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Throat Problems

by in Symptom Checker A-Z January 21, 2014

See complete list of symptom flow charts

**The following is a general guideline from the American Medical Association. The flowchart below allows you to easily track your symptoms and come to a possible diagnosis. Be sure to consult with you doctor if you feel you have a serious medical problem.

I did not produce this chart myself, so any treatment options on this page are completely conventional.The following flowchart was reproduced with permission.

SYMPTOMS DIAGNOSIS SELF-CARE
Begin Here
1. Do you have a fever? No Go to Question 7.*
Yes
2. Do you have body aches, headache, cough or runny nose? Yes You probably have a COLD or FLU. Drink plenty of fluids and get plenty of rest. Children should be given nonaspirin medicine for the fever. If the cold lasts longer than two to three days, see your doctor.
No
3. Are you vomiting or do you have nausea or diarrhea? Yes You may have viral GASTROENTERITIS, also called STOMACH FLU. Drink plenty of fluids and get plenty of rest. Use an antinausea and/or antidiarrheal medicine. See your doctor if symptoms get worse, if they last longer than a week, or if you become dehydrated.
No
4. When you look at the back of your throat, do you see white patches on your tonsils? Yes You may have STREP THROAT or MONONUCLEOSIS. See your doctor.
No
5. Do you have a persistent cough or are you coughing mucus? Yes These symptoms may be from BRONCHITIS, PNEUMONIA or POST-NASAL DRIP. These illnesses need prescription treatments. See your doctor.
No
6. Is the person a child with a harsh barking cough? Yes A dry barking cough often means CROUP or, less commonly, EPIGLOTTITIS. Make sure the child is drinking plenty of fluids. Relieve fever and other discomfort with children’s acetaminophen. See your doctor right away if there is shortness of breath. Croup and other respiratory infections may need treatment by your doctor.

*7. Do you have small, open sores on your tongue, inside your lips or on the sides or back of your mouth? Yes These sores are called CANKER SORES. They usually occur by themselves or with other viral illnesses. Most of these sores will heal in 7 to 14 days. Use an anesthetic spray or an analgesic medicine. If the sores are severe, last longer than expected, or are accompanied by other symptoms, see your doctor.
No
8. Is the skin in your mouth peeling, and are your tongue and gums swollen and red? Yes This may be from TRENCH MOUTH, an infection of the gums, teeth and other tissues. A rare drug reaction, STEVENS-JOHNSON REACTION, may also cause this. See your dentist or doctor. Poor dental hygiene may lead to this disease. Brush your teeth and floss as recommended by your dentist. Use over-the-counter pain medications to relieve discomfort.
No
9. Do you have white patches and redness on your tongue or on the sides or back of your mouth? Yes You may have ORAL THRUSH, a yeast infection in your mouth. This may be a simple infection, or it may come from another, more serious illness. You may be able to control the infection by eating unsweetened yogurt (with live cultures) or taking acidophilus. This may help restore normal bacteria in your body. See your doctor if it returns or doesn’t go away.
No
For more information, please talk to your doctor. If you think the problem is serious, call your doctor right away.

 

See complete list of symptom flow charts

This tool has been reviewed by doctors and is for general educational purposes only. It is not a substitute for medical advice. The information in this tool should not be relied upon to make decisions about your health. Always consult your family doctor with questions about your individual condition(s) and/or circumstances.

Source: American Medical Association (2008-04-21). American Medical Association Family Medical Guide (AMA Family Medical Guide) (Kindle Locations 6690-6691). Turner Publishing Co.. Kindle Edition.

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