia. Exhaustion of the body occurs with anorexia, chronic gastrointestinal diseases, cancer and other types of intoxication. To determine the factors that…

weight change

Weight Change

Weight change is a fluctuation of body weight in the direction of decrease or increase. The condition may be accompanied by weakness, apathy, dyspeptic disorders. Weight changes are most often caused by conscious dietary restrictions, endocrine diseases, severe organic pathology and psychogenic disorders. To identify the cause of weight loss or weight gain, anthropometry is…



Thirst (polydipsia) is the desire to drink water in large quantities, which is accompanied by subjective sensations of dry mouth. The symptom can occur with various endocrine diseases, increased fluid loss during breathing and sweating, liver and kidney pathologies. To determine the causes of thirst and dry mouth, ultrasound of internal organs, X-ray examination, laboratory…



Lethargy is a subjective feeling of lack of vigor and energy, accompanied by a decrease in working capacity and loss of interest in familiar activities. Often, malaise occurs under the influence of external factors: fatigue, overeating, excessive coffee consumption. Symptoms are also caused by pathological causes — endocrine and neurological diseases, mental disorders. To clarify…

High body temperature

High Body Temperature

High body temperature is a violation of thermoregulation, in which the temperature rises above 37 °C. The symptom is accompanied by headaches, muscle aches, sharp weakness, malaise. Fever occurs more often with infectious diseases, but fever may also have a non-infectious origin — endocrine and autoimmune diseases, tumors. To find out the cause of hyperthermia,…