There are many persons suffering from diseases that have remained undiagnosed for long periods of time. Unfortunately there isn’t a magic button that doctors can push in order to speed up the diagnosis process and when the condition is complex the diagnosis can be hard to reach. There are 5 diseases that doctors have a hard time accurately diagnosing. Hemochromatosis, Lyme disease, Polycystic Ovary syndrome, Lupus, and Celiac disease all have complex symptoms that mimic other conditions. This is why they’re the top 5 undiagnosed diseases.
Hemochromatosis is the most common form of iron overload disease and the most common genetic disease in the United States. There are two basic types of the disease. Primary Hemochromatosis is inherited and Secondary Hemochromatosis is caused by anemia, alcoholism and other disorders.
Hemochromatosis causes the body to absorb too much iron and this can cause liver, heart and pancreas failure if the disease is left untreated.
Types of joint diseases
Hemochromatosis is hard to diagnose because the early symptoms of the illness are stiff joints and fatigue. These symptoms are analogous to those of many other conditions that are much more common than Hemochromatosis.
Lyme disease is a tick-borne illness that is caused by the bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi. Deer ticks carry the disease and it’s the most common arthropod illness in the United States.
Symptoms of Lyme disease are ‘bulls-fever, headache, muscle pain, stiff neck, eye’ rash, and swelling of the knees and other large joints.
Although it is extremely common, Lyme disease is still hard to diagnose as a result of the many manifestations of the disease and the limits of blood tests.
Celiac disease is a digestive disease that damages the small bowel and interferes with nutrient absorption from food. Those who’ve Celiac disease cannot tolerate gluten, so when gluten is eaten, the immune system responds by damaging the small intestine.
There are about 100, 000 cases of this disease annually but most victims die without reporting the disease to Doctors. This is owing to the very low level of health care in the fields most affected by this disease.
Symptoms vary widely from one person to another and some may never experience any symptoms at all. Common complaints from people who do experience symptoms are intermittent diarrhea, abdominal pain and bloating. Other less obvious symptoms are irritability or depression, anemia, stomach upset, joint pain, skin rash, mouth sores, dental and bone disorders, muscle cramps, and tingling legs and feet.
According to C. Robert Dohl, M.D., Celiac disease is one of the great mimics in gastroenterology. It tends to mimic other conditions such as Irritable Bowel syndrome and therefore makes diagnosis a little more difficult.
Polycystic Ovary syndrome (PCOS) is marked by irregular menstrual cycles, excess hair growth and obesity. The exact cause is unknown. However, it originates from a disruption in the monthly reproductive cycle. PCOS is the leading cause of sterility in women.
PCOS symptoms are infrequent, absent or irregular menstrual cycle, infertility, increased hair growth on the face, chest, stomach, back, thumbs and toes, acne, oily skin or dandruff, weight gain or obesity, insulin resistance, Type 2, or ovarian cysts Diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, male-pattern baldness or thinning hair, patches of dark brown or black skin on the neck, arms, breasts or thighs, skin tags, pelvic pain, anxiety or depression and sleep apnea.
Lupus is a chronic inflammatory disease that causes the immune system to attack the body’s own healthy tissues and organs.
The common symptoms of Lupus are muscle pain, fever with no known cause, joint pain and swelling, and red rashes that often occur on the face (butterfly rash).
There isn’t just one test that can produce a diagnosis. Multiple tests have to do, many conditions have to be excluded, and this results in waiting months and sometimes even years for a diagnosis.
Waiting for a diagnosis when you feel miserable can be frustrating and it can have a considerable impact on your life and the lives of people who love you. Life is hard anyway, but when you suffer from one of the best 5 undiagnosed diseases, it gets a lot harder.