Health

Four Commonly Misdiagnosed Health Conditions

Often you will hear someone say, all you have is your health. And that statement is incredibly accurate. Your health affects every aspect of your life and needs to be taken care of on a constant basis.

In the search for maintaining your wellbeing, you could do online research to identify minor problems you may experience. Click here to find health and wellness advice from Authority Health.

However, when you know that there is something more serious at play, you would likely head straight to the doctor’s office to get checked out. Unfortunately, for some people, their conditions go unnoticed or misdiagnosed.

While modern medicine has surpassed what we have previously thought possible, the chance of getting misdiagnosed is higher than you may think.

According to the National Academy of Medicine, approximately 12 million people (one out of 20 USA citizens) receive an incorrect diagnosis.

Here is a look at four, commonly misdiagnosed conditions, and their symptoms.

Depression

Depression is at the top of this list for a very good reason. Because mental illnesses are the most difficult to diagnose, as there are scarcely any physiological tests to help doctors make a sound judgment.

Characterized by a constant state of depressed mood and loss of interest in life, depression frequently causes severe impairments in the sufferer’s daily life.

Depression Symptoms:

  • Insomnia
  • A constant sinking feeling of hopelessness
  • Loss of interest in hobbies/favorite activities
  • Change in appetite
  • Irritability and moodiness
  • Preoccupied with death and suicide

With depression diagnoses, it is often a case of mistaken identity, as several other conditions present similar symptoms. These conditions include bipolar disorder, hypothyroidism, diabetes, and chronic fatigue syndrome.

Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia is one of the most common muscles and bone affecting conditions, which is still regularly misdiagnosed and misinterpreted. According to the National Fibromyalgia Association (NFA), millions of Americans suffer from this condition that affects 3-6% of the world’s population.

Fibromyalgia Symptoms:

  • Muscle aches, pain, burning, twitching, or tightness
  • A lower pain threshold
  • Continual fatigue and drowsiness
  • A difficulty with concentration and memory
  • Insomnia
  • Feelings of worry and depression
  • Thyroid conditions

As there are no known causes of this illness, it becomes tricky to diagnose correctly. As such, thousands of people with fibromyalgia are not aware that they have it.

This condition also has many symptoms that overlap with the likes of hypothyroidism, sleep apnea, arthritis, and lupus.

Celiac Disease

Celiac Disease is a condition that you may have heard of, as it is gaining more attention in the media of late. Fuelling the ‘gluten-free’ trend, Celiac Disease is a severe autoimmune disorder that occurs genetically. When the sufferer ingests gluten, it can damage the small intestine – leading to a myriad of adverse effects.

Roughly one out of a hundred people suffer from this disease worldwide, with nearly 2.5 million Americans going undiagnosed which increases the risk of long-term complications such as anemia, osteoporosis, and infertility.

Celiac Disease Symptoms:

  • Anemia
  • Pain in the bones or joints
  • Unexplained fatigue
  • Osteoporosis
  • Missed menstrual periods
  • Canker sores in the mouth
  • Fertility problems
  • Numbness and tingling in hands and feet
  • Skin rash

Due to the similarity in symptoms, Celiac Disease could resemble any number of illnesses and health conditions. These include colic, intestinal infections. Crohn’s disease, IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), colitis and cystic fibrosis.

Lyme Disease

Each year nearly 30 000 cases of Lyme Disease is reported to the Centers for Disease Control And Prevention. Unfortunately, this number does not even come close to the number of instances where this disease is not diagnosed.

Lyme Disease is caused by a specific bacteria, transferred via the bite of an infected tick. The wide variety of symptoms may present anywhere between 3 days to a month after contact.

Lyme Disease Symptoms:

  • Stiffness of the neck and headaches
  • Rashes all over the body
  • Severe joint pain and swelling
  • Heart palpitations
  • Brain inflammation
  • Shooting pains, tingling, and numbness in limbs

If not diagnosed correctly, the infection that causes Lyme Disease has time to spread – resulting in chronic and sometimes fatal health issues. This disease shares symptoms with Rheumatoid arthritis (RA), which is often mistaken for this tick-induced condition.

If you are concerned that you may have one of these conditions, inform your healthcare provider.

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Clare Louise

Clare Louise