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Diagnosing anemia and its underlying cause may be delayed or missed because in some cases anemia develops gradually and the symptoms may not be severe enough for a person to seek medical care. In addition, some people may believe that some symptoms of anemia, such as confusion, dizziness, and falls, are a normal part of aging. Mild symptoms may also be attributed to such conditions as general exhaustion and stress.
Anemia is a symptom of many different conditions, and some of them are potentially serious. A thorough medical evaluation is needed to ensure an accurate diagnosis of the reason for the anemia.
Unnecessary hysterectomies due to undiagnosed bleeding disorder in women: The bleeding disorder called Von Willebrand's disease is quite common in women, but often fails to be correctly diagnosed. Women with the condition tend to have heavy periods, since they actually have a bleeding disorder. Severe afflictions may result in the women receiving a hysterectomy unnecessarily, when the underlying cause has not been identified. See the introduction to Von Willebrand's disease and bleeding disorder.
Anemia undiagnosed in pregnancy: The onset of anemia (low red blood cells) in pregnancy is sometimes overlooked, despite it being a well-known complication of pregnancy. The problem may be that the main symptom, i.e. fatigue, is also a typical symptom of pregnancy itself. Furthermore, diagnosis of anemia requires a blood test to determine the level of red blood cells. Failure to diagnose anemia is dangerous to the health of the mother near the end of pregnancy, and increases the risk of severe maternal hemorrhage and blood loss during birth (possibly even leading to maternal death). Anemia treatment varies by severity ranging from diet changes, iron tablets, or even iron injections; see treatment of anemia. See introduction to anemia and misdiagnosis of anemia.
ADHD diagnosis overlooked hidden nutritional disorder: The book "A Dose of Sanity" reports on a case of a boy diagnosed with ADHD and receiving Ritalin. His symptoms included tiredness, irritability, poor growth, and eating dirt and unusual foods (a symptom called "pica"). The corrected diagnosis was iron-deficiency anemia.
Cluster of diseases with difficult diagnosis issues: There is a well-known list of medical conditions that are all somewhat difficult to diagnose, and all can present in a variety of different severities. Diseases in this group include multiple sclerosis, lupus, Lyme disease, fibromyalgia, thyroid disorders (hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism), chronic fatigue syndrome, diabetes - all of these can have vague symptoms in their early presentations. Also, depression can have some symptoms similar to these conditions, and also the reverse, that many of these conditions can mimic depression and be misdiagnosed as depression.
Rare type of breast cancer without a lump: There is a less common form of breast cancer called inflammatory breast cancer. Its symptoms can be an inflammation of the breast tissue, such as with a breast rash with redness and warmth, but not necessarily a physical breast lump. This type of breast cancer should be considered as an uncommon possibility for certain types of breast symptoms.
Pituitary conditions often undiagnosed cause of symptoms: There are a variety of symptoms that can be caused by a pituitary disorder (see symptoms of pituitary disorders). For example, fatigue, headache, weight gain, diabetes-like symptoms, and various other symptoms. Pituitary tumors and other similar conditions are not as rare as physicians tend to believe. See introduction to pituitary conditions.
Vitamin B12 deficiency under-diagnosed: The condition of Vitamin B12 deficiency is a possible misdiagnosis of various conditions, such as multiple sclerosis (see symptoms of multiple sclerosis). See symptoms of Vitamin B12 deficiency or misdiagnosis of multiple sclerosis.
Some of the causes, which may potentially be dangerous or fatal if left undiagnosed, may include:
The following list of conditions have 'Anemia' or similar listed as a symptom in our database. This computer-generated list may be inaccurate or incomplete. Always seek prompt professional medical advice about the cause of any symptom.
Select from the following alphabetical view of conditions which include a symptom of Anemia or choose View All.
The following list of medical conditions have 'Anemia'
or similar listed as a medical complication in our database.
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