Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Educate yourself - help your doctor help you.

Here's a snippet from a great article my friend sent me from CNN Health. Click here to read the entire piece. It's a good one!
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"Women's health problems doctors still miss"
By Harriet Brown, Health.com
October 26, 2009

Experts say more women than we know walk out of doctors' offices feeling that their symptoms haven't been taken seriously. They are told that their complaints are all in their heads or that everything will be fine if they would just stop worrying.

The truth: Women who know something's wrong but can't get the help they need often have an autoimmune disorder, which occurs when the immune system attacks itself. One in five Americans has one, and three-quarters of them (about 22 million) are women. Some women live with unbearable symptoms for 10 or 15 years before finally getting the right diagnosis and treatment.

"More than 40 percent of women eventually diagnosed with a serious autoimmune disease have basically been told by a doctor that they're just too concerned with their health or they're a hypochondriac," says Virginia Ladd, founder and executive director of the American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association.

What's the best way to avoid Price's fate [case study mentioned in article] and get help fast? Ladd and other health experts say you must educate and empower yourself by learning the names, risk factors, symptoms, and treatments for the seven most commonly misdiagnosed women's illnesses described here. Then push your physician to take you seriously.

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The article goes on to describe seven illnesses in detail - Polycystic ovary syndrome, lupus, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and irritable bowel syndrome. All great information!

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