Getting a diagnosis can be a real challenge indeed! It may be one of the most difficult challenges in your health journey. I received some information from the American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association that gave some good information that will certainly be helpful. I thought that it was a long time before I had a diagnosis, but, on average, autoimmune patients see at least four different doctors over a 3 year period before they finally get a diagnosis.
Some of the tips AARDA suggests are:
1. Ask the hospital if there are doctors on staff who treat autoimmune patients
2. Ask for a thorough clinical examination. Ask for a copy of laboratory results
3. Get a second or third opinion, if necessary. Symptoms can be vague and not visibly apparent, so doctors don’t always connect them to autoimmune diseases.
4.Symptoms often seem unrelated. It is important to make a list of every major symptom you’ve experienced. List and date the the symptoms that are of major concern to you. Also keep a daily journal of symptoms. Take this list to appointments.
5.. Partner with your physicians to manage your disease. One doctor should become the main provider to manage medications
Have any of you experienced a long journey before final diagnosis? What worked for you to try to speed things up?