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Misdiagnosis of Metabolic syndrome (syndrome X)

Diseases for which Metabolic syndrome (syndrome X) may be an alternative diagnosis

The other diseases for which Metabolic syndrome (syndrome X) is listed as a possible alternative diagnosis in their lists include:

Metabolic syndrome (syndrome X): Hidden Causes Misdiagnosed?

Causes of Metabolic syndrome (syndrome X) may include these medical conditions:

  • The exact mechanisms of the complex pathways of metabolic syndrome are not yet completely known. The pathophysiology is extremely complex and has been only partially elucidated. Most patients are older, obese, sedentary, and have a degree of insulin resistance. The most important factors in order are:
  • Weight
  • Lifestyle, i.e., low physical activity and excess caloric intake
  • Aging, and
  • more causes...»

Metabolic syndrome (syndrome X): Medical Mistakes

Related medical mistakes may include:

Metabolic syndrome (syndrome X): Undiagnosed Conditions

Commonly undiagnosed conditions in related areas may include:

In-Depth Reports: Diagnosis and Misdiagnosis

Diabetes diagnosis and misdiagnosis (In-Depth Report): Detailed report on diabetes misdiagnoses, rare curable types, and less common diagnostic full report »

Common Misdiagnoses and Metabolic syndrome (syndrome X)

Metabolic syndrome often undiagnosed: Metabolic syndrome, also known as Syndrome X, is an often overlooked medical condition that causes a cluster of chronic symptoms. There are often four symptoms and conditions combined: obesity, hypertension (high blood pressure), high cholesterol, and diabetes (Type 2 diabetes) or in come cases pre-diabetes initially. See the introduction to metabolic syndrome.

Heart attacks can be undiagnosed: Although the most severe symptoms of heart attack are hard to miss, there are varying degrees of severity. It is altogether too common for people to die from undiagnosed heart attack, or from delaying too long to call for emergency help. The prognosis for treatment is far better for patients treated in the early stages of a heart attack. The most common misdiagnoses include heartburn, or other less severe causes of chest pain. See the introduction to heart attack and the symptoms of heart attack.

Heart attacks can be overdiagnosed: Although many people die from heart attacks, there are also many cases where people fear that they have a heart attack, but actually have something milder. Some of the conditions which may be causes of chest pain, causing fear of a heart attack, including an anxiety attack, heartburn, and so on. See the causes of chest pain and the symptoms of heart attack.

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 heart condition often undiagnosed: The rare heart condition called long QT syndrome can lead to episodes of palpitations and rapid heartbeat. In rare cases, this undiagnosed condition can be fatal. It should be considered for any unexplained heart rhythm abnormality.

Heart attack can be over-diagnosed: Although heart attack is often undiagnosed, leading to fatality, it can also be over-diagnosed. People become concerned that a condition is a heart attack, whereas there are various less dangerous possibilities. After all, there are numerous causes of chest pain. Some of the common conditions where a person may become concerned about a possible heart attack include a panic attack (which often has both chest pain and difficulty breathing), and heartburn/reflux type conditions. Nevertheless, chest pain itself can be a potentially life-threatening symptoms, and needs immediate professional attention.

Poorly healing leg rashes a classic sign of chronic disease: Recurring leg rashes, or poorly healing leg rashes, are a classic sign of undiagnosed diabetes, particularly of Type 2 diabetes, but also Type 1 diabetes. They can also occur with poor diabetic control. However, there are many other possible causes of leg rashes. See causes of leg rash or misdiagnosis of diabetes.

Leg cramps at night a classic sign: The symptom of having leg muscle cramps, particularly at night, is a classic sign of undiagnosed diabetes. However, there are also various other causes. See causes of leg cramps or misdiagnosis of diabetes.

Blood pressure cuffs misdiagnose hypertension in children: One known misdiagnosis issue with hyperension, arises in relation to the simple equipment used to test blood pressure. The "cuff" around the arm to measure blood pressure can simply be too small to accurately test a child's blood pressure. This can lead to an incorrect diagnosis of a child with hypertension. The problem even has a name unofficially: "small cuff syndrome". See misdiagnosis of hypertension.

Over-diagnosis of pulmonary hypertension in obese patients: A diagnosis of pulmonary hypertension, particularly pulmonary arterial hypertension, is often a misdiagnosis in obese patients. Exertional dyspnea leads to a diagnostic reading of high right ventricular systolic pressure, which seems to indicate pulmonary hypertension, but is ultimately found to be an incorrect diagnosis. See misdiagnosis of pulmonary hypertension.

Obesity-related conditions undiagnosed in children: A variety of conditions are associated with obesity (see obesity), but these tend to be undiagnosed more often in child patients than in adults. Some of the overlooked conditions may include hypertension, diabetes, acanthosis nigricans, etc. See misdiagnosis of obesity or introduction to obesity.

Hypertension misdiagnosis common in children: Hypertension is often misdiagnosed in adults (see misdiagnosis of hypertension), but its misdiagnosis is even more likely in children. Some of the symptoms of hypertension that can be overlooked include chest pain, headaches, abdominal pain, etc. See symptoms of hypertension or misdiagnosis of hypertension.

Misdiagnosed weight-related causes of infertility: A woman's weight status can affect her level of fertility. Although obesity or overweight can in themselves reduce fertility, there are other weight-related or associated medical conditions that further reduce fertility. Some of these hidden causes include COPD, diabetes, thyroid disorders (overactive thyroid or underactive thyroid) and metabolic syndrome. See also other causes of infertility.

Metabolic syndrome (syndrome X): Rare Types

Rare types of medical disorders and diseases in related medical areas:

Failure To Diagnose Metabolic syndrome (syndrome X)

Failure to diagnose Metabolic syndrome (syndrome X) may be associated with the following:

  • Undiagnosed and untreated metabolic syndrome leads to an increased risk of atherosclerosis, stroke and type 2 diabetes
  • Other complications of untreated metabolic syndrome include fatty liver, liver cirrhosis, kidney damage, obstructive sleep apnea, increased blood clotting, polycystic ovary syndrome, hypertension, cognitive decline and dementia in old age
  • Research indicates the metabolic syndrome is being undiagnosed in patients who appear to have normal lipid levels even though they are overweight or inactive
  • Research indicates the metabolic syndrome is being undiagnosed in patients who are inactive but of normal weight
  • Some risk factors are rarely diagnosed during routine clinical practice: insulin resistance, prothrombotic state, proinflammatory state, endothelial dysfunction and increased apolipoprotein B
  • Untreated metabolic syndrome can result in complications in as little as 15 years
  • The main root of the metabolic syndrome seems to stem from a sedentary lifestyle and poor eating habits

Notes On Hidden Causes Of Metabolic syndrome (syndrome X)

The following may be hidden causes of Metabolic syndrome (syndrome X):

  • Risk factors involved in developing metabolic syndrome include age, genetics and lifestyle factors such as lack of exercise, eating too much, smoking, excessive alcohol consumption
  • Insulin resistance is a hidden cause of metabolic syndrome

Other Notes On Misdiagnosis Of Metabolic syndrome (syndrome X)

  • Measurement criteria for diagnosing metabolic syndrome according the American Heart Association
  • Waist circumference: males - 102 cm or more
  • Females - less than 50mg/dL
  • Triglyceride level: 150 mg/dL or greater
  • HDL level: males - less than 40mg/dL
  • Blood pressure: 120/85 mm Hg or higher
  • Use of hypertension medication
  • Fasting glucose: 100 mg/dL or more
  • Use of high blood sugar medication
  • Metabolic syndrome often involves signs of systemic inflammation such as increased C-reactive protein, fibrinogen, interleukin 6 and tumor necrosis factor-alpha
  • Treatment of metabolic syndrome usually involves treatment of the individual factors of the disorder e.g. diuretics for hypertension, cholesterol medication for lipid disorders and anticoagulants to reduce blood coagulation
  • There is some dissension amongst experts over whether the combination of risk factors actually constitutes a disorder
  • The condition is increasingly affecting younger people and even children
  • Stress can exacerbate symptoms
  • With each additional risk factor, the risk of developing metabolic syndrome increases significantly. For example, having two risk factors more than doubles the risk compared to having only one risk factor
  • Metabolic syndrome is a progressive disorder

General Misdiagnosis Articles

Read these general articles with an overview of misdiagnosis issues.

About misdiagnosis:

When checking for a misdiagnosis of Metabolic syndrome (syndrome X) or confirming a diagnosis of Metabolic syndrome (syndrome X), it is useful to consider what other medical conditions might be possible misdiagnoses or other alternative conditions relevant to diagnosis. These alternate diagnoses of Metabolic syndrome (syndrome X) may already have been considered by your doctor or may need to be considered as possible alternative diagnoses or candidates for misdiagnosis of Metabolic syndrome (syndrome X). For a general overview of misdiagnosis issues for all diseases, see Overview of Misdiagnosis.


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