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5 Women Issues That Doctors Miss To Diagnose

 

Women often know there is something wrong with their health, but find it difficult to either explain their symptoms clearly to doctors, often don’t make the time for thorough health check ups or are simply told they are imagining the symptoms when they do visit the doctor.

Here are five of the most common autoimmune diseases and how you can recognize them:

  1. POLYCYSTIC OVARY SYNDROME

what is it, and who gets it?
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) — is the most common hormonal disorder among women of reproductive age and a leading cause of infertility. Having levels of androgens, or male hormones, that are too high, causes it.

polycystic ovary syndrome

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What does it feel like?
Women will experience irregular or missing periods, hair on your face, chest, back, and limbs, acne, baldness, and rapid, substantial weight gain.

How is it diagnosed?
Check reproductive organs for growths; use blood tests to measure levels of glucose and several hormones.

How is it treated?
Incurable. Treatment manages symptoms to prevent infertility, diabetes, or heart disease. Birth control pills help regulate menstrual cycles, lower androgen levels, reduce hair growth, and clear up acne.

  1. FIBROMYALGIA

what is it, and who gets it?
Doctors aren’t sure what causes the widespread pain that characterizes this disorder. They think the brains of people with fibromyalgia — 3 million to 6 million women in the US alone — may interpret ordinary sensation as painful.

FIBROMYALGIA

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How does it feel?
Symptoms, which usually develop during early and middle adulthood, include pain, numbness, and exhaustion.

How is it diagnosed?
A physical exam and lab tests can’t find fibromyalgia. Instead, doctors check for widespread pain lasting at least three months and do a tender-point exam, which identifies places on your body that are painful to the touch despite no signs of redness or swelling.

How is it treated?
Over-the-counter pain medication like acetaminophen, ibuprofen, and naproxen, as well as antidepressants is recommended.

  1. CHRONIC FATIGUE SYNDROME

what is it, and who gets it?
Nobody knows what causes the extreme fatigue common to chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). But studies point to dormant viral infections, hormonal imbalance, and stress.

CHRONIC FATIGUE SYNDROME

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How does it feel?
The fatigue usually worsens with physical or mental activity and doesn’t improve with rest. Loss of memory or concentration and unexplained muscle pain are common, too.

How is it diagnosed?
There’s no test, so before arriving at the diagnosis, a doctor will rule out other diseases or conditions that may cause similar symptoms — like mononucleosis, Lyme disease, thyroid problems, or depression.

How is it treated?
Most doctors suggest moderate daily activity and exercise to boost stamina, plus more rest, and stress, alcohol, and caffeine reduction.

  1. LUPUS

what is it, and who gets it?
There are four types of lupus, but you hear most about systemic lupus erythematous (SLE), a malfunction in the immune system. Skin, joints, lungs, kidneys, the nervous system, or blood can be affected.

Lupus

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How does it feel?
Symptoms include fatigue, fever, joint pain and stiffness, chest pain, memory loss, and skin lesions. Most people experience flare-ups — worsening of symptoms that may later improve.

How is it diagnosed?
Lupus is confirmed if you have at least four of these symptoms: a facial rash or rashes that appear after exposure to sunlight, painless mouth sores, kidney disease, swelling of the lining around the lungs or heart, and low counts of red blood cells, platelets, or white blood cells.

How is it treated?
For mild cases, ibuprofen and naproxen can reduce pain and swelling in joints and muscles, and antimalarial drugs like hydroxyl-chloroquinone have proven useful in preventing flare-ups and controlling the disease’s progression.

  1. MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS

what is it, and who gets it?
Multiple sclerosis (MS) strikes when your immune system attacks the protective covering of the nerves (called myelin) in the brain and nervous system, breaking down communication between the brain and body and sometimes destroying the nerves themselves

MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS

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How does it feel?
Early symptoms can include numbness or weakness in one or more limbs, tingling or dull pain, fatigue, and vision problems.

How is it diagnosed?
There are no definitive tests for MS, although in recent years doctors have begun using optical coherence tomography to analyze nerves in the retina.

How is it treated?
Some people have mild symptoms and can be treated just with corticosteroids. It’s also important to stay cool, because heat may trigger extreme muscle weakness.

 

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