• Krysti Rowker

When You Can’t Get a Diagnosis

When You Can’t Get a Diagnosis

Suffering from an autoimmune disease could take a serious toll on your health; however, the onset symptoms of an autoimmune disease often goes unnoticed, making it difficult to get a diagnosis. Several studies show that an autoimmune disease can take 5-7 years to diagnose. As well, several autoimmune diseases share similarity with other health disorders, so it could lead to a person getting misdiagnosed.

Studies show that 80% of people diagnosed with autoimmune illness are women. However, medical bias towards women often results in doctors discounting their concerns. It’s not uncommon for a woman feeling crappy to have symptoms blamed on her periods or hormonal imbalance. 

Everyone values their health, and everyone has a right to assume that something is wrong with their health. They may not be able to describe their condition or symptoms to the physician, which attributes to them not getting a timely diagnosis, If you are finding it difficult to get a diagnosis, the steps can help.

Find a good doctor

Every doctor is a good doctor; however, I would suggest you consult a specialist to get a diagnosis for your condition. If you suspect that there is something wrong with your health—book an appointment with a doctor that specializes in autoimmune disease, and ask the doctor to conduct a number of tests to confirm your suspicion. As a patient, you reserve rights to request or reject treatment procedures that would favor your health condition. If the results are normal and you still have your suspicions, you can request for a 2nd opinion from another physician. 

Chronicle your medical history

If your condition goes undiagnosed or misdiagnosed during the initial consultation—you should start recording your medical history, and describe the escalation of the symptoms in details. I suggest you record your pain tolerance, agitation, nausea, irritation, and other symptoms, which could be potentially associated with an autoimmune disease. You should also include a detailed family history if you have family members with autoimmune disease. Show the journal to your physician to get a second opinion on your condition. 

Get a 2nd, 3rd, and 4th opinion

If the specialist is still discounting your symptoms and not diagnosing your condition, you can look for other specialists in your town, and you can ask for 2nd, 3rd, and 4th opinion to confirm your doubts regarding your condition. Don’t give up. 


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