Hypochondriacs Beware: 12 Doctors Reveal Stories of “Minor” Symptoms Quickly Turning Deadly

Written By Jack Bolton

Warning: this article may trigger anyone prone to hypochondria. In a recent Reddit post, someone asked doctors for their craziest stories of patients who had seemingly mild symptoms that quickly turned serious. Here are 12 of the scariest stories (and what other people had to say about them)…

12. Feeling Gassy

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“My mother called me one day when she had strange symptoms. It happened again a few days later when she was in the car with me. Something made me take her right to the emergency room… Turns out it was a malignant brain tumor (glioblastoma) that was manifesting itself as abdominal seizures.”

“I’m so glad to hear that she’s still with you!”

11. Numbness In The Hands

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“My first thought was Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. But the physical exam was not very convincing. I got a CT head and found malignant metastatic lesions! They went from healthy to potentially a few months to live.”

“This is so terrifying and sad.”

“Shouldn’t be reading this when my partner is going to the doctor for hand numbness and full body fatigue today…”

10. Constipation And Stomach Pain

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“They were just asking for laxatives to relieve his constipation. I examined his abdomen and found a firm central mass which was a bit unusual. Ordered the man a CT which showed an abdominal aortic aneurysm with an outpouching with an extremely thin wall. Surgeons say if he’d sneezed it would have ruptured.”

“My grandfather had an abdominal aortic aneurysm. When it ruptured, the ER doc gave him his phone and told him had a few minutes to call people before he died.”

9. Weight Gain, Prolonged Periods, And Dehydration

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“Mom was constantly in and out of doctors’ offices and ERs for many things such as being extremely tired, extreme weight gain, periods lasting months, and a bad case of dehydration. Finally, an ER doctor took notice and sent her for a CT and found a grapefruit-sized tumor in her vena cava.”

“I knew someone who had rapid weight gain, no energy, etc. His wife thought he was just lazy, so she divorced him. Stage 4 cancer as well.”

8. Flu-Like Symptoms

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“Man is feeling unwell, thinks he has like a flu or a cold or something. Nothing serious, but they don’t have a family doctor, so they came to the ER. Man gets in line for triage, and his wife leaves to go park the car…This man’s digestive tract just…exploded?”

“Worst code I’ve ever been a part of was ruptured esophageal varices that had just ruptured. Everyone working that code got soaked in blood.”

7. Bad Breath

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“A man came to the hospital because his wife always complained about his bad breath. I met him because they consulted my department when the tissue biopsy came back as esophageal cancer.”

“God I remember how my dad’s breath would stink up the car. It breaks my heart now to realize that he smelled like death.”

“My dad has stomach cancer and a few months before he was diagnosed. He would burp and it would smell so bad.”

6. A Nosebleed

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“Patient was a healthy 50-something-year-old who had an extended nosebleed after a long hike. They did a CT scan as protocol and discovered she had a 20+ cm tumor on her uterus that was wrapping around her right kidney; she was immediately referred to a serious academic hospital and had a specialized oncology surgeon remove it.”

“My complete guess is that they did blood work to look at her liver function as impaired liver function could cause bleeding.”

5. Back Pain

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“My dad woke up with severe back pain one morning after not doing anything strenuous the weeks/days leading up to it. My mom flipped her **** and finally put her foot down that he had to go to the doctor. That appointment showed a broken rib from a huge tumor on his spine, along with tumors around his buttocks/pelvis and upper back. Diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer.”

“That’s nightmarish.”

4. Toothache

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“New patient came in with what he thought was a mild ache in his teeth. Thought it was a toothache. Took a radiograph and the jaw bone around the teeth looked strange. Had him see an oral surgeon that day. Turned out was a very aggressive metastatic bone cancer and died a few weeks later.”

“That sucks. My mom was a dentist assistant until her retirement. The dentist she worked with had a similar case.”

3. “Minor Cardiovascular Symptoms…”

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“The senior debated back and forth whether it would make sense to run a CT to rule out anything more serious. She finally decided to do it and it turned out he had a massive aortic dissection and was basically wheeled right into the operating room.”

“Work on an ambulance and have had one aortic dissection patient, but he had all the bells and whistles.”

2. Intense Sweating

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“We had a guy come in years ago asking for a medication to ‘help him stop sweating.’ He said he had had a sore throat…went to a walk-in clinic, was diagnosed with strep throat… We took him back and ran some blood tests. His white blood count was the highest I’ve ever seen and he was diagnosed with leukemia.”

“This happened to my dad. He had a sore throat and felt weak and went to A&E, ended up in ICU, and never came home.”

1. High Temperature

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“Patient had a temperature of 98.6. No other symptoms. I explained that was a normal temperature but the wife said ‘that’s a fever for him.’ I told her… if she feels something is wrong she should get him checked out in the ER. The ER doctor called… and said they did all they could do for him but he died of sepsis.”

“Sepsis is weird.”

“My dad died of sepsis. The night before was my birthday, we had supper with them. He warned me not to hug him because he thought he was getting sick.”


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Source: Reddit.

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