Occam's razor is the law of parsimony, economy or succinctness. It is a principle urging one to select among competing hypotheses that which makes the fewest assumptions and thereby offers the simplest explanation of the effect.
A big [sarcastic] thank you to Dr. Theodore Woodward for the aphorism "When you hear hoofbeats behind you, don't expect to see a zebra", which was coined by him in the late 1940s. By 1960, the aphorism was widely known in medical circles and so the diagnosing of rare diseases became far more difficult. Today, people with rare diseases often have to fight for years for a diagnosis due in part to this careless belief by medical professionals.
We personally prefer the opinions of these gentlemen. "In making the diagnosis of the cause of illness in an individual case, calculations of probability have no meaning. The pertinent question is whether the disease is present or not. Whether it is rare or common does not change the odds in a single patient... If the diagnosis can be made on the basis of specific criteria, then these criteria are either fulfilled or not fulfilled." A. McGehee Harvery, James Bordley II, Jeremiah Barondess
A zebra has become somewhat symbolic for those suffering from Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome. Sufferers usually appear healthy which signifies to the physician that they ARE healthy. When approached with a myriad of complaints, even those completely suggestive of Ehler-Danlos Syndrome, the physician typically comes to the most 'likely' conclusion. This is normal and good practice but can be detrimental to the patient when it is incorrect. Because of this, patients with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome will often go years, even decades without a proper diagnosis.
Here are some of the more common misdiagnosis.
Fibromyalgia Chronic Fatigue Arthritis MS Lupus Hypochondria Growing Pains (in children) Child Abuse (in children) Anxiety/Stress Depression Drug addict Benign joint hypermobility IBS Asthma
Regardless of whether you think you have EDS or any other disease, you are your best advocate and only you know your body. Trust in yourself and fight for what you think is right. Get 2nd or 3rd opinions if necessary and never give up.
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