Question and answer
Metabolic syndrome often undiagnosed: Metabolic syndrome, also known as Syndrome X, is
an often overlooked medical condition that causes a cluster of chronic symptoms.
There are often four symptoms and conditions combined: obesity, hypertension (high blood pressure),
high cholesterol, and diabetes (Type 2 diabetes) or in come cases pre-diabetes initially.
See the introduction to metabolic syndrome.
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.
Cluster of diseases with difficult diagnosis issues: There is a well-known list of
medical conditions that are all somewhat difficult to diagnose, and all can present
in a variety of different severities.
Diseases in this group include multiple sclerosis, lupus, Lyme disease, fibromyalgia,
thyroid disorders (hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism),
chronic fatigue syndrome, diabetes - all of these can have vague symptoms in their early presentations.
Also, depression can have some symptoms similar to these conditions, and also the reverse,
that many of these conditions can mimic depression and be misdiagnosed as depression.
Chronic digestive conditions often misdiagnosed: When diagnosing chronic symptoms
of the digestive tract, there are a variety of conditions that may be misdiagnosed.
The best known, irritable bowel syndrome, is over-diagnosed, whereas other
causes that are less known may be overlooked or misdiagnosed: celiac disease,
Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis (both are called inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)),
diabetic gastroparesis, diabetic diarrhea.
Other possibilities include giardia, colon cancer, or other chronic infections.
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.
Intestinal bacteria disorder may be hidden cause: One of the lesser known causes of diarrhea
is an imbalance of bacterial in the gut, sometimes called intestinal imbalance.
The digestive system contains a variety of "good" bacteria that aid digestion,
and they can decline for various reasons,
leading to digestive symptoms such as diarrhea.
The main treatment is to eat foods containing probiotics, typically yoghurt cultures.
See intestinal imbalance and probiotics.
Antibiotics often causes diarrhea: The use of antibiotics are very likely
to cause some level of diarrhea in patients.
The reason is that antibiotics kill off not only "bad" bacteria,
but can also kill the "good" bacteria in the gut.
This leads to "digestive imbalance" where there are too few remaining "good"
bacteria in the digestive system.
The treatment is typically to use "probiotics", such as by eating yoghurt cultures
containing more of the good bacteria.
See digestive imbalance and probiotics.
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.
Food poisoning may actually be an infectious disease: Many people who come down
with "stomach symptoms" like diarrhea assume that it's "something I ate" (i.e. food poisoning).
In fact, it's more likely to be an infectious diarrheal illness (i.e. infectious diarrhea), that has been caught
from another person.
Such conditions may be transmitted via the fecal-oral route.
Mesenteric adenitis misdiagnosed as appendicitis in children: Because appendicitis is one of the
more feared conditions for a child with abdominal pain, it can be over-diagnosed
(it can, of course, also fail to be diagnosed with fatal effect).
One of the most common misdiagnosed is for children with mesenteric adenitis
to be misdiagnosed as appendicitis.
Fortunately, thus misdiagnosis is usually less serious than the reverse failure to diagnose appendicitis.
Poorly healing leg rashes a classic sign of chronic disease: Recurring leg rashes,
or poorly healing leg rashes, are a classic sign of undiagnosed diabetes,
particularly of Type 2 diabetes, but also Type 1 diabetes.
They can also occur with poor diabetic control.
However, there are many other possible causes of leg rashes.
See causes of leg rash or misdiagnosis of diabetes.
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.
Over-diagnosis of pulmonary hypertension in obese patients: A diagnosis
of pulmonary hypertension, particularly pulmonary arterial hypertension,
is often a misdiagnosis in obese patients.
Exertional dyspnea leads to a diagnostic reading of high right ventricular systolic pressure,
which seems to indicate pulmonary hypertension, but is ultimately found to be an
See misdiagnosis of pulmonary hypertension.
Celiac disease often fails to be diagnosed cause of chronic digestive symptoms: One of the most common chronic digestive
conditions is celiac disease, a malabsorption disorder with a variety of symptoms (see symptoms of
celiac disease). A variety of other chronic digestive disorders tend to be diagnosed
rather than this condition.
See introduction to celiac disease or misdiagnosis of celiac disease.
Obesity-related conditions undiagnosed in children: A variety of conditions
are associated with obesity (see obesity), but these tend to be undiagnosed more often
in child patients than in adults.
Some of the overlooked conditions may include hypertension, diabetes, acanthosis nigricans, etc.
See misdiagnosis of obesity or introduction to obesity.
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.
Chronic digestive diseases hard to diagnose: There is an inherent
difficulty in diagnosing the various types of chronic digestive diseases.
Some of the better known possibilities are peptic ulcer, colon cancer, irritable bowel syndrome, or GERD.
Other sometimes overlooked possibilities include Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, chronic appendicitis,
Celiac disease, Carcinoid syndrome, gastroparesis, and others. See all types of chronic digestive diseases.
Misdiagnosed weight-related causes of infertility: A woman's weight status
can affect her level of fertility.
Although obesity or overweight can in themselves reduce fertility, there are other
weight-related or associated medical conditions that further reduce fertility.
Some of these hidden causes include COPD, diabetes, thyroid disorders (overactive thyroid
or underactive thyroid) and metabolic syndrome.
See also other causes of infertility.