The first step in improving your health is to identify the signs and symptoms you may be experiencing. Sometimes, a particular symptom may represent the actual diagnosis, such as when a patient comes in and tells me that every time she is near fresh-cut grass she begins to sneeze. This reaction is a common symptom of an allergy to grass. Or an individual symptom may represent just part of the diagnosis, especially if there are multiple problems occurring at the same time.
It is, therefore, important for you to first understand the definition of each of the symptoms. As you start to speak the same language as your physician, it will make it easier for you to organize your thoughts and report
your story accurately. Every doctor’s main role is to organize your experience into the proper diagnosis or diagnoses. I always tell my patients that without their help, I don’t have a chance at helping them feel better. If you can become a good detective and accurately relay your symptoms to your physician, then he or she will be able to make a more accurate diagnosis.
Read through each of the following descriptions and see if you can identify whether you are currently experiencing that sign or symptom. You may have had some of the symptoms in the past or may have never noticed others. Read all the descriptions so you’ll be able to recognize the conditions if they ever occur. If you are regularly suffering from any of the symptoms, you may be diagnosed with CAID. Because the primary branches of CAID have overlapping symptoms, it is first important to identify how your body is feeling. Later, I will explain how you can identify which branch of CAID you are suffering from and provide the appropriate treatment for your symptoms.
Remember, each of the conditions discussed in the following sections should not be considered as a “normal” state for healthy people. Many of these symptoms, like partial nasal blockage or snoring, may be misconstrued as normal because they are not life threatening, or causing acute pain. Even something that makes you chronically uncomfortable should be dealt with: You do not need to learn to live with any sort of discomfort. All of these symptoms can be treated, and they will, in time, disappear.