Misdiagnosed? How To Speak Up For Your Care

Misdiagnosed? How To Speak Up For Your Care

Has this ever happened to you?

You go to the doctor because you have suffered from symptoms you can’t ignore anymore, only to discover you are dismissed?

I had a client tell me they reported to their doctor symptoms of frequent headaches, and the doctor’s response was, “There’s not much to do about those, and they should go away with time.” …” HUH???” The client left that day feeling dismissed and ignored.

First, don’t ignore warning signs. There is typically a reason for your recurring symptoms, and possible lifestyle changes can change the course of direction.

Second, don’t accept a dismissive response. Maybe it’s time to find a new doctor who will listen and act or refer.

Third, you have the right to know if “it’s nothing” or “it could be something.”

There are many possibilities that you don’t speak up for your care, including feeling the doctor knows best, maybe you think you’re exaggerating the symptoms,, or you don’t have the knowledge to ask the right questions. This typically leads to Dr. Google, which can lead you into a downward spiral of all types of possible diseases.  

Specific symptoms should never be ignored, such as the worst headache of your life, chest pain, weakness of one side of your body, unexplained weight loss, unusual bleeding, severe abdominal pain, or swelling of the legs. You should seek medical attention immediately.

But what about the subtle symptoms, such as recurrent joint pain, chronic fatigue, excessive throat clearing, and frequent headaches? There is a reason for it, and it’s not always easy to figure it out. Did you know unresolved symptoms can lead to a more significant problem over time? Take, for instance, rashes, fatigue, and joint pain turned out to be an autoimmune disease. A new spot on your arm which you ignored for several months later to learn it was melanoma, a fatal disease. Ignoring the symptoms of an illness can have a high mortality rate or leave you living with chronic disease.  

It’s not normal to wake up tired every day. It’s not normal to have pain in your joints. It’s not normal to be ignored or told it’s all in your head. So, how do you get to the correct diagnosis?

1.         Know your family history. Some of the diseases are hereditary, which helps to rule them out.

2.         Find a physician that is attentive and engaged. Do they actively listen or dismiss you? Do they ask for more details of your symptoms?

3.         Keep a journal of your symptoms

4.         Provide complete information, including, who you’ve seen, and what treatment you’ve tried. 

5.         Bring your complete medical history and records with you on your visit

6.         Discuss all medications taken. New and previously taken

7.         Don’t be afraid to disclose personal health information

8.         Be open and honest about your symptoms and fears

9.         Ask if there are other possible diagnoses

10.       Bring someone, or even better you advocate with you!

You may fear the worst, however, some solutions include lifestyle changes such as diet, movement, and reducing environmental toxins. Other solutions may involve further diagnostic testing or a referral to specialists or an integrative functional medicine physician. 

As your health advocate, I will help you learn the causes of your symptoms. So don’t put your health on hold or look the other way. It’s time to live your best life ever. Act early and take action.

Reach out to me today to become the detective of your symptoms.

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