Introduction: Over-diagnosed conditions


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Over-diagnosed conditions: There are certain diseases that get over-diagnosed more often than others. This means that the doctor gives this disease as the diagnosis, when in fact there is some other cause or disease. More well-known or common diseases tend to get diagnosed, whereas rarer causes of similar symptoms may be overlooked.

Conditions list: The list of conditions in the Over-diagnosed conditions group includes:

  • Alzheimer's disease - often diagnosed when other causes of forgetfulness or dementia are the cause.
  • ADHD - the overuse of the drug Ritalin for hyperactivity symptoms is well-known; but ADHD may be underdiagnosed in adults.
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) - more commonly diagnosed than other diagnoses such as Celiac disease or Crohn's disease.
  • Middle ear infection - acute otitis media may be over-diagnosed in children because doctors perceive ear membrane redness as diagnostic.
  • Sinusitis - Various other conditions such as common cold, flu, and asthma can lead to some level of sinus passage inflammation, that does not necessarily warrant a full diagnosis as sinusitis.
  • Lyme disease - Some sources claim that Lyme disease is now becoming over-diagnosed rather than under-diagnosed, because it is now more well-known than in the past
  • Anxiety disorders - Overdiagnosed versus simple anxiety, stress, or other less serious conditions.
  • Depression - May be overdiagnosed when the true cause is grief, relationship break-up, or some other life event causing sadness.
  • Postnatal depression - The postpartum mood changes known as the "baby blues" are not always the more severe "postnatal depression" diagnosis.


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