Question and answer
Heart attacks can be undiagnosed: Although the most severe symptoms of heart attack are hard to miss,
there are varying degrees of severity.
It is altogether too common for people to die from undiagnosed heart attack, or from delaying too long
to call for emergency help.
The prognosis for treatment is far better for patients treated in the early stages of a heart attack.
The most common misdiagnoses include heartburn, or other less severe causes of chest pain.
See the introduction to heart attack and the symptoms of heart attack.
Heart attacks can be overdiagnosed: Although many people die from heart attacks, there are also
many cases where people fear that they have a heart attack, but actually have something milder.
Some of the conditions which may be causes of chest pain, causing fear of a heart attack, including
an anxiety attack, heartburn, and so on.
See the causes of chest pain and the symptoms of heart attack.
Rare heart condition often undiagnosed: The rare heart condition called long QT syndrome can lead to episodes of palpitations
and rapid heartbeat.
In rare cases, this undiagnosed condition can be fatal.
It should be considered for any unexplained heart rhythm abnormality.
Heart attack can be over-diagnosed: Although heart attack is often undiagnosed,
leading to fatality, it can also be over-diagnosed.
People become concerned that a condition is a heart attack,
whereas there are various less dangerous possibilities.
After all, there are numerous causes of chest pain.
Some of the common conditions where a person may become concerned
about a possible heart attack include a panic attack (which often has
both chest pain and difficulty breathing), and heartburn/reflux type conditions.
Nevertheless, chest pain itself can be a potentially life-threatening symptoms,
and needs immediate professional attention.
Alzheimer's disease over-diagnosed: The well-known disease of Alzheimer's disease
is often over-diagnosed.
Patients tend to assume that any memory loss or forgetulness symptom might be Alzheimer's,
whereas there are many other less severe possibilities.
Some level of memory decline is normal with aging,
and even a slight loss of acuity may be noticed in the 30's and 40's.
Other conditions can also lead a person to show greater forgetfulness.
For example, depression and depressive disorders can cause a person to
have reduced concentration and thereby poorer memory retention.
Dementia may be a drug interaction: A common scenario in aged care is for
a patient to show mental decline to dementia.
Whereas this can, of course, occur due to various medical conditions,
such as a stroke or Alzheimer's disease,
it can also occur from a side effect or interaction between multiple drugs
that the elderly patient may be taking.
There are also various other possible causes of dementia.
Tremor need not be Parkinson's disease: There is the tendency to believe that
any tremor symptom, or shakiness, means Parkinson's disease.
The reality is that there are various possibilities, such as benign essential tremor,
which is mostly harmless.
see the various causes of tremor and misdiagnosis of Parkinson's disease.
Leg cramps at night a classic sign: The symptom of having leg muscle cramps,
particularly at night, is a classic sign of undiagnosed diabetes.
However, there are also various other causes.
See causes of leg cramps or misdiagnosis of diabetes.
Blood pressure cuffs misdiagnose hypertension in children: One known misdiagnosis issue
with hyperension, arises in relation to the simple equipment used to test blood pressure.
The "cuff" around the arm to measure blood pressure can simply be too small to accurately
test a child's blood pressure.
This can lead to an incorrect diagnosis of a child with hypertension.
The problem even has a name unofficially: "small cuff syndrome".
See misdiagnosis of hypertension.
Rare diseases misdiagnosed as Parkinson's disease: A rare genetic
disorder is often misdiagnosed as Parkinson's disease for men in their 50's.
The disease Fragile X disorder can show only mild symptoms in the early years,
and Parkinsons-like symptoms around age 50.
See misdiagnosis of Parkinson's disease.
Hypertension misdiagnosis common in children: Hypertension is often
misdiagnosed in adults (see misdiagnosis of hypertension), but its misdiagnosis is even more likely in children.
Some of the symptoms of hypertension that can be overlooked include chest pain, headaches, abdominal pain, etc.
See symptoms of hypertension or misdiagnosis of hypertension.
Vitamin B12 deficiency under-diagnosed: The condition of Vitamin B12 deficiency
is a possible misdiagnosis of various conditions, such as multiple sclerosis (see symptoms of multiple sclerosis).
See symptoms of Vitamin B12 deficiency or misdiagnosis of multiple sclerosis.