Mimickers may confuse one disease with another

What more valuable service can a doctor perform for a patient than to establish correct, complete and accurate diagnoses so that the suggested treatment, if any, would offer the greatest chance of success?

When the doctor first sees the patient, the physician gets a first impression of what is probably wrong and then sets about the task of reasonably explaining the patient’s symptoms as being related to that first impression. Most of the time, the doctor, because of years of experience and having benefitted by required continuing medical education will have a high “batting average” regarding the accuracy of the “first impression.”

However, doctors soon learn that there are many pitfalls that may occur during the period of evaluation to confirm the diagnoses. Many diseases mimic each other and having been recognized as such for many years, are famous for the confusion they may cause. Typical among these “Great Mimickers” are conditions such as Diabetes, Syphilis, Mercury and Lead poisoning, Lyme disease, Herpes, Thyroid disease, Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, Celiac disease, Lupus, Alzheimer’s disease, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Fibromyalgia, ALS, ADHD and many more.

In case you were wondering why your doctor had to take so many blood and other tests; it may very well have been that he or she was making sure that one of the “Great Mimickers” was not insidiously causing your symptoms. Diabetes is so prevalent today, that just about everyone knows that many symptoms usually related to an enlarged prostate are also often caused by poorly controlled Diabetes.

Trust your doctor to lead you through the web of uncertainty to the correct diagnoses. Once that is established, attention can be turned to selecting the most appropriate course of action, if any is indicated, in your particular case. When you suspect that a problem has arisen, you probably had some inkling of what was wrong. Don’t just wait for it to “go away.” Go to your own doctor and get checked out. Your symptoms may not be what you suspected but may instead be coming from one of the “Great Mimickers.”

Chances are that what you had originally suspected is true but it’s always good to talk to your doctor about it. When prostate enlargement is found to be the cause of your symptoms rather than, for example, Diabetes, there are many medications that can help to relieve your symptoms. Some actually shrink the glandular bulk of the prostate, while others can relax the muscles in the prostate, which constrict and impede the flow of urine. There are others, which can relax over-activity of the bladder muscle.

When for any of a wide variety of reasons, you cannot tolerate these medications; your next step would be to consider the use of “TUMT,” transurethral microwave thermotherapy, which is an easily tolerated 30-minute in-office procedure, avoiding surgery, hospitalization, and anesthesia.

Have Questions? Call Dr. Okun at 718-241-6767

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