Doubt your correct diagnosis? You are not alone: according to unofficial data, up to 40% of medical prescriptions turn out to be erroneous.
Reductions in staff, budget cuts and increased workload of doctors - all this inevitably leads to the fact that even the most qualified doctor is not able to pay enough attention to each patient. And if you come to the appointment with complaints that can occur with several different diseases, the likelihood of an error increases. The best course of action in this case is to be aware of the risks, ask the right questions, and reasonably insist on additional examinations.
SYMPTOMS: decreased sensation (especially if felt more on one side), headaches, dizziness, visual disturbances, motor coordination, slow speech.
Diagnosis: vestibular disorders, migraine, inner ear diseases.
What else could it be: stroke.
CAUSE OF ERRORS. Up to 25% of strokes in people under 45 are not diagnosed in a timely manner. If the patient seems young and he althy, and the attack is not too extensive and the symptoms are blurred, then the doctor, exhausted by lack of time, may not suspect a stroke and send you home. In this case, you risk experiencing another attack - this time more intense. And besides, if the correct treatment is not started in the first three hours after a stroke, the chances of recovery are reduced.
WHAT TO PAY ATTENTION to. If the decrease in sensitivity is more pronounced on one side (left or right), if you notice several of these symptoms, call an ambulance immediately.
SYMPTOMS: headache, pain and ringing in the ears, back pain, neck pain or toothache.
Diagnosis: migraine, otitis.
What else could it be: jaw dislocation.
REASON FOR ERROR. With nagging pain in your head, back or neck, you are likely to see a general practitioner or neurologist, but the doctor you need is actually a dentist. The difficulty is that the symptoms are very diverse and can easily be mistaken for manifestations of other diseases. In addition, pain is not always permanent, but can occur periodically over many years. Jaw damage can be caused by trauma, misaligned teeth, muscle spasms, or even a wide-open mouth when yawning. Due to the nature of the location of the joint, it is not always easy to determine the dislocation of the jaw using an x-ray. As a result, some patients suffer from pain for decades.
WHAT TO PAY ATTENTION to. Doctor-prescribed medicines, massage, compresses, rest and physiotherapy do not bring relief? To the dentist!
SYMPTOMS: Weakness, difficulty breathing, chest pain or heaviness.
Diagnosis: stress, panic attack.
What else could it be: heart attack, myocardial infarction.
REASON FOR ERRORS: Firstly, the symptoms of heart disease in men are usually much more pronounced than in women. Often, weakness and fatigue are the only complaints of patients, on the basis of which the correct diagnosis is not always made. Secondly, coronary diseases in Russia and around the world are rapidly getting younger, problems today arise even in women under 40 years old. The risk is increased by being overweight, having hypertension, smoking, and taking certain hormonal drugs.
WHAT TO PAY ATTENTION to. If the treatment prescribed by your doctor does not help and you do not feel better within a day, contact a cardiologist urgently.
SYMPTOMS: weakness, apathy, weight gain, insomnia, muscle pain.
Doctor's diagnosis: depression.
What else could it be: hypothyroidism.
REASON FOR ERROR. If your main complaints are weakness and bad mood, the doctor automatically associates these manifestations with depression and sends you to a consultation with a psychotherapist. But in combination with a sharp change in weight and muscle pain, weakness and apathy can indicate a malfunction in the thyroid gland, which does not produce enough hormones. Without timely treatment, this failure can lead to hypertension, high cholesterol, heart disease and real clinical depression.
WHAT TO PAY ATTENTION to. If everything is quite well in life, but weakness and melancholy have become your faithful companions, at the first visit to the doctor, ask for a referral for a blood test to check thyroid hormones.
SYMPTOMS: abdominal pain, flatulence, problem skin, constipation or diarrhea.
What else could it be: irritable bowel syndrome, lactose deficiency, diseases of the stomach and duodenum, colitis.
REASON FOR ERROR. When complaining of pain in the abdomen, the doctor gives a referral for bacterial culture, the test usually shows deviations from the norm. The patient is prescribed enzymes, antibiotics and probiotics. But such treatment is by and large ineffective, because the imbalance of microorganisms in the intestine is not a disease, but a consequence of a number of disorders. And they need to be eliminated. There is simply no intestinal dysbacteriosis in the world classification of diseases. And the flora in the gut, on which the diagnosis is based, varies with diet, medication, and is a situational indicator.
WHAT TO PAY ATTENTION to. Seeing the diagnosis of "dysbacteriosis" in the chart, insist on finding the cause of the violations.
SYMPTOMS: weakness, pressure surges, dizziness, headache, sleep disturbances.
What else could it be: high cholesterol, intoxication of the body (for example, against the background of tonsillitis or chronic diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, kidneys).
REASON FOR ERROR. Vegetovascular dystonia is another common diagnosis in Russia that does not exist in the international classification of diseases. In fact, the vessels are only a target, and it is necessary to correct those breakdowns in the body that caused the deterioration of their condition. Usually the doctor prescribes a course of vascular drugs that do not give the desired result. Because if the cause is high cholesterol, therapy is needed to improve the functioning of the liver and the regimen and quality of nutrition. And if - in the intoxication of the body (say, there is tonsillitis or chronic diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, kidneys), then it is necessary to get rid of the foci of infection.
WHAT TO PAY ATTENTION to. The reason for feeling unwell. Insist that vascular problems are just a consequence of other disorders that need to be detected and treated with precision.
SYMPTOM: back pain.
Diagnosis made by the doctor: osteochondrosis.
What else could it be: diseases of the lungs, heart, kidneys, liver, stomach, intestines.
REASON FOR ERROR. Osteochondrosis is often confused with pain syndrome of other diseases. A quick and accurate way to confirm or disprove suspicions is an MRI examination of the painful segment of the spine. But in conditions of total saving of time and money, doctors often neglect additional examinations. In fact, the pain may be caused by disorders that are not related to the spine.
WHAT TO PAY ATTENTION to. If the pain does not go away after treatment for osteochondrosis, require additional examinations.