There is a difference between Munchausen syndrome and hypochondria. A person with Munchausen syndrome desperately seeks medical attention to fulfill severe emotional problems, whereas a person with hypochondria believes they are ill.
Munchausen syndrome is also called factitious disorder. If you have Munchausen syndrome, you have a desperate need to be seen as ill or sick. There is not a clear personal benefit to being seen as sick, such as financial gain. You fake illnesses by exaggerating your symptoms and producing symptoms. You may hurt yourself to produce symptoms, and you may also alter medical tests to have you seen as having a particular disorder. People with Munchausen syndrome typically visit multiple doctors and hospitals in order to get the medical attention they desire. They also have multiple medical tests and procedures performed, and have an unusual eagerness to be subjected to invasive medical tests and procedures. People with Munchausen syndrome typically have self-esteem and identity problems.
Hypochondria is also known as hypochondriasis or health anxiety. If you have hypochondria, you have obsessive thoughts that you suffer from a serious or life-threatening illness, even though the doctor and medical tests say you do not have a serious illness. Even with your doctor telling you that nothing is wrong, or with medical tests coming up with negative results, you still have worries that you have a serious illness, and this consumes you with constant worry and dread, anticipating the worst. Similar to people with Munchausen syndrome, people with hypochondria will typically have multiple visits to doctors and hospitals and have multiple medical tests done. What is different is that the person with hypochondria actually believes they have an illness, whereas the person with Munchausen syndrome has severe emotional problems with identity and self-esteem that they would feign symptoms in order to get unnecessary medical attention to fulfil their emotional needs.