Question and answer
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.
Undiagnosed stroke leads to misdiagnosed aphasia: BBC News UK reported on a man who
had been institutionalized and treated for mental illness
because he suffered from sudden inability to speak.
This was initially misdiagnosed as a "nervous breakdown" and other mental conditions.
He was later diagnosed as having had a stroke, and suffering from aphasia (inability to speak),
a well-known complication of stroke (or other brain conditions).
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.
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.
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.
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.
Mild traumatic brain injury often remains undiagnosed: Although the symptoms
of severe brain injury are hard to miss,
it is less clear for milder injuries, or even those causing a mild concussion diagnosis.
The condition goes by the name of "mild traumatic brain injury" (MTBI).
MTBI symptoms can be mild, and can continue for days or weeks after the injury.
See the symptoms of MTBI or misdiagnosis of MTBI.
MTBI misdiagnosed as balance problem: When a person has symptoms
such as vertigo or dizziness, a diagnosis of brain injury may go overlooked.
This is particularly true of mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI), for which the
symptoms are typically mild. The symptoms has also relate to a relatively
mild brain injury (e.g. fall), that could have occurred days or even weeks ago.
Vestibular dysfunction, causing vertigo-like symptoms, is a common complication
of mild brain injury.
See causes of dizziness, causes of vertigo, or misdiagnosis of MTBI.
Brain pressure condition often misdiagnosed as dementia: A condition
that results from an excessive pressure of CSF within the brain is often misdiagnosed.
It may be misdiagnosed as Parkinson's disease or dementia (such as Alzheimer's disease).
The condition is called "Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus" (NPH) and is caused by having
too much CSF, i.e. too much "fluid on the brain".
One study suggested that 1 in 20 diagnoses of dementia or Parkinson's disease were actually NPH.
See misdiagnosis of Alzheimer's disease or misdiagnosis of Parkinson's disease.
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.
Post-concussive brain injury often misdiagnosed: A study found that soldiers who had
suffered a concussive injury in battle often were misdiagnosed on their return.
A variety of symptoms can occur in post-concussion syndrome and these were not being correctly
attributed to their concussion injury.
See introduction to concussion.
Children with migraine often misdiagnosed: A migraine often fails to be
correctly diagnosed in pediatric patients.
These patients are not the typical migraine sufferers, but migraines can also occur in children.
See misdiagnosis of migraine or introduction to migraine.
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.
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.