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Thread: Can someone diagnose my friend?

  1. #1 Can someone diagnose my friend? 
    Forum Ph.D. Raziell's Avatar
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    Friend of mine said this on skype after having been brought to the hospital last night:

    First he got sick, as in regular "bad"
    Then his fingers and his legs started shaking.
    He explained that he then felt "hard" in the face, jaw area.
    Unfocused/blurry vision.
    Dizzyness.
    Problems speaking.
    He explained it further as an additional light sensation of being drunk, without being drunk.

    He is fine now but the doctors couldnt find a single thing wrong with him. Any guesses what it could be?


    A lie is a lie even if everyone believes it. The truth is the truth even if nobody believes it. - David Stevens
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  3. #2  
    Bullshit Intolerant PhDemon's Avatar
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    No one here will give you a diagnosis (or they shouldn't) as a) most of us are not medically qualified, b) even if we were it is unethical (and dangerous) to diagnose over the internet without seeing the patient. The only advice you should get or take from people on this forum is go to another doctor.


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  4. #3  
    Forum Ph.D. Raziell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhDemon View Post
    No one here will give you a diagnosis (or they shouldn't) as a) most of us are not medically qualified, b) even if we were it is unethical (and dangerous) to diagnose over the internet without seeing the patient. The only advice you should get or take from people on this forum is go to another doctor.
    He is seeing doctors right now. Im merely asking for clues as to things he might get checked if the doctors cant find anything. So Im basicly just asking what these sympthoms could be, partly out of curiosity.
    A lie is a lie even if everyone believes it. The truth is the truth even if nobody believes it. - David Stevens
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  5. #4  
    Bullshit Intolerant PhDemon's Avatar
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    ...and as I said, it is bad for anyone (even if they are qualified to do so) to offer a medical opinion/diagnosis over the internet...
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  6. #5  
    Forum Ph.D. Raziell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhDemon View Post
    ...and as I said, it is bad for anyone (even if they are qualified to do so) to offer a medical opinion/diagnosis over the internet...
    Ok let me rephrase.

    In a hypothetical situation if this was an assignment on an exam, what would you answer as the most likely cause?
    A lie is a lie even if everyone believes it. The truth is the truth even if nobody believes it. - David Stevens
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  7. #6  
    Forum Masters Degree mat5592's Avatar
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    It's hard to really ever diagnose anything based on symptoms alone. Get some laboratory results and it might help a little. Of course, you should never receive a diagnosis over the Internet nor should you act based on the things you read on the Internet.
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  8. #7  
    Forum Ph.D. Raziell's Avatar
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    I get your point guys, I really do.

    Its like you think Im sitting here with a scalpel just waiting to rush over to my friend's house :P
    Do you honestly believe comming with an opinion on what this could be - could cause any harm whatsoever? Even IF I acted on this and told my friend what it could be - the worst thing that could happen would be that he got that checked and eliminated.
    A lie is a lie even if everyone believes it. The truth is the truth even if nobody believes it. - David Stevens
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  9. #8  
    Forum Masters Degree mat5592's Avatar
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    I understand, but again, it's really hard to say anything based on some vague symptoms and an inability to examine the patient, a physical, patient history, lab results, etc. In fact, ~70% of medical decisions (treatment, diagnosis, discharge, etc.) are based on lab results.

    I see doglady is browsing the thread now so maybe she'll provide some input
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  10. #9  
    Forum Ph.D. Raziell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mat5592 View Post
    I understand, but again, it's really hard to say anything based on some vague symptoms and an inability to examine the patient, a physical, patient history, lab results, etc. In fact, ~70% of medical decisions (treatment, diagnosis, discharge, etc.) are based on lab results.

    I see doglady is browsing the thread now so maybe she'll provide some input
    Ah I see

    70%? Wow... that is waaay higher than I thought.
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  11. #10  
    Forum Professor scoobydoo1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raziell View Post
    Any guesses what it could be?
    Emphasis on bolded - mini stroke.
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  12. #11  
    Forum Freshman DogLady's Avatar
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    Yes, I am lurking (or at least I was). The symptoms are rather vague, and they don't suggest any one syndrome. For example, shaking legs, feeling of hardness in face - these don't fall in line with a particular brain area (such as hemifacial tingling, unilateral weakness). They may be manifestations of high fever with rigors, or extreme elevation of blood pressure. Blurry vision with dizziness and dysarthria (slurred speech) are more suggestive of a neurologic event such as a transient ischemia attack, or mini-stroke. The sensation of being drunk suggests a brain or blood pressure problem. Extreme elevation of the blood pressure can cause significant neurologic symptoms and needs to be in the differential. If the symptoms have resolved, I would suspect either high blood pressure or a TIA. Either way, he needs his doctors to work him up. And he needs to take his medications as prescribed.

    FWIW,
    Clarissa
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  13. #12  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard
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    I am not a medical professional and I can't diagnose anybody, not even over the internet.

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  14. #13  
    Forum Ph.D. Raziell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DogLady View Post
    Yes, I am lurking (or at least I was). The symptoms are rather vague, and they don't suggest any one syndrome. For example, shaking legs, feeling of hardness in face - these don't fall in line with a particular brain area (such as hemifacial tingling, unilateral weakness). They may be manifestations of high fever with rigors, or extreme elevation of blood pressure. Blurry vision with dizziness and dysarthria (slurred speech) are more suggestive of a neurologic event such as a transient ischemia attack, or mini-stroke. The sensation of being drunk suggests a brain or blood pressure problem. Extreme elevation of the blood pressure can cause significant neurologic symptoms and needs to be in the differential. If the symptoms have resolved, I would suspect either high blood pressure or a TIA. Either way, he needs his doctors to work him up. And he needs to take his medications as prescribed.

    FWIW,
    Clarissa
    Wow, thanks for the reply DogLady. Are you a real doctor?

    I wanted to copy paste that answer to my friend on skype but after what people have said here Im not sure if I should do that anymore or not. What do you think DogLady, should I just keep out of it and let his doctors figure it out instead?
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  15. #14  
    Forum Masters Degree DianeG's Avatar
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    I have no idea. I'm not a doctor either. But just out of curiosity, did he feel like he really was unable to speak, as in think of words and communicate them, or not form the words with his mouth and tongue? Or couldn't speak because he was so preoccupied by his other physical symptoms?

    I would think that a medical professional would want to know as much relevant information as possible, like what this person ate or drank in the last 24 hours, any drugs or alcohol,if they had any trauma, hit their head, previous conditions, past seizures, etc. Do you have any of this information?
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  16. #15  
    Forum Professor scoobydoo1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raziell View Post
    should I just keep out of it and let his doctors figure it out instead?
    As cautioned by other members here, I will add my voice to theirs as well.

    Proper medical diagnoses should NOT be done online, especially when there is no way to verify our medical credentials (even if some of us really has one). Members here can perhaps make some educated guesses (again; emphasis on bolded) based on the few described symptoms and patient observations, but ethically, we are obligated to inform you and your friend to seek proper face to face medical consultation. Should you friend be worried and isn't satisfied with the inconclusive findings by his physician, there is always an option of seeking a second opinion from a different physician and perhaps with additional tests such as CT scans, ECG, various bloodwork, etc. All these naturally incurs additional financial expenses which both of you ought to be aware of, and whether they are warranted as determined by your friend's physician.
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  17. #16  
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    One good way to approach questions in circumstances like this would be to ask if anyone had any idea what we should expect doctors to test for given what the enquirer knows about the symptoms.

    It allows people familiar with some conditions to mention those if they're applicable. It also gets over the fact that friends and relatives, even the patients themselves, often don't report all symptoms that are relevant. That, after all, is what doctors are for. They get information from the patient, then they ask different questions to find out whether the patient has experienced other things that they would expect in some conditions rather than others. This narrows down, sometimes expands, the likely source/s of the problem/s.

    Then they work out the most likely candidates for blood tests, imaging, whatever, to confirm or to eliminate various tentative diagnoses.
    "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." Winston Churchill
    "nature is like a game of Jenga; you never know which brick you pull out will cause the whole stack to collapse" Lucy Cooke
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  18. #17  
    Forum Ph.D. Raziell's Avatar
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    Very good point Adelady. I did kinda approach this the wrong way.
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  19. #18  
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    Don't worry. It's not just you.

    These sorts of questions pop up all the time about members and about their families or friends. Most of the time we're left with little option but to say See a doctor.

    When the question is reframed as thinking about what a person might ask a doctor, there's a bit of room for discussion. Only a bit though. It's still up to people to see their doctors and tell them everything they need to know, even if some of the questions seem a bit strange at times.
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    "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." Winston Churchill
    "nature is like a game of Jenga; you never know which brick you pull out will cause the whole stack to collapse" Lucy Cooke
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  20. #19  
    Theatre Whore babe's Avatar
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    Have his doctor check him out with all appropriate tests.

    We aren't doctor's.

    Hope he improves!
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  21. #20  
    Forum Sophomore Hymenophyllum's Avatar
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    There is no diagnosis without performing any test. You claim that doctors didn't find anything wrong, but we still do now know what were they searching for, which tests were made etc.

    Sympthoms are most likely related to nervous system.
    He is numb from his toes down
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  22. #21  
    Forum Freshman DogLady's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raziell View Post

    Wow, thanks for the reply DogLady. Are you a real doctor?

    I wanted to copy paste that answer to my friend on skype but after what people have said here Im not sure if I should do that anymore or not. What do you think DogLady, should I just keep out of it and let his doctors figure it out instead?
    Yes, I am a family doctor. I would recommend staying out of it. His doctors should be working on the problem.

    Clarissa
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  23. #22  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raziell View Post
    Friend of mine said this on skype after having been brought to the hospital last night:

    First he got sick, as in regular "bad"
    Then his fingers and his legs started shaking.
    He explained that he then felt "hard" in the face, jaw area.
    Unfocused/blurry vision.
    Dizzyness.
    Problems speaking.
    He explained it further as an additional light sensation of being drunk, without being drunk.

    He is fine now but the doctors couldnt find a single thing wrong with him. Any guesses what it could be?


    I can do it for you, but I need a little more information... what's his childhood like concerning family, what's his sexual desires in case this causes emotional distress.... what about siblings... telling me someone gets drunk and isn't happy, doesn't tell me a thing... telling me doctors can't tell, doesn't surprise me. I studied psychology for two years, after that, fell out of college and studied it at home.

    I can see things, give me a chance and tell me more if you feel comfortable, and indeed, first and foremost, your friend feels ok talking about this?

    Or am I right in thinking it's you.... in which case, the truth sets you free. Not us. Tell us your problems and maybe I can help.
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