Body Aches and Sore Throat

Many illnesses start out with the same symptoms: body aches and pain in throat. These generic conditions can mean anything from the common cold to the beginnings of pneumonia. Even though they may not seem that serious in the beginning, if they continue and even progress, you should seek medical attention to prevent yourself from becoming even more ill than you started out.

Conditions That Can Cause Body Aches and Sore Throat

1.    Common Cold

With over 100 types of viruses that create the "common cold" it's no wonder this illness is one of the major reasons that people head towards the doctor's office at the first sign of a cough or sneeze. Out of all of the different types of virus, it is the rhinovirus that is the most common and most contagious.

When you feel as if you are coming down with a cold, you may find yourself with some of the following symptoms:

  • Stuffed up or runny nose
  • Sneezing
  • Dry or sore throat
  • Slight to severe fever
  • Constant cough
  • Body aches and/or headache
  • Mild fatigue

2.    Flu

What you may think is starting out as a cold could really be the flu, or influenza. This upper respiratory illness can escalate into conditions that are much more serious, such as pneumonia. Older adults, young kids, and people with compromised immune systems that include heart problems, asthma, or diabetes should be extra careful about contracting the flu. The symptoms appear similar to a cold but can include many of the following:

  • Dry irritating cough
  • Mid-to-high temperature
  • Chills and shaky feeling
  • Body aches and sore throat
  • Muscle soreness
  • Stuffed up and runny nose
  • Headache
  • Chronic fatigue that could last up to 2 weeks
  • Diarrhea and/or vomiting in children

3.    Pharyngitis

If your symptoms are located primarily in your throat you may be experiencing pharyngitis. This condition makes it difficult to swallow because of a painful or scratchy throat. The back of the throat becomes swollen towards the back in between the larynx and tonsils. Many sore throats start out from having a cold or the flu as well as coxsackie virus or mononucleosis. Besides having a sore throat, other symptoms include:

  • Headache
  • Moderate to high temperature
  • Muscle aches and joint pain
  • Swollen glands
  • Rash on the skin

4.    Hypothyroidism

An underactive thyroid, or hypothyroidism, occurs when the thyroid gland is not producing levels of specific hormones. Depending on how severe the case, the symptoms usually start off slowly and increase throughout the years. Signs of hypothyroidism can include:

  • Tiredness
  • Sensitivity to cold
  • Patches of dry skin
  • Constipation
  • Increase in weight
  • Face that appears puffed up
  • Hoarse voice
  • Body aches and sore throat
  • Weak muscles
  • Higher blood cholesterol readings
  • Sensitivity in your joints -pain, swelling and stiffness
  • Depressed demeanor
  • Lower heart rate
  • Hair that is falling out and thinning
  • Irregular and/or heavy menstrual periods
  • Sporadic memory loss or confusion

5.    Scarlet Fever

Many people who have strep throat find themselves with scarlet fever. This condition, also called scarlatina is a bacterial illness that results in a dark red rash that shows up all over the body. Besides a high fever and sore throat, here are some additional symptoms of scarlet fever:

  • A high fever, 101F or more usually with chills
  • Severe red and sore throat that may create yellow or white patches
  • Trouble swallowing
  • Swollen glands
  • Vomiting and/or nausea
  • Headache

6.    Mumps

This viral infection is another illness that starts out with body aches and sore throat. It focuses on the parotid glands which are part of the three salivary glands that can be found in front of and below your ears. Mumps begins with swollen parotid glands and may not show any additional symptoms. Further signs could show up from two to three weeks later. In addition to painful parotid glands you may experience:

  • Headache
  • High temperature
  • Achy muscles
  • Tiredness and weakness
  • No appetite
  • Inability to chew or swallow without pain
  • Swollen glands that make the face puff out which is where the term mumps comes from

7.    Mononucleosis

Mononucleosis is often referred to as mono and is a byproduct of the Epstein-Barr virus. Although you can get it at any age, it is more likely for teenagers to contract it. In fact, because it is passed along by saliva, it has been nicknamed "the kissing disease." Besides flu-like symptoms, other signs of mono include:

  • Extreme tiredness
  • Headache
  • Fever and chills
  • Achy muscles
  • Sore throat that can become extreme

After a few days, mono symptoms may escalate to:

  • Lymph nodes that have become swollen
  • Yellow skin and eyes (jaundice)
  • A rash the resembles measles (this could be from the antibiotics used to treat the sore throat).
  • Small red bruises that have developed on the roof of the mouth.
  • An enlarged spleen that is located on the upper part of the abdomen.

8.    Endocarditis

This disease develops as an infection that attaches to the lining of your heart, or the endocardium. It becomes infectious based on the germs or bacteria that have developed from other parts of your body and have traveled through the bloodstream.

This infection can show up suddenly or develop over a period of time. If you have heart problems, it may move a little faster. Here are some of the symptoms of endocarditis:

  • Chills and high temperatures
  • An adjusted or new heart murmur
  • Excessive tiredness
  • Muscles and joints that ache
  • Labored breathing
  • Sweating excessively at night
  • Loss of color
  • Irritating cough
  • Edema (swelling) in legs, abdomen or feet
  • Unexpected weight loss
  • Blood found in the urine
  • Tender pressure in your spleen that is located below your rib cage on the left side
  • Red sensitive spots that are on the skin under your fingers (called Osler's nodes)
  • Little red or purple spots on the whites of your eyes, in the mouth or on the skin.
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