Nowadays, diagnostics is an integral part of medical procedures.

When collecting information about the disease, the doctor may use a somatic examination (looking at the patient, percussion, pressing the abdominal cavity), auscultation of the heart and lungs, sometimes auscultation of the abdomen, may order laboratory tests of blood, urine, stool or appropriate swabs, and may also order electrocardiographic and electromyographic tests. , spirometry, or imaging, e.g. ultrasound.

Somatic examination

For an experienced doctor, somatic examination is the basic source of information in the diagnostic process. A properly conducted interview and somatic examination allow a significant percentage of the correct diagnosis to be made and treatment to be implemented. The doctor looks directly at the skin (color, moles, rashes) and sometimes assesses abnormalities under the skin (hernias, cysts, tumors).

Often, the doctor must touch, press, or tap the abdomen. It also checks specific reflexes.

In the case of heart, bronchus and lung diagnostics, the doctor listens to the area around the heart or lungs with a stethoscope. This makes it logical to undress the patient. It is unacceptable to examine the patient through his shirt or clothes – this is due to poor sound conduction indirectly from the skin to the stethoscope. Patients are often embarrassed to undress in the office, but the correct diagnosis depends on it. Sometimes the patient talks about the symptoms of fever and abdominal pain, “forgetting” to add information about pain in the testicular area and their swelling – which may result in omitting the test for testicular cancer.

ECG and ultrasound examinations

The most popular test by far is the ECG, which shows the electrical activity of the heart.
Ophthalmoscopes are also often used for examination – to view the fundus of the eye, and otoscopes are used to assess the eardrum.
The function of the lungs and bronchi is assessed using a spirometer.
Ultrasound has recently become a very helpful device. Ultrasound scanners are now available and frequently used by physicians. You can directly observe the development of the fetus, assess brain structures through transfontanel examination of infants, hips in children, see abdominal structures, hernias, tumors, cysts, check endocrine systems (ovaries, thyroid, testicles), and detect some breast cancers.

Laboratory tests

Laboratory tests are the most frequently used additional tests. They concern the analysis of parameters of blood, urine, sometimes stool, secretions and excretions. Blood tests practically allow us to determine all types of diseases, starting from a slight degree of anemia, through micronutrient deficiencies, worse organ function, heart attacks, damage, blood loss, infections, leukemias and their types, cancers and their stage, allergies, atherosclerosis (cholesterol), metabolic diseases, endocrine system, ending with genetic testing of rare diseases.
Urine testing can determine kidney diseases, diabetes, liver damage, infections, and stones.
Stool examination tells us about parasites present in the intestine, bacteria such as salmonella, shigella, and excessive growth of fungi (candida) in the digestive system.
Swabs are very valuable tests. They involve collecting a specific secretion or surface lesion with a spatula or loop, cultivating bacterial strains in the laboratory and determining their sensitivity to drugs, and then administering these drugs in a targeted manner to the patient. The disadvantage of this procedure is the waiting time for bacteria to grow – from 2-3 days to 6-8 weeks (tuberculosis bacilli). We can also grow certain viruses and fungi from the swab.

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