Monday, March 03, 2014

You may not be sick--maybe you're just a good noticer

Writing this blog every weekday for more than seven years, I am half-sick all the time. I just suggestible? Sure, I have some "real" things like atrial fib but I am usually more caught up with a stray stomach pang or wobbliness.

Andrea Peterson, WSJ, Feb 24, 2014, says most symptoms are never traced to a cause. Fatigue, headaches--whatever!

So now docs are trying to get such patients to think differently about their "symptoms."

Good health is not symptom-free, one doc points out. Remember that.

When patients pursue every twinge, docs get frustrated and patients get paranoid, thinking the doctor considers them a head case.

One study in Germany, 2011, of 620 primary care patients found that unexplained symptoms accounted for two-thirds of all reported complaints.

Some docs have you keep a symptom diary--what brings on the symptom?

Some patients "health-seek" once a month, coming to the physician. This is actually a disorder.

So...give it a rest. Wait a hot second before rushing off to the doctor. Even distract yourself with fun things to do. Or meditate.

Some patients are very good noticers of every ache and pain--especially abdominal. "The GI tract is very active," notes one doctor. There is a lot to notice.

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