No matter if you are feeling headache or exhausted, you always want to know the cause. Based on what you are suffering from, the disease diagnosis can be different. The fact that everyone wants a diagnosis remains the same. However, people are not likely to find the right diagnosis always and the reason is pretty clear.
What disease misdiagnosis can do?
Disease misdiagnosis is a pretty common thing and affecting the overall outcomes of disease management. Not knowing the exact number of disease misdiagnosis, but we can say that disease misdiagnosis is quite common.
I can relate to this incident where a cousin of mine who suddenly developed swallowing difficulty, went to many famous doctors in Islamabad. An ENT specialist told her that she was suffering from pharyngitis and put her on a 5 days long antibiotic course which was later found to be a misdiagnosis.
Why is right and timely disease diagnosis important?
Talking about the importance of right and timely diagnosis, we all know that the treatment success of a disease depends upon how early and correctly a disease is diagnosed. A disease misdiagnosis is more common than one can think and affects millions of people around the globe annually.
Depending upon the disease, disease misdiagnosis can range from harmless to severe. A medical misdiagnosis can result in undue stress, pain, anxiety, added medical complications and in severe cases, can be a cause of death. Disease misdiagnosis is equally common in public and private health setups.
My cousin who was misdiagnosed with pharyngitis went to some of the top private hospitals in Islamabad and still wasn’t able to get the right treatment. Later on, a physician revealed that she was suffering from Plummer Vinson Syndrome and without even suffering from a disease she had been through a thorough antibiotic treatment.
How to ensure the right diagnosis?
While disease diagnosis is the identification of a disease based on the clinical signs and symptoms as well as several diagnostic procedures. However, many ways can help a patient to prevent a misdiagnosis. Some of these ways include;
1- Going to a specialist
The very first step towards a right disease diagnosis is by looking for the right specialist. Based on your signs and symptoms, you are more likely to choose the relevant specialist to help you with the right diagnosis. Depending upon the diagnostic procedures you have gone through and all the scans, you can choose the right specialist to help to make the right disease diagnosis.
2- Keep and an eye on your symptoms
Signs and symptoms are the very first things that can help with the disease diagnosis. One of the major causes of disease diagnosis is that patients visit the physician and forget to tell one or more symptoms. Though many diseases have overlapping symptoms, considering them all before making a diagnosis is important.
3- Keep your medical record
Another important thing that could mess up with the disease diagnosis is missing your incomplete medical history. Many of the diseases are easy to diagnose if physicians are aware of the previous medical history of the patients.
4- Know your symptoms but don’t conclude them
Technology advancements have changed our lives for both good and bad. One downside of these technological advancements in the self-diagnosis of diseases. Every time you suffer from a particular disease symptom, you are going to search for it over the internet and to be honest, you are not alone in this. This self-diagnosis is as harmful as no diagnosis and is one of the biggest contributors to disease misdiagnosis.
5- Ask your doctor
Whenever you are visiting a doctor for your disease diagnosis, make sure you are being specific to what you are going through. No matter how many things come to your mind, make sure you ask all of them. Frequently questioning can give you more clarity about your disease and help with the right diagnosis.
Disease misdiagnosis is a pretty common phenomenon and is a cause of many troubles in future. Remember that the patients can play a role when it comes to the disease diagnosis. So, make sure you play your role correctly to help your physician to make informed decisions on your health.