The Strangest Medical Cases of 2016 (Part 1)

On Behalf of | Oct 25, 2017 | Medical Malpractice


Sarah G. Miller of Live Science recently wrote an article titled, “The 16 Strangest Medical Cases of 2016.” In it, she features rare medical cases that have bewildered patients and medical practitioners alike. Some of these cases provide us with good learning opportunities, both for how we recognize symptoms in ourselves, and how doctors approach unique medical conditions. Read on for a discussion of some cases that Miller featured. 

Gluten Delusions

One of the most interesting cases, because of its psychiatric element, involved what Miller coined “gluten delusions.” In this case, a woman was suffering from severe delusions that turned out to be caused by gluten. The twist, however, was that the woman’s delusions led her to believe that doctors were lying about their diagnosis of celiac disease, making it nearly impossible for her medical team to convince her to stop eating gluten! Thankfully, doctors eventually persuaded her and her delusions stopped. This case is a good reminder that psychiatric symptoms can come from a number of sources and can happen to anyone, so it’s important to monitor mental health as we do physical health.

Benefits of Donating Blood

Do you believe in karma? Because Miller’s feature on a man who warded off his genetic condition by regularly donating blood for 20 years may make us all think about our next good deed. The man’s condition was hereditary haemochromatosis(hemochromatosis, to Americans), in which the body has too much iron, causing liver damage among other side effects. Continuously drawing blood, which the man did for years, was removing the high concentration of iron from his body. So if you needed a push to give blood or marrow, or donate your hair, or whatever other charitable contribution you’re considering, this is your cue!

Basketball-Sized Cyst

While many of the cases Miller reported on were freak accidents, a couple could have had serious consequences due to the way doctors handled the cases. The basketball-sized cyst is a good example of this. Miller described a young woman in England who was suffering from abdominal pain and a feeling of fullness. However, she was consistently told by her doctor that obesity was causing her symptoms. When she was finally given an ultrasound, the doctors discovered the cyst on her ovary.

Because the doctor automatically blamed the woman’s symptoms on her weight, diagnosis and treatment were delayed. If the cyst had gone untreated and ruptured, causing serious illness, the woman may have had a claim for medical malpractice. This scenario could be considered a failure to diagnose, and the doctor could have be liable for not exploring possible causes for her symptoms and rather assuming her weight was the answer.

Want to read more strange cases? Check out part 2.

If you believe that you have a rare medical condition that wasn’t properly researched or treated by a doctor, you should speak with a knowledgeable attorney about the possibility of a medical malpractice case. At Norton & Norfleet, P.C., we specialize in medical malpractice and offer a free consultation. If you have questions, call us (816) 607-4750.


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