The diagnosis of certain health conditions is not as straight forward as we might expect them to be. This can be due to multiple reasons. In some cases the symptoms for the conditions show up very late, in others the symptoms differ from person to person and even further the symptoms may be common to many other related diseases making it difficult to pin down the exact cause.
In this article we discuss some of these conditions as well as their symptoms.
1. Irritable Bowel Syndrome
This syndrome is characterized by abdominal pain as well as differences in your stool passing habits. This can last up to three months. Doctors need to conduct test for other diseases including bacterial infections or parasite and even lactose intolerance before saying for sure that it is irritable bowel syndrome.
2. Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)
This is still a condition where the exact diagnosis method is still not agreed upon but certain symptoms can indicate towards the issue. These symptoms include cysts on the ovaries, missing your periods without any reason and an increased level of androgens in the body which may cause thick hair growth on different body parts as well as acne.
Doctors usually take an ultrasound of the ovaries to be sure as well as examining medical history of the patient.
3. Celiac Disease
This disease is caused by gluten consumption in some people. Gluten is a protein, most commonly found in wheat and protein. This protein causes an attack on the digestive system by the body. The most common symptoms are those of diarrhea and fatigue also contributing to loss in weight. Symptoms may also include rashes, headaches, seizures, depression and aches.
These symptoms are similar to certain other diseases too including irritable bowel syndrome and Crohn’s disease. To complete a diagnosis a blood test as well as a sample from the intestine is needed.
Thyroid is a gland located in our neck. It produces the hormone thyroxin. Overproduction of this hormone leads to a condition called hyperthyroidism. The person experiencing this may feel more anxious and irritated than usual. The symptoms may also include unexplained loss in weight, a fast heartbeat and even excessive sweating.
The doctor should be informed about all these symptoms. Doctors will have to conduct a blood test before giving a diagnosis.
This condition is the opposite of hyperthyroidism. Your thyroid gland produces too little thyroxin. You may note weight gain, laziness, thinning of hair and changes in movements associated with the bowel. You may have also increases sensitivity to both hot and cold. The doctor will have to conduct a blood test to confirm the condition.
6. Sleep Apnea
Sleep Apnea is a condition in which during the sleeping time you stop and start breathing multiple times. The symptoms you may notice are similar to those of a flu or common cold. You may feel tired even after sleeping properly. Moreover you may feel irritated throughout the day and have a foggy head. Other symptoms associated with this condition are the dryness of mouth, headaches and even soreness in the throat.
To make a diagnosis the doctor asks the person to undergo sleep study where all your vitals including heart beat, breathing, brain activity and snoring is examined during sleep.
Appendix is a pouch attached to our intestines. It has a finger like shape. Appendicitis occurs when this pouch gets inflamed. The person experiencing this will notice a sharp sudden pain which gets stronger with time and moves down. The symptoms can also include high temperature, vomiting as well as nauseous feeling and diarrhea. Crohn’s disease, colitis have the same symptoms.
Similar symptoms are also found in pelvic inflammation and intestinal obstruction thus appendicitis gets hard to diagnose. Doctors confirm the disease by image testing as well as a physical inspection of the area
In Fibromyalgia people experience pain throughout the body. No specific test can confirm the disease. The doctor will try to rule out other causes of this pain and if no substantial cause is found then the patient will be diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. The diseases doctors need to rule out arthritis, depression and anxiety.
After examining the patient for some time the diagnosis for Fibromyalgia is eventually made.
Similar to Fibromyalgia a diagnosis of Lupus is made after other diseases with related symptoms are ruled out. Lupus is an auto immune disease in which your immune system attacks the body’s own tissues and joints. Similar to arthritis and fibromyalgia the person experiencing it feels tired and has aches all over the body.
A rash appears in some people which makes the diagnosis easy because there are no tests which clearly mark the condition and even the symptoms are different for different people.
10. Parkinson’s Disease
Parkinson’s disease effect how our brains work. People affected by the condition may experience shakiness in the arm, stiffness of the neck and even issues in correct balancing. For some people even the face starts looking different. These symptoms are also associated with heart stroke, Alzheimer’s and even injury to the head.
It may take years before it is sure that a person is effected by Parkinson’s Disease but doctors can conduct test to see how dopamine is utilized in the brain to get close to a diagnosis.
11. Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
Multiple Sclerosis is another disease in which the immune system attacks the body. Here the target is the coverings around the nerves. This makes it difficult for the brain to communicate with the body and to tell it what to do. Common symptoms are problems associated with vision, feeling tired throughout the day and weakness as well as dizziness.
These symptoms are present in many other disorders too and doctors take samples of the spinal fluid to come up with a diagnosis.
12. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
This disease occurs when a person feels very tired for an extended period of time usually more than six months. Other symptoms also occur including soreness in the throat, sleeping issues, pain in the head and focusing issues.
Doctors need to rule out other diseases like insomnia, anemia, thyroid issues etc before making a conformed diagnosis
13. Lyme Disease
Lyme Diseases occurs when a blacklegged tick bites humans. Half of the population with the disease experience what is called as a bull’s eye rash: a red rash with circular appearance. Other symptoms include pain in the head as well as the joints and a dizzy feeling.
A blood test is necessary to diagnose the disease but the disease even shows on the blood tests after a few weeks
Endometriosis is a condition where the tissues forming the uterus are found outside the uterus. Women experiencing this have abdominal pain and painful periods as well as issues in conceiving. Cysts can cause the same symptoms as well as irritable bowel syndrome.
Doctors have to conduct a laparoscopy where a very small tube with a camera is inserted in the abdominal area. another technique is to conduct a tissue test of the area to confirm the presence of entometrium.