Experiencing symptoms that make it impossible to work or function normally is a pervasive force that negatively impacts your life. When you are unable to get a diagnosis from medical professionals, this can add more stress to your illness. We hope the tips for finding a diagnosis below will help alleviate some stress.
Along with being unable to get the proper treatment you need, it is also a struggle to get approval from your insurance company for the benefits you deserve. Below are some tips for finding a diagnosis.
Tips For Finding A Diagnosis:
Why Is This Happening?
Medically unexplained physical symptoms (MUPs) are one of the most common problems in modern medical practice, accounting for somewhere between 15% to 30% of primary care patients. There are many reasons why you may be unable to get a diagnosis for your illness including:
- Your symptoms may be difficult to identify or be presented within a larger problem
- The root of the symptoms may not be clear, therefore, you may not be seeing the right specialist to help you uncover the issue
- You may have one or more medical problems, which complicates the diagnosis process
- Conflicts between the medications or supplements you are taking could lead other symptoms not caused by your illness
- You may have an illness or condition that is difficult to diagnose
- Your doctor may not be aware of the thousands of rare diseases that could cause your symptoms
What Can You Do?
Regardless of the eventual outcome, living with no diagnosis can be a frustrating and agonizing, especially for patients who go months or even years without receiving an answer for their condition.
To help our clients, Share Lawyers has compiled a list of tips and resources that might help you get closer to a diagnosis.
Get A Second Opinion
Although it may seem obvious, a second, third, or even fourth opinion is essential when searching for a diagnosis.
Be sure to include opinions from varying resources, since not all specialists have a full comprehension the body systems or diseases outside of their specialty.
For example, Hypothyroidism can present symptoms like dry or cracked skin. As a result, your GP may send you to a dermatologist instead of ordering the necessary blood tests to confirm your condition.
Write Your Story
In a perfect world, we would be able to identify signs and symptoms accurately and efficiently. Unfortunately, sometimes life can get in the way. When trying to find a diagnosis, it’s essential to keep detailed records of how you are feeling.
Keeping a daily journal of your symptoms, activities, diet, and emotional state creates an effective tool for your health care professionals. In addition to your journal, keep track of all your medical records and test results so you have the most up-to-date information in case you are referred to one or more specialists or medical professionals.
Do Your Research
In most cases, we have to be our own health advocates. Remember that even though our medical professionals also want to work towards a diagnosis, they may not have the resources to help us find one quickly.
Try Different Avenues
Online sources like CrowdMed provide a collaborative approach for solving complex medical cases online. Also the NIH offers an Undiagnosed Diseases Program (UDP) as part of the Undiagnosed Disease Network (UDN), an NIH Common Fund initiative that focuses on the most puzzling medical cases referred to the NIH Clinical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. The resources these organizations provide may be helpful to you.
Find A Community
Other patients who have experienced similar circumstances can help you find more resources to help you through the lack of diagnosis. Support groups can also provide emotional encouragement from individuals who share the unique perspective of your journey. Online support groups, and patient communities can be an excellent resource for you.
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