Diagnostics from A to Z

"What disease do I actually suffer from?" In order for physicians to be able to clearly answer this question, there is diagnostics. It includes all possible examinations with which a disease can be diagnosed.

This is not always a simple task and requires a systematic approach. As a rule, a diagnosis begins with obtaining a patient's medical history via anamnesis. Here the patient's state of health is assessed in detail by the treating physician. A lot of information is gathered in this way: The current symptoms, which are of course the main focus, but also the patient's medical history, allergies and predispositions, family anomalies and genetic risks, life circumstances - in short, everything that a patient can personally answer. This means that doctors usually already have valuable information at their disposal.

The next step is for the doctor - or whoever is making the diagnosis - to use his senses: he looks closely at who he is dealing with, he palpates the patient, he listens to the body's sounds using a stethoscope. In many cases that' s enough.

In order to extend or verify the diagnosis, medicine offers another possibility: diagnostic procedures using medical instruments. Everything that requires more effort than thermometers, stethoscopes, scales and other smaller devices is called instrument-based. The most common instrument-based diagnostic methods are laboratory procedures such as blood tests - and imaging procedures such as ultrasound and X-ray examinations.

In the case of common, easily identifiable diseases, doctors sometimes refrain from using elaborate methods. If the diagnosis is obvious to the doctor's practiced eye, it is referred to as a suspected diagnosis: if the doctor can detect the disease solely on the basis of his experience, no laboratory data are required: the diagnosis is confirmed anyway.

Sometimes, however, it is not possible to make a definitive diagnosis even after the most thorough examinations. There can be various reasons for this - the range is wide. In such cases it is then absolutely necessary to obtain a second opinion. After all, your health is at stake!

In order to be able to clearly diagnose diseases and their causes, various examination procedures are available in medicine. Below is a list of the types of diagnostic methods doctors use to assess symptoms, identify the exact cause of the illness or to clearly determine or rule out an illness. Here you will also find everything worth knowing about the individual methods of diagnostics.

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Diagnostics from A to Z

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