7 Strange Symptoms You Shouldn’t Overlook

As many rare disease sufferers know, sometimes the key symptom that leads to a diagnosis may be mundane or bizarre.  Whether you are healthy or chronically ill, daily life is full of other concerns to distract you from the seemingly harmless quirks of your body.  Many of these strange ailments are completely benign or explained by something you had not considered, but some may be a message from your body that something is wrong.

Keep in mind that most of these symptoms may occur periodically in any person’s life and are easily explained by other causes.  If your symptom becomes severe, seek medical attention immediately.  If you are experiencing other health issues, however, you may want to mention your strange symptom to your doctor.  It could be another clue in finding the right diagnosis.

Continue reading 7 Strange Symptoms You Shouldn’t Overlook

5 Diseases Modern Medicine Missed For A Very Long Time

There was a time in history when nearly every medical condition recognized today was an unidentified mystery.  Rabies victims in Europe inspired stories of the holy water-fearing undead and citizens of Salem suffering from Ergot poisoning were hanged for witchcraft, long before medicine had a name and a treatment for either malady.  As medical research and happy scientific accidents led to discoveries like Germ Theory and penicillin, our ability to identify and address common health concerns grew.

Although we have come a long way since the days of humor balancing and unnecessary bloodlettings, there is still a lot that the healthcare field doesn’t know about the complexity of the human body or its response to our ever-changing environment.  In fact, some of the conditions that we would never second guess today were dismissed by the medical community less than a century ago.  A few of them may surprise you.

Continue reading 5 Diseases Modern Medicine Missed For A Very Long Time

What To Do When The Doctor Says “It’s All In Your Head”

A new phenomenon is rising in prominence in the public discussion of health.  Despite the significant improvement in clinical procedures, a small but important part of the population evades an easy diagnosis.  Often referred to as Medically Unexplained Physical Symptoms (MUPS or sometimes MUS), patients who suffer from these clusters of seemingly unrelated complaints stump general practitioners and specialists alike.

On average, U.S. patients with rare undiagnosed or misdiagnosed conditions wait a little over 7 years for a diagnosis.  The longer a patient waits for an answer to their medical mystery, the more uncertain they feel about not only their health, but also their future.  As time goes on and the uncertainty grows, the chronically undiagnosed start to believe that those around them are skeptical that their illness exists.  Eventually even they start to question, “Is it all in my head?”

Continue reading What To Do When The Doctor Says “It’s All In Your Head”

The Vaccination Debate Isn’t About Science: It’s About Trust

As the measles virus makes its way back from the brink of extinction, the public sphere has been flooded by heated arguments for both sides of the vaccination debate.  For what seems to be the majority of Americans, this is a battle between science and irrationality.  Yet amid the media hype and angry rhetoric an interesting theme has emerged in the outbreak’s narrative.  In defending themselves through interviews, discussion forums, and even the mouthpiece of political candidates, many parents claimed that trust was at the heart of their decision not to vaccinate.  How could they trust that the government, the CDC, or even their family doctor know what is best for their child?

Continue reading The Vaccination Debate Isn’t About Science: It’s About Trust