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The Most Commonly Misdiagnosed Illnesses

THE MOST COMMONLY MISDIAGNOSED ILLNESSES Many patients consider a medical diagnosis as the absolute truth. But did you know about 40% of illnesses are misdiagnosed the first time around? See below for the most commonly misdiagnosed illnesses... PARKINSON'S DISEASE A degenerative disorder of the central nervous system. Symptoms: 1. Tremors in hands, arms, legs, or head 2. Stiff muscles 3. Problems with balance or walking Commonly Mistaken For: 1. Alzheimer's 2. Stroke 3. Stress 4. Traumatic head injury 5. Essential tremor Tests For Detection: There are no tests that can be given. A complete neurological exam must be administered. Men are 1.5 times more likely to have Parkinson's than Often, a Parkinson's disease medicine is given to the patient. If progress is made, this helps diagnose the illness. women. There is a 2-4% risk for Parkinson's among people over the age of 60, compared to the 1-2% risk for those in the general population. Did You Know? 7-10 million people worldwide are living with Parkinson's. HYPOTHYROIDISM Abnormally low thyroid production Symptoms: 1. Sadness plus fatigue 2. Weight gain 3. Insomnia 4. Muscle aches/stiffness 5. Constipation 6. Dry skin Commonly Mistaken For: 1. Depression 2. Aging Tests For Detection: TSH blood test Did You Know? Can be easily and completely treated with thyroid hormone replacement. FIBROMYALGIA A chronic arthritis-like disorder characterised by widespread pain Symptoms: 1. Anxiety or depression 2. Increased sensitivity to pain 3. Incapacitating fatigue Commonly Mistaken For: 1. Rheumatoid arthritis 2. Chronic fatigue syndrome Tests For Detection: Diagnosis is made after a physical exam and after talking with the patient - a lot of the diagnosis is based on the way you feel. A blood test, called FM/a, identifies markers produced by immune system blood cells in people with fibromyalgia. Did You Know? 200 million to 400 million people around the world have fibromyalgia, that's 2-4% of the population. CBC - complete blood count It is 7x more likely Two questions are taken heavily into in women than it is account when diagnosing patients. in men. O Has there been widespread pain in all four quadrants of your body for a minimum of three months? It takes an average of 5 years to get a correct fibromyalgia diagnosis. O Do you have tenderness or pain in at least 11 of 18 specific tender points when pressure is applied? NORMAL PRESSURE HYDROCEPHALUS (NPH) A buildup of cerebrospinal fluid in the brain. Most commonly occurs after a stroke or a head injury from a fall. The cause is often unknown. Symptoms: 1. Unsteady gait 2. Progressive dementia 3. Urinary problems, most often, incontinence Commonly Mistaken For: 1. Alzheimer's 2. Parkinson's Tests For Detection: otor Intracranial pressure Did You Know? Brain scans It is most common in the elderly population, ages 70-75. (CT or MRI) monitoring Spinal tap or lumbar catheter Neuropsychological tests MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS (MS) 08 A progressive autoimmune disease that attacks the central nervous system Symptoms: 1. Muscle spasms 2. Lack of coordination 3. Balance problems 4. Blurred vision 5. Cognitive impairment Commonly Mistaken For: 1. Viral infection 2. Lupus 3. Alzheimer's 4. Bipolar disorder Tests For Detection: Did You Know? MRI - used to detect Usually diagnosed between the age of 18-40. MS in 90% of patients Spinal Tap Evoked potential test - these tests can indicate the problems along the pathway of certain nerves. Children with MS are more likely to have seizures (5%) than adults (2-3%). COELIAC DISEASE An autoimmune disorder marked by an inability to digest gluten, a protein in wheat, rye and barley Symptoms: 1. Vomiting 2. Abdominal pain and bloating 3. Diarrhea 4. Weight loss 5. Anemia 6. Leg cramps Commonly Mistaken For: 1. Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) 2. Crohn's disease 3. Cystic fibrosis Tests For Detection: Women are two to three times more likely Antibody Small intestinal to have the disease. blood test biopsy Did You Know? An estimated 1 in 100 people in the UK are affected by this disease. CHRONIC FATIGUE SYNDROME A complex disorder with a combination of symptoms of unknown cause Symptoms: 1. Loss of memory or concentration 2. Sore throat 3. Painful lymph nodes in neck or armpits 4. Unexplained muscle and joint pain 5. Extreme exhaustion Commonly Mistaken For: 1. Sinus problems 2. Hepatitis 3. Fibromyalgia 4. Lupus Rheumatoid arthritis tock Tests For Detection: Diagnosis is based on exclusion of similar disorders. Did You Know? No specific test for The body becomes more diagnosis since it mimics many other susceptible to infection, as it disrupts the immune health problems. system. Must have unexplained, Prolongs and worsens the effects of low blood persistent fatigue for six months or more along pressure. with other symptoms. LUPUS A chronic inflammatory disease Symptoms: 1. Fatigue 2. Kidney, heart and lung damage 3. Rash 4. Joint pain Commonly Mistaken For: 1. Chronic fatigue syndrome 2. Fibromyalgia 3. Rheumatoid arthritis Tests For Detection: Multitude of blood tests: O Antinuclear anitbody (ANA) O Antiphospholipid Antibodies (APLS) O Anti-Sm O Anti-dsDNA O Anti-Ro(SSA) and Anti-La(SSB) O C-Reactive Protein (CRP) Did You Know? 1 in 200 people 50% of lupus patients suffer from lupus. see 3 doctors in 4 years before being diagnosed. O Complement O Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate (ESR) O Complete Blood Cell Count (CBC) O Chemistry Panel Urinalysis 90% of those with lupus are women. AORTIC DISSECTION A tear develops in the aorta, the largest blood vessel branching from the heart, which causes the inner and middle layers to separate Symptoms: Sudden chest or upper back pain 1. 2. Loss of consciousness 3. Shortness of breath 4. Sweating Weak pulse in one arm compared to the other Commonly Mistaken For: 1. Heartburn 2. Heart attack 3. Stroke Tests For Detection: Imaging procedures are most accurate. Did You Know? Most frequently in men, ages 60-70 years. Chronic high blood pressure can stress the aortic tissue, making a person more Computerised tomography (CT) scan Magnetic resonance angiogram (MRA) Transesophageal echocardiogram (TEE) susceptible to a tear. Have You Been Misdiagnosed? Here are some common questions to ask yourself if you believe you have been misdiagnosed: O Are you getting better with your prescribed treatment? If you have been taking medicine for the prescribed time and no good results have started to show, visit your GP for a follow-up appointment. O Do your symptoms match the diagnosis you were given? Look up your diagnosis to see whether or not the symptoms you are exerting actually mimic the symptoms associated with the illness. OWere you only given a lab test for your diagnosis? Sometimes, tests come back wrong, so it is good to get a second opinion, preferably from a specialised lab. O Have you done your research? Medical Don't always take your doctor's word for it. Do some research and don't be afraid to ask Dictionary a lot of questions. O Is no news really good news? It is as easy as a chart or piece of paper getting stuck together or falling behind a desk for you not to receive very important call regarding a diagnosis. Always follow up for results, even if you are told not hearing from the doctor's office is a good thing. Sources: IM) irwinmitchell cbsnews.com, aarp.org, cnn.com, ain.md, celiaccentral.org, pdf.org, sharecare.com, cure4lupus.org, mayoclinic.com, redbookmag.org, webmd.com, mayoclinic.com, nhs.uk, fibromyalgiasyndrome.co.uk, headway.org.uk. solicitors

The Most Commonly Misdiagnosed Illnesses

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Showing the nine most commonly misdiagnosed illnesses, what they are mistaken for and tests for detection.

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