Common Telehealth Diagnoses

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Doctors and other healthcare professionals often diagnose patients using telehealth technology. Their diagnoses sound a lot like those you might hear when seeing your doctor in their office.  Virtual appointments are becoming more sought-after as patients experience their ease and convenience. Therapists can use practice management software and HIPAA approved video conference software like Theraplatform to talk to their patients anywhere in the world.  Here are some common telehealth diagnoses:

PTSD

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) results from experiencing severe trauma. Perhaps they fought in a war or were caught in a burning building. Patients experience flashbacks to events that can be upsetting as if they were actually back in that spot. Patients may also have anxiety and nightmares related to this mental disorder.

The healthcare worker on duty will usually recommend a psychiatrist to aid the patient through their trauma. The telehealth provider may advise the patient about any medication they have been prescribed for PTSD,  or refer them to a hospital if the episode is severe.

Depression

Depression is a mental health disorder that a provider can pick up during a telehealth visit. Patients usually complete a mental health survey before their appointment. If the provider suspects that a patient has depression, they may ask the patient if they have experienced suicidal or destructive thoughts.

Depression is a serious disorder that causes sadness and hopelessness. It can be helped by medication. Therapy is also recommended to the patient, and they can use telehealth consultations for therapy appointments.

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Anxiety

Another mental health disorder is anxiety. It affects many people and involves feelings of fear and panic. The person may appear to be very nervous. A person’s physical symptoms include a fast heartbeat, rapid breathing, and trembling. These definite symptoms help an online provider diagnose anxiety.

Patients can often get an online diagnosis and prescription medication for their symptoms. They can reduce anxiety with telehealth therapy appointments.

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GERD

GERD or Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease causes pain when stomach acid moves to the esophagus. This often results in heartburn, or pain in the chest. Some people may think that they’re having a heart attack because the pain can be severe. 

If you just ate a spicy meal and developed heartburn, your provider may give you the diagnosis of GERD if you frequently have heartburn. The location of your pain will influence their decision.

Your doctor can advise you about which foods you should eat. You may also get a prescription for heartburn medication in case it happens again.

Hyperlipidemia

A blood test is needed before your telehealth appointment with your doctor to discuss high cholesterol. Your doctor will explain what the different results mean, and they will point out how you need to treat the problem of hyperlipidemia.

There are usually no symptoms from this disorder, but you can get practical advice from your doctor. What you eat, especially the sweets and high carbs you consume, can raise your cholesterol levels. You will probably be advised on what not to eat, and doing this can lower your cholesterol levels.

ADHD

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) makes it hard for the patient to pay attention. The person may also lack self-control and have hyperactive behavior. ADHD occurs in children and in adults.

The telehealth provider will have the patient complete a survey that is helpful in diagnosing ADHD. The doctor will ask questions about the child’s or adult’s ability to focus and complete various tasks. The patient will probably be referred to a therapist. It is possible to schedule therapy sessions on a telehealth platform.

Diabetes

Diabetes is a serious and common problem in America. Regular blood work is needed to be sure that the disease is controlled. Once you have had your blood work completed and the results are in, you can discuss these levels during your telehealth visit.

Your provider will talk to you about your recent diet and recommend substitutions for food that is not good for your sugar levels. They will also have you test your blood sugar level at home and tell them the results. This will help the provider know whether diabetes is the best diagnosis for you.

Asthma

Someone with asthma may be having trouble breathing. They may also wheeze when they blow air out of their lungs. These are easy symptoms for a provider to see in order to diagnose asthma. A telehealth doctor will recognize these symptoms.

Asthma is usually diagnosed with a spirometer. Patients who have chronic asthma usually have one of these devices at home. They can use the spirometer during their telehealth appointment so their doctor can see their current oxygen level.

The doctor can then discuss your results with you and prescribe any necessary medication.

Hypertension

Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is also a common diagnosis. The provider may ask the patient to take their blood pressure during the appointment, if possible. If they have a history of high blood pressure or if they’re currently on medication, the doctor may change the medication or its dosage.

If the patient measured their blood pressure during the appointment, the doctor may explain what the numbers mean. They will discuss life changes that will help lower a person’s blood pressure.

Pain

A telehealth professional will ask about the patient’s pain to try to find its cause. Questions about what kind of pain it is and how long it has been present are often asked. The doctor will ask when it started and other questions that lead to a diagnosis.

Once the cause of pain is found, the patient may be given medication. Patients may also be referred for further testing or to a pain management program at a healthcare facility that offers these programs.

Final Thoughts

Telehealth is growing in popularity and will continue to do so. There are benefits to this type of virtual visit with your doctor such as not needing to drive to the doctor’s or therapist’s office. Some of the most diagnosed issues by telehealth providers involve mental health issues.

These can easily be diagnosed after the mental health survey is completed by the patient. Disorders often have very specific symptoms.

Some patients, especially with those who have anxiety, depression, or PTSD may prefer to meet with their doctor during a telehealth visit. 

Be aware that telehealth is not able to meet the needs of patients who may be experiencing life-threatening issues such as severe chest and arm pain, stroke symptoms, and other conditions that require emergency room treatment.

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