Symptomatic: A Medical Mystery Podcast

Symptomatic: A Medical Mystery Podcast

How terrifying would it be to fight an unknown enemy? One you don’t recognize and didn’t see coming? What if that enemy was coming from within; a disease that even doctors couldn’t identify? Nearly half of all Americans suffer from some chronic illness and many struggle for an accurate diagnosis. Every other week on Symptomatic, host Lauren Bright Pacheco unravels the medical mystery of a patient’s baffling symptoms and explores how their lives were turned upside down in search of answers. From the first signs of trouble, through a swirl of misdirection and failed treatment attempts, to the final relief at a confirmed diagnosis - these are their stories. This is Symptomatic. And for Season 2, we want to hear from you! Tell us what you think of the show or share your own medical mystery by emailing us at Symptomatic@iHeartMedia.com.

Episodes

December 12, 2023 39 mins

Lauren is a professionally trained dancer whose biggest strength has always been finding expression and connection through movement. However, as she pursued her college career, she felt her body slowing down. Simple exercises became challenging, and her flexibility turned into stiffness. Lauren’s condition worsened after having children, and she periodically had to rely on crutches to accommodate her growing immobility. She was des...

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For decades, Eliza dismissed her GI flare-ups and irritated skin. But after the birth of her first child, her concerns escalated, fearing she might faint while caring for her baby. She turned to her sister, who had paralleling symptoms, to explore any potential connection between their experiences. Ignoring the burning pains for so long, Eliza and her doctors dive into her symptomatic past and family history. They uncover a diagnos...

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November 28, 2023 32 mins

Maria is a neurological specialist who became a patient herself when she noticed problems with her mobility. She started to experience cramps in her hands that soon prevented her from driving or tying her shoes. As she saw her ability to care for her patients gradually decline, she faced the skepticism of her colleagues and the fear of not finding a diagnosis. Maria raced to get answers before she lost not only her profession but h...

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November 21, 2023 36 mins

At just 7 years old, Alisha was diagnosed with plaque psoriasis - a condition that manifested in overwhelming flare-ups, covering nearly 90% of her body. Enduring both the physical toll and the harsh judgment of ignorant peers and their parents, she became so self-conscious about showing her skin. She would wear long sleeves in the middle of summer, would never go to the beach, and even feared she would never again be able to feel ...

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In this bonus segment, host Lauren Bright Pacheco checks in with Michele from Case #09 to share feedback from the Symptomatic community.

See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

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November 14, 2023 32 mins

After going through a challenging divorce and relocating cross country, Chris was struggling with depression and anxiety. For a while, he simply ignored his GI symptoms as they progressively got worse. His bowel issues were soon preventing him from living the life he loved: hiking, attending concerts, and participating in activities with his kids. The situation deteriorated to the point where he had to be rushed to the ER multiple ...

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October 31, 2023 38 mins

Jerad had been battling an overwhelming amount of stress while juggling PhD studies, early parenthood, and work with the Minnesota Judicial System. Slowly losing his energy and ability to make it through day-to-day activities, he knew his developing condition meant something even bigger than just stress at work. With his wife’s fierce advocacy, Jerad hurried to find the source of his symptoms before permanent damage was done.

See om...

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October 17, 2023 33 mins

Suffering from incessant fevers, muscle pain, and mysterious nodules across his body for nine years, Chuck's hope was fading. No doctor could explain his sporadic flu-like symptoms. Then, he crossed paths with Dr. Daniel Kastner, an unconventional and brilliant physician with a unique approach to disease research. Together with his colleagues at the National Institutes of Health, their groundbreaking discovery might just hold the k...

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October 3, 2023 36 mins

After the birth of her first child, Michele was hit with the onset of sporadic tingling and numbness on alternating sides of her face. Despite enduring years of the mysterious symptoms, she had given up hope of finding the root cause. Michele eventually built up walls of shame because of the uncontrollable flare-ups. It was the concern of her family and the unwavering support of her new partner that would reignite her hunt for a pr...

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September 12, 2023 2 mins

Join Lauren Bright Pacheco for an all-new season of “Symptomatic” starting Tuesday, October 3rd.

See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

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December 5, 2022 30 mins

Suffering from inexplicable sores & excruciating pain since he was 5 years old, August searched to uncover what plagued so many years of his life and threatened his mobility.  His dreams of a musical theater career quickly faded away as his condition worsened, so August decided to challenge the constant silencing of his symptoms and fight the cause of the irreversible physical damage.

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November 28, 2022 29 mins

Kam is rapidly losing her motor skills as she’s attacked by an unknown & unseen disease. In a matter of months, she goes from starring on her high school soccer team to struggling to make it up the stairs. Bouncing between doctors and facing countless misdiagnoses, Kam never wavers in her chase to uncover what is threatening to take away her mobility. 

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For more informat...

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November 21, 2022 28 mins

Diagnosed at a young age, Antoinette has dealt with Sickle Cell all her life. It’s not until she’s older that she realizes her Sickle Cell is unlike any case her doctor has seen before. With deliberating symptoms and multiple crises, Antoinette turns to her doctor for a life changing diagnosis. 

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To find out more information on Sickle Cell disease visit the Sickle Cell Dise...

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November 14, 2022 32 mins

Kyle was in the ER for a break or sprain almost every month. The injuries were too frequent & too severe to be written off as Kyle just being an active kid. There was something larger at work here. Doctors found a growth on Kyle’s spine that thrusts him onto a rollercoaster ride trying to find the source of the problem before permanent damage is done. 

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To find out more ...

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October 31, 2022 35 mins

Shelby was a freshman in college when she got mono - something that, though draining, is very common in school-age kids. But her mono wasn’t like anything her friends or family had ever seen before. As her condition turns life-threatening, stumped doctors search for answers before it is too late for her or her unborn child. 

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To find out more information on POTS, visit Stand...

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October 24, 2022 31 mins

Zach was your average 11-year-old who loved pizza, sports, and going fishing with his Dad until an incident at a baseball game changed his life forever. As an illness quickly takes hold and wreaks havoc on his body, it’s a race against the clock to figure out what’s happening and save Zach’s life.

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To find out more information on Sepsis, visit Sepsis.org.

See omnystudio.com/l...

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October 17, 2022 30 mins

As a young teenager, Athena began experiencing pimple-like abscesses in various areas of her body. For years, doctors attributed the painful lesions to poor hygiene, shaming Athena into internalizing and enduring her chronic inflammatory condition in silence. Pushing through pain, embarrassment and self-blame, Athena meets a young doctor who finally gives her hope - and a name - for her disorder.

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October 5, 2022 29 mins

Nyobie grew up knowing there was something different about her body. As a young woman, she was plagued by unexplained symptoms doctors initially dismissed as part of puberty. But persistent pain and swelling in her arms and legs were just the beginning of her battle. After 19 years of being silenced and misled, Nyobie finally found a life-changing doctor - and diagnosis.

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If...

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Nearly half of all Americans suffer from a chronic illness and many struggle for an accurate diagnosis. Welcome to “Symptomatic: A Medical Mystery Podcast,” a brand new podcast from iHeartRadio. Each week, host Lauren Bright Pacheco (Happy Face, Murder in Oregon) unravels the medical mystery of a patient’s baffling symptoms and explores how their lives were turned upside down in search of answers. 

From the first signs of trouble,...

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