10 Sets of Symptoms that Fool Doctors the Most
I noticed how Fibromyalgia kept coming up in the article. This affliction has become the ash pan of diagnosis. It is too oft 'poopoo'd' by the medical community, but has finally been looked into more thoroughly. My DDW suffered from this milady and it was very hard to watch her suffering and not be able to rub her soreness away, since simple touching often was far worse. I felt so powerless and we were both, also robbed of loving tenderness for each other by this ailment. It has been classified as a true Rheumatological affliction, such as arthritis and Berger's Disease and treatment is slowly emerging.

This article is quite informative.


Wednesday, 14 December 2016
10 Sets of Symptoms that Fool Doctors the Most

You can't treat an issue unless you know what it is. But even the best physicians can mistakenly identify some groups of symptoms as another condition that acts similarly. If you experience any of the following, beware that what your doctor suspects to be the culprit may not be. Here are some of the most commonly misdiagnosed symptoms and when it may be time to look for an alternate verdict. 

1. Frequent Urination and Burning

Common diagnosis: urinary tract infection

May instead be: interstitial cystitis

If those classic UTI signs don't go away after a round of antibiotics, ask your doctor to run a urine culture (which differs from a urinalysis, a microscopic analysis of the urine), suggests Brian Norouzi, MD, urologist with St. Joseph Hospital, in Orange, CA. "If the urine culture is negative, then one should suspect another problem, like interstitial cystitis." Another sign it could be IC instead of a UTI: You don't have a fever.

2. Breathlessness When Exercising

Common diagnosis: bronchitis

May instead be: exercise-induced asthma

If you have asthma already, and exercise triggers an asthma attack, the latter could be to blame. "People tend to feel normal when they aren't exerting themselves, then with exercise, they can suffer chest heaviness, wheezing, severe cough and/or shortness of breath," says Joanna Beros, MD, a pulmonologist with HealthCare Partners in Torrance, CA. Bronchitis presents similar symptoms, but generally occurs following an upper respiratory tract infection. If you aren't getting better after a bronchitis diagnosis, seek out a pulmonologist to definitively diagnose EIA.

3. Feeling Faint and Dizzy When Exercising

Common diagnosis: dehydration

May instead be: low blood sugar

Though a lack of fluids can bring on dizziness, "it's actually a late sign of dehydration," says Steven Masley, MD, president of the Masley Optimal Health Center and author of The 30-Day Heart Tune-Up: A Breakthrough Medical Plan to Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease. Although low blood sugar is less common, you may have it if you're on diabetes medication or you've exercised for more than an hour at a time. If you work out for long stretches and suspect low blood sugar, Dr. Masley recommends eating a light meal of healthy fat, carbs and protein 30 minutes before exercising.

4. Moodiness and Weight Gain

Common diagnosis: depression

May instead be: an underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism)

Many medical conditions could bring about those symptoms, says Alan Christianson, NMD, co-author of The Complete Idiot's Guide to Thyroid Disease. While depression may be a factor, your doctor should consider thyroid disease too, recommends Dr. Christianson. A simple blood test can diagnose the condition, and since your thyroid keeps your heart, brain and metabolism functioning properly, you want to know if something's amiss with it.

5. Chronic Headaches

Common diagnosis: stress-related muscle tension

May instead be: grinding teeth/a tooth infection

Even migraines may result from a tooth issue, says Don Atkins, DDS, a dentist in Long Beach, CA. And an issue like teeth grinding may stem from obstructive sleep apnea, adds Dr. Atkins. Often, dentists can give patients an appliance that treats the sleep apnea and reduces the grinding and headaches. Other times, a dental X-ray may show an infected tooth, even without other symptoms. But if you experience pain when eating or when pressing on a tooth, you may get that infection diagnosis, and the root canal or extraction to treat it, faster.

6. Toothache

Common diagnosis: tooth infection

May instead be: sinusitis

What does one have to do with the other? "The floor of the sinus may be close to the end of the tooth roots," says Dr. Atkins. If sinusitis is causing tooth pain, a nasal decongestant may help. Dr. Atkins asks his patients with toothaches in areas near sinuses to try to breathe through one side of their nose and then the other. A toothache on the blocked side could signal a sinus infection. Further tests and an X-ray can confirm the diagnosis.

7. Tender Joints

Common diagnosis: fibromyalgia

May instead be: osteoarthritis

While these conditions mimic each other, says Nathan Wei, MD, a rheumatologist in Frederick, MD, fibromyalgia sufferers also experience fatigue, sensitivity to light and sounds, migraines and irritable bowels. Osteoarthritis, on the other hand, occurs mainly in the weight-bearing joints of the body. An X-ray can determine the real cause; osteoarthritis shows up on X-rays while fibromyalgia doesn't.

8. Weight Loss, Fatigue and Diarrhea

Common diagnosis: Crohn's disease

May instead be: celiac disease

While a gluten allergy can cause the above, it isn't likely to bring about other common Crohn's symptoms, like bleeding, abdominal pain and fever, says James Lee, MD, a gastroenterologist with St. Joseph Hospital in Orange, CA. Another difference: "Crohn's patients' blood tests can show evidence of inflammation," and you're not likely to see inflammation in celiacs. A simple blood test can screen for celiac disease, so ask your doctor for one.

9. Shortness of Breath, Abdominal Cramping and Neck Stiffness

Common diagnosis: fibromyalgia

May instead be: Lyme disease

Antibiotics can treat the disease that ticks transmit by biting people. Left untreated, though, and the infection can spread to the joints, causing pain similar to fibromyalgia. If you live in an area with ticks, your doctor should check for Lyme if you develop the above symptoms. "Lyme also can be over-diagnosed, so specific testing may be needed to definitely exclude Lyme in patients with borderline screening," says Dr. Wei.

10. Tingling and Numbness in Hands

Common diagnosis: carpal tunnel syndrome

May instead be: thoracic outlet syndrome

The latter refers to compression of nerves that exit the neck and chest, which can lead to numbness and tingling like carpal tunnel sufferers have, as well as blood clots and the loss of pulses over the entire upper extremity, says Michael Shepard, MD, an orthopedic surgeon with Hoag Orthopedic Institute in Irvine, CA. The key: Thoracic outlet symptoms tend to be more widespread, affecting the entire arm, for example, while carpal tunnel affects only the palm of the hand and the thumb muscles.
Mr. Lister strikes again!  :grin: :grin:

As a retired medical professional, Mr. Z, you also know that each of those sets of symptoms could be even more than what's listed above.  That's why a properly trained and even moderately caring primary care physician will ask many questions and order enough tests (hopefully the right ones!!!!) in order to make a more accurate differential diagnosis.  And, if he or she is unable to do so, hopefully they're not too proud to refer to a "specialist".

I totally sympathize and empathize with you and your DDW, Z-Man.  My long suffering wife has diagnoses, from VERY good doctors (imnsho) of chronic Lyme Disease, fibromyalgia, rheumatoid and osteo-arthritis, Sjogrens syndrome, antiphospholipid antibody syndrome, and chronic fatigue syndrome.  Her primary care doc has just 2 days ago ordered a brain MRI as he suspects something else may be going on due to some recent and recently more severe symptoms.  MS is one possibility and there's another that she said he mentioned but, due to her bad memory, can't remember what it was.  I'm thinking I might need to go in with her next time she sees him.

What's fascinating is how Lyme Disease (which it took over 2 years to get a positive diagnosis for her), caused (or so they believe) by a spirochete as is syphilis (also a great mimic), so closely mimics other conditions like fibromyalgia/CFS, and a number of auto-immune conditions.

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