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Misdiagnosis of Ulcerative colitis

Misdiagnosis of Ulcerative colitis

A diagnosis of ulcerative colitis may missed or delayed because its symptoms may be mistaken for symptoms of such conditions as gastroenteritis, irritable bowel syndrome, celiac disease, food poisoning, appendicitis, pancreatitis, or diverticulosis. In addition, sometimes it is difficult to distinguish between a diagnosis of Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. Only a thorough evaluation by a qualified health care professional can determine what is causing particular symptoms and make a diagnosis of ulcerative colitis....more about Ulcerative colitis »

Ulcerative colitis misdiagnosis: Ulcerative colitis may be misdiagnosed as irritable bowel syndrome....more about Ulcerative colitis »

Alternative diagnoses list for Ulcerative colitis:

For a diagnosis of Ulcerative colitis, the following list of conditions have been mentioned in sources as possible alternative diagnoses to consider during the diagnostic process for Ulcerative colitis:

Diseases for which Ulcerative colitis may be an alternative diagnosis

The other diseases for which Ulcerative colitis is listed as a possible alternative diagnosis in their lists include:

Ulcerative colitis: Hidden Causes Misdiagnosed?

Causes of Ulcerative colitis may include these medical conditions:

  • Autoimmune phenomenon
  • Genetic susceptibility
  • Smoking
  • Environmental factors
  • Immune-mediated phenomena
  • Ulcerative colitis is not caused by emotional distress or sensitivity to certain foods or food products, but these factors may trigger symptoms in some people. The stress of living with ulcerative colitis may also contribute to a worsening of symptoms
  • more causes...»

Rare Types of Ulcerative colitis:

  • Celiac disease associated ulcerative colitis
  • Dermatitis hepetiformis associated ulcerative colitis
  • Systemic and discoid lupus associated ulcerative colitis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis associated ulcerative colitis
  • Ankylosing spondylitis associated ulcerative colitis
  • Scleroderma associated ulcerative colitis
  • Sjogren's disease associated ulcerative colitis
  • Porphyrinogenic drugs- sulfasalazine
  • More rare types »

Ulcerative colitis: Medical Mistakes

Related medical mistakes may include:

Ulcerative colitis: Undiagnosed Conditions

Commonly undiagnosed conditions in related areas may include:

Discussion of diagnosis/misdiagnosis of Ulcerative colitis:

Ulcerative colitis is an inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), the general name for diseases that cause inflammation in the intestines. Ulcerative colitis can be difficult to diagnose because its symptoms are similar to other intestinal disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome and to another type of IBD called Crohn's disease. Crohn's disease differs from ulcerative colitis because it causes inflammation deeper within the intestinal wall. Crohn's disease usually occurs in the small intestine, but it can also occur in the mouth, esophagus, stomach, duodenum, large intestine, appendix, and anus. (Source: excerpt from Ulcerative Colitis: NIDDK)

Common Misdiagnoses and Ulcerative colitis

Chronic digestive conditions often misdiagnosed: When diagnosing chronic symptoms of the digestive tract, there are a variety of conditions that may be misdiagnosed. The best known, irritable bowel syndrome, is over-diagnosed, whereas other causes that are less known may be overlooked or misdiagnosed: celiac disease, Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis (both are called inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)), diabetic gastroparesis, diabetic diarrhea. Other possibilities include giardia, colon cancer, or other chronic infections.

Intestinal bacteria disorder may be hidden cause: One of the lesser known causes of diarrhea is an imbalance of bacterial in the gut, sometimes called intestinal imbalance. The digestive system contains a variety of "good" bacteria that aid digestion, and they can decline for various reasons, leading to digestive symptoms such as diarrhea. The main treatment is to eat foods containing probiotics, typically yoghurt cultures. See intestinal imbalance and probiotics.

Antibiotics often causes diarrhea: The use of antibiotics are very likely to cause some level of diarrhea in patients. The reason is that antibiotics kill off not only "bad" bacteria, but can also kill the "good" bacteria in the gut. This leads to "digestive imbalance" where there are too few remaining "good" bacteria in the digestive system. The treatment is typically to use "probiotics", such as by eating yoghurt cultures containing more of the good bacteria. See digestive imbalance and probiotics.

Food poisoning may actually be an infectious disease: Many people who come down with "stomach symptoms" like diarrhea assume that it's "something I ate" (i.e. food poisoning). In fact, it's more likely to be an infectious diarrheal illness (i.e. infectious diarrhea), that has been caught from another person. Such conditions may be transmitted via the fecal-oral route.

Mesenteric adenitis misdiagnosed as appendicitis in children: Because appendicitis is one of the more feared conditions for a child with abdominal pain, it can be over-diagnosed (it can, of course, also fail to be diagnosed with fatal effect). One of the most common misdiagnosed is for children with mesenteric adenitis to be misdiagnosed as appendicitis. Fortunately, thus misdiagnosis is usually less serious than the reverse failure to diagnose appendicitis.

Celiac disease often fails to be diagnosed cause of chronic digestive symptoms: One of the most common chronic digestive conditions is celiac disease, a malabsorption disorder with a variety of symptoms (see symptoms of celiac disease). A variety of other chronic digestive disorders tend to be diagnosed rather than this condition. See introduction to celiac disease or misdiagnosis of celiac disease.

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.

Chronic digestive diseases hard to diagnose: There is an inherent difficulty in diagnosing the various types of chronic digestive diseases. Some of the better known possibilities are peptic ulcer, colon cancer, irritable bowel syndrome, or GERD. Other sometimes overlooked possibilities include Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, chronic appendicitis, Celiac disease, Carcinoid syndrome, gastroparesis, and others. See all types of chronic digestive diseases.

Ulcerative colitis: Rare Types

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

Failure To Diagnose Ulcerative colitis

Failure to diagnose Ulcerative colitis may be associated with the following:

  • The failure to diagnose ulcerative colitis can lead to joint complications (arthritis, joint pain, ankylosing spondylitis, back pain), skin problems (erythema nodosum, pyoderma gangrenosum), liver problems (bile duct carcinoma, cirrhosis, chronic hepatitis, fatty liver, sclerosing cholangitis), kidney problems (kidney stones) and eye problems (uveitis, episcleritis, conjunctivitis)
  • Failure to diagnose ulcerative colitis can result in complications such as toxic megacolon, colonic perforation, hemorrhage or colonic carcinoma
  • The longer it takes to diagnose the ulcerative colitis, the more damage that can occur to the bowels
  • Failure to diagnose ulcerative colitis in children can lead to retarded growth or delayed or failed puberty
  • Often a co-existing intestinal infection (bacterial, viral, fungal etc) is not diagnosed in ulcerative colitis sufferers and as a result their symptoms are exacerbated
  • Ulcerative colitis is often undiagnosed or misdiagnosed in children as the disorder is often considered unlikely to occur and difficult to diagnose in children
  • Undiagnosed children often suffer the complications and effects of malnutrition - poor growth, depression, sexual immaturity etc.

Notes On Hidden Causes Of Ulcerative colitis

The following may be hidden causes of Ulcerative colitis:

  • Ulcerative colitis may be inherited in a familial pattern i.e. tends to run in families
  • Genetic mutation may also have a role in the susceptibility to ulcerative colitis
  • There is unproven suggestion that a diet high in fat or sugars can increase the risk of developing ulcerative colitis
  • Smoking cessation increases the risk of ulcerative colitis and in fact, nicotine can be used to treat ulcerative colitis
  • Appendicectomy reduces severity and risk of developing ulcerative colitis
  • Immunological defects have been implicated in ulcerative colitis

Notes On Wrong Diagnosis Of Ulcerative colitis

Wrong diagnosis of Ulcerative colitis may be associated with the following:

  • Ulcerative colitis is often undiagnosed as patients may have few physical signs other than weight loss and general ill-health

Complications Of Misdiagnosis Of Ulcerative colitis

The following may be complications of misdiagnosis of Ulcerative colitis:

  • NSAID medication can cause a flare up of ulcerative colitis
  • Anemia due to ulcerative colitis may be diagnosed simply as anemia
  • Sudden onset of gastrointestinal symptoms due to inflammatory bowel disease such as diarrhea may be misdiagnosed as an intestinal infection (bacterial, viral, parasitic or fungal)

Other Notes On Misdiagnosis Of Ulcerative colitis

  • Stress and lack of sleep can exacerbate ulcerative colitis symptoms

Medical news summaries about misdiagnosis of Ulcerative colitis:

The following medical news items are relevant to misdiagnosis of Ulcerative colitis:

General Misdiagnosis Articles

Read these general articles with an overview of misdiagnosis issues.

About misdiagnosis:

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


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