10 tips for managing medically unexplained symptoms

For the doctor, there is often a sense of helplessness

Patients with medically unexplained symptoms pose a challenge to GPs. 

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Because diagnosis is an expected outcome, both doctors and patients can feel frustrated without one.

No diagnosis means no prognosis, so patients live with perpetual uncertainty. For the doctor, there is often a sense of helplessness.

Common strategies for managing all medically unexplained illness are as follows:

  1. Help the patient make sense of their symptoms.
  2. Acknowledge the symptoms are real and distressing.
  3. Be up-front with the patient in advising them

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