Don’t Mask Serious Illness

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Procrastinating Pain

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If acute pain is not cured, it can become chronic. Chronic pain, not properly diagnosed, can mask serious illness. Carefully prescribing post­operative analgesic regimens may prevent chronic opioid depen­dence. Ironically, pain is sometimes a side effect of pain medications.

Daily pain is not normal. Sometimes a known injury precludes a viable remedy. Otherwise, physicians depend upon the patients who are living with chronic pain to accurately describe their conditions in order to investigate possible causes.

Get Diagnosis

Not all disease is painful, particularly in early stages. Sometimes fatigue or emotional issues are prominent. Everyone is predisposed to inherited traits. Early detection through genetic testing or full-body scans can lead to decades of worry, expensive treatments, or increased insurance costs.

A problem with many severe diseases is that demonstra­tive symptoms occur during advanced stages. In the absence of acute trauma or a well-defined body of evidence, early symptoms of percolating problems can be misdiagnosed or ignored. If something does not feel right, politely suggest additional testing.

Frequently Under-Diagnosed Diseases

  • Celiac disease
  • Hip disease
  • Interstitial cystitis
  • Lupus erythematosus
  • Oral cancer
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease
  • Sjögren’s syndrome
Are You Masking Serious Illness?

Hip disease is often overlooked because the nerve can refer pain to the knee. Consult a doctor specializing in hip and knee conditions. Oral cancer is not usually considered among non-smokers. A dentist may be the first to detect it. Lupus erythe­matosus, a dermato­logical autoimmune disorder, is frequently overlooked among persons of color. The main symptom of Sjögren’s syndrome is often treated with over-the-counter eye drops if at all. But this auto­immune disorder can target several internal organs. Bipolar disorder is more difficult to distinguish among children than adults. Pancreatic cancer is quite aggressive in late stages. By the time jaundice, weight loss, back pain and vomiting manifest, the cancer is likely metastasizing.

The need for fitness does not diminish with chronic pain. It just becomes more difficult. To the extent possible, stretching and exercising help with chronic pain. What can you do if while relying on pain relievers, you still spend most of your days on bed or your quality of life significantly depreciates? Speak to your primary care physician. If results are unsatisfying consider visiting a new doctor to get A Bit More Healthy.

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Kevin Williams is a health advocate and writer of hundreds of articles for multiple websites, including: A Bit More Healthy, KevinMD, and Sue’s Nutrition Buzz.

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