When people consult the doctor they do so because they have had feelings and sensations that are disturbing and uncomfortable. Perhaps they have had reactions in various portions of the body which are quite different from the usual. For instance, symptoms may include pain, weakness, shortness of breath, cough, or itching. One may notice a sudden increase of weight, or loss of weight. The hands and feet may seem to be cold and numb. Indigestion may occur, with dizziness or vomiting or diarrhea. Because of jaundice the skin may develop a yellow appearance. All these are included in the signs and symptoms of disease; they are a warning that an investigation of the cause is needed.
People who are emotionally disturbed are likely to feel pain sooner and more intensely than are people in general. With the reaction to pain may come other changes, brought about through functioning of the sympathetic nervous system. These include rapid beating of the heart, sweating, rise in the blood pressure and disturbances of digestion.