Lifestyle Health

Friday 20 October 2017

Five commonly misdiagnosed conditions

Rash and fever in a young child

"Most often this is caused by viral infection but the child needs to be examined by a doctor as the possibility of meningococcal disease is always there in the background.

"The challenge in making diagnosis is that in the early stages both conditions can look identical and a child with early meningococcal disease can behave in exactly the same way as one with a viral illness."

-- Professor Alf Nicholson, consultant paediatrician, Children's University Hospital, Temple Street, Dublin

Under-active thyroid

"Symptoms of under-active thyroid in women, which can manifest in a slow onset of tiredness, are often wrongly attributed to exhaustion, while a simple blood test would show that thyroid problems were the cause."

-- Dr Rachel Mackey, Women's Health Clinic, Dublin

Syphilis

"A patient could present with a rash anywhere on the body, which may appear to be psoriasis or eczema, when in fact it could be a sign of syphilis."

-- Dr Shay Keating, Drug Treatment Centre Board

Perimenopause

"Perimenopausal women presenting with symptoms of anxiety, depression and mood swings sometimes find that because they're still having regular periods, the hormonal imbalance link is being missed by their GPs."

-- Dr Rachel Mackey, Women's Health Clinic, Dublin

Stroke

"Fifteen per cent of strokes and 50pc of mini-stroke referrals in Ireland are misdiagnosed."

-- Dr Joe Harbison, specialist stroke consultant, St James's Hospital, Dublin

Irish Independent

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