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Most medical diagnoses are made by doctors after the patient has come in to have their symptoms investigated and therefore relies on patients having an accurate idea of what their body functions are supposed to look like normally and being able to notice when they have changed. For some people, accurately identifying what is and is not normal with their body is very difficult and they often imagine that the slight foot pain they are experiencing is the symptom of a serious illness. This condition is known as hypochondria. You can learn more about it here.

Everybody suffers a certain amount of worry over their health and many people have been concerned that they require medical attention, such as radiation or Autism treatment, when in reality they have a minor illness that will clear up in time. However, if you constantly worry about your health and continually misidentify your normal bodily functions as symptoms of a serious illness, you are probably suffering from hypochondria, which is a chronic condition.

Hypochondriacs are unusually preoccupied by their bodies, which often enables family members and friends to identify them even before the person's doctor. You might notice a tendency in your friend to believe that she has Metatarsalgia - and present corroborating symptoms - after you have read an article or watched a TV show about the condition. She will express doubt and disbelief when reassured by her doctor that she is fine and may dwell on her concerns about her imagined disease for six months or more unless another condition rears its ugly head.

About 3% of people who visit hospitals are afflicted with hypochondria, so the condition is neither rare nor common. Because individuals affected with hypochondria often disbelieve their official diagnosis and as a result, lose trust in doctors and other medical professionals, hypochondriacs require frequent reassurances from family and friends that they are fine and should not get a nose job in Toronto to fix their imagined problem. However, come hypochondriacs worry in secret because they don't think anyone will believe them.

Though hypochondriacs do not have the conditions they imagine, the stress and worry that their condition puts them through does take its toll on the body. They may suffer from headaches, high blood pressure, depression, nausea, or joint pain that their doctor cannot alleviate. Where hypochondria is involved, patients may require treatment at a Hamilton anxiety clinic to help them get their worries and fears under control and reduce their stress levels.

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Joanna Kalbarczyk, Real Estate Agent
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