Most of us believe that if you are not feeling well, all you have to do is go to the doctor and a few tests will reveal what is wrong, and treatment and cure is around the corner. It is true that some symptoms that people have can point, almost immediately and infallibly, to a certain disorder. But often, vague general symptoms can elude all of the tests and you and your doctor cannot find out what is wrong with you.
Despite modern advances in diagnosis and testing, doctors can still be stumped about your symptoms. This is dangerous not only because they cannot diagnose your illness, but also because they cannot treat it if they do not know what it is.
What should you do if you have been tested and prodded and no results have come of it? A few common sense precautions should be taken.
- If the doctor is not positive about the diagnosis, neither should you be. You shouldn’t be pushed into drugs or treatments unless you know they will work, and how can you know that they will work if your doctor does not know what is wrong with you?
- Kick it up a notch. Most doctors, when they are stumped will, rightfully, call in a specialist. But if your doctor is delaying this step in favor of more tests, you may have to bring the issue up yourself. This may require traveling to top flight medical center, but you will be more likely to find out what is at the root of your problems when you are dealing with doctors who have more exposure in the field.
- Don’t let your doctor tell you there is nothing wrong or find a scapegoat. Unless you have a true history of hypochondria, you know there is something wrong, so you should not let your doctor off the hook by diagnosing nerves, stress or some psychological issues.
- Inform yourself and your doctor. The more information your doctor has, the more likely he is going to be able to pinpoint your ailment. Keep detailed diaries about all of the symptoms you feel, even if they may seem unrelated to your main concern. If you are complaining about a pain in your arm, for example, be sure to let your doctor know that you have also been experiencing headaches, even if you think the headaches are unrelated.
There are many serious diseases that are frequently overlooked: lime disease, lupus, hypothyroidism, for example, because the symptoms are so wide ranging and so commonplace that doctors have a hard time isolating a cause. It is far better to make sure you pursue every step rather than experience the effects of such serious illnesses.