How Every Mom Can Avoid a Medical Misdiagnosis

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When you’re a mother, the health and welfare of your children is the most important thing in the world. But what would your kids do if you were sick or unable to keep up with their busy schedules because of your own health issues?

Let’s be honest, it’s almost impossible to completely avoid the occasional cold or sickness, but avoiding long-term illness while having a clean bill of health will allow you to be the best mom you can be. But even when you do feel yourself getting sick or don’t know exactly what is wrong, it’s common to rely on your physician to diagnose and treat the issue as soon as possible. However, many don’t realize the amount of reliance we have on our doctors to accurately locate the problem and fix it. The level of misdiagnosis by medical physicians with female patients is much too high, especially compared to the male counterpart. The infographic above shows just a few ways in which women are experiencing a staggering pain gap.

medical misdiagnosis women

Let’s discuss some mistakes mothers everywhere can avoid making during their next doctor’s visit.

Come Prepared

Before your next doctor’s appointment, prepare and even write down what you will say in terms of how you are feeling, what hurts, and how long you’ve been experiencing symptoms. This will make the interaction you have with your physician much easier and straight-forward. In addition to this, make a list of questions you want to ask as a follow-up so you aren’t forced to remember them in the moment.

Always remember that you are in control of the conversation when meeting with a doctor. It’s your health that is in jeopardy, and you should never settle for an incomplete examination or a vague diagnosis that doesn’t seem to fit your symptoms or how you feel internally. Trust what your body is trying to tell you and be direct, concise, and stern about receiving proper testing and medications.

Avoid Internet Research

It isn’t beneficial to conduct your own research before visiting a doctor’s office as this may lead you to believe your illness is more serious than it actually is. On top of this, it will only add to the stress you are already experiencing from your busy schedule and health uncertainties. Before you know it, you’ll have convinced yourself your migraine is a brain tumor. Never bring up to your doctor what you think your illness is, as that leads them to believe you are either over-exaggerating your symptoms or gives them a pass to not conduct all the tests you may need.

Get a Second Opinion

If after you leave your doctor’s office you feel that you didn’t get an accurate diagnosis, all of your questions weren’t answered, or you want additional testing, schedule an appointment with another physician to get a second opinion. Misdiagnosis often occurs because patients do not follow up with another doctor to verify that the results are correct. Hold off on taking any action that your physician suggests until you’ve done this. You may end up wasting time, money, and energy visiting specialists or receiving treatment that is unnecessary.

If you are still not convinced after a second consultation, don’t be afraid to see a third doctor. Preventing misdiagnosis is key and it’s never too much to cover all bases in order to get the answers you deserve.

Consider Telemedicine

In many cases, you may not even have to leave your home to get an accurate diagnosis. For many conditions telemedicine consultations will help you get the answers you need. If you don’t have good health insurance, you may not have the time or money that allows you to seek the treatments you need. If this is the case, you should consider trying a telemedicine option. Chronic acne, hair loss, vitamin deficiencies and even sexual health issues are all examples of ailments that can be diagnosed online by a certified physician. You can even get prescribed birth control online if your current method is causing you to have health problems. There are several of these services you could try such as Nurx, Hers or Lemonaid Health. However, these should not be considered a valid substitute for your primary care physician, and should only be used in a supplementary fashion.

For more serious or urgent concerns seek medical attention immediately. Don’t take chances with your health or your family’s health.

Keep Track of Your Prescription Medications

By knowing the types of prescription medications you are taking, what their dosage is, the timetable in which you should be taking them, and what their potential side effects are, you can make diagnosing any medical issues you may face much easier. Sometimes, the answer is as simple as a reaction to a medication you are taking. Providing all of this information to your doctor will also allow them to avoid drug overdoses or combining two prescriptions that could have serious side effects if taken simultaneously.

Always be aware of what you are taking and let others, such as family members and those close to you, know as well in case of an emergency. This could be the difference between being correctly diagnosed and going through months or years of treatment that is unnecessary or incorrect. You can never be too cautious when it comes to prescription medications.

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