Author Topic: If doctors are giving you no answers, it's good to do detective work yourself!  (Read 19483 times)

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Offline MuslimDoc

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When stabbing stomach pains had California teen Hayley Lairmore doubled over, vomiting and up most of the night, her mom took her to doctor after doctor to find out what was wrong.

No one knew.

Desperate to help her seriously ill daughter, then 14, feel better, Christine Lairmore took to the Internet. She figured out on her own that Hayley had a rare but curable condition known as POTS, or postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome.

"Every night at 2, 3 and 4 in the morning, we'd be up," 43-year-old Lairmore told ABC News. "The nights were horrible. We would watch movie after movie, and she was in excruciating pain. She would cry, 'Mommy, you have to help me, please help me,' but no one could help."

POTS, which Hayley suffered from for nine long months before she got the proper treatment, is difficult to diagnose because it is unusual and its symptoms -- stomach aches, nausea and vomiting, racing heart -- are common for a variety of other conditions, according to AOL's children's health specialist Dr. Jim Sears.

"It's pretty rare," Sears, a pediatrician who hosts "The Doctors," told AOL Health. "[Hayley's experience] is the typical story of someone who has vague symptoms. I'm not surprised that nobody could figure this out."

POTS affects the autonomic nervous system and causes a host of random, unpleasant side effects: fatigue, violent vomiting, intolerance to exercise, unquenchable thirst and tachycardia, or rapid heartbeat. Only about 1 percent of all teenagers are diagnosed with the syndrome, two-thirds of them girls, and about 80 percent of those who do have it are female, most of them of child-bearing age.

Hayley's own saga started when she was celebrating her birthday at Disney World. She was stricken with terrible stomach pains and got sick as many as 12 times a day.

Her mother took her to several doctors and specialists in the Los Angeles area, near the family's home in Lake Arrowhead, California. One physician suggested the teen visit a psychiatrist. Another gave her laxatives that were so potent the girl had to wear a diaper.

Frustrated and in despair, Christine Lairmore went online for hours to try to find answers. During one of her searches, she wound up in a chat room where a teen was talking about POTS. That led her to a YouTube clip of another girl describing the symptoms, which sounded exactly like what her daughter was experiencing.

Since she's been properly diagnosed, Hayley, now 15, is getting the right medication and treatment at the Mayo Clinic and is finally improving. She has gained back some of the weight she'd lost -- at her lowest she was just 70 pounds -- exercising and eating a diet with the extra salt and liquids she needs, according to the New York Daily News.

"Certainly, if the doctors are just giving you no answers, it's good to maybe do some detective work yourself," Sears said of Internet self-diagnosis. "But it's never a good idea to go online instead of going to the doctor's. Many times, you may misdiagnose yourself."

The Muslim doctor shares with the Muslim patient the two main characteristics:
the faith in God and destiny, and the conviction that there is a cure for every disease.


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