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Miss Diagnosis

Miss Diagnosis

For years, Mimi Winsberg thought she was iron deficient. She took supplements and even injections of the mineral, yet she still didn't have enough energy for her passion of running marathons. Finally, a doctor diagnosed Winsberg with celiac disease, an autoimmune disorder that is set off when its sufferers consume gluten. It causes the immune system to attack the small intestine and if untreated, can lead to everything from infertility to cancer.

Winsberg's reaction was what really stood out in the New York Times piece.

"This is what has been happening to me my whole life, and I just never put it all together before," she said.

Going undiagnosed can be a harrowing psychological experience. You know your body and feel that something is fundamentally off, but modern medicine just doesn't seem to agree with you. When you're finally given a correct diagnosis, it's as if a light goes on and intuitively, you knew it all along.

This is why it's always important to be in tune with our bodies. If something feels off, don't be afraid of being pushy. Ask for another opinion. After all, who knows our bodies better?

Have you been through the process of a lengthy misdiagnosis? Did a light go off for you, too?

Posted: 10/10/08
aliciak

I feel "lucky" that I didn't have to go through rounds of misdiagnosis when I was diagnosed with the chronic disease I have...not that it was fun to find out, but I know people in the same boat as I will often get diagnosed with a few things before they find out what it really is. Yay for good doctors!

  • By aliciak
  • on 10/14/08 11:05 AM EST
LMAYO9

There is nothing more frustrating than trying to convince doctors that something is wrong, when they can't seem to figure out what it is. I had a pain in my abdomen for months. First I was told it was a knot in the muscle, then when it didn't go away (and got worse) the docs said it was something more and would require surgery. They went in and found nothing. Talk about major misdiagnosis. I still have the pain but I'm too afraid to go to the doctor to start another round of testing. I think the bigger issue is that doctors need to be more sympathetic with their patients when it's a difficult or mysterious diagnosis. There's nothing more defeating than feeling like you're crazy.

  • By LMAYO9
  • on 10/13/08 12:13 PM EST
VictoriaB

You hear about these kinds of things all the time. On the one hand we acknowledge how unique each of us is and yet we try to apply broad strokes to diagnosing people as if they are all the same. It's unfortunate it takes such a long time of trial and error to finally uncover the problem.