Sick and injured individuals place immense trust in medical professionals to understand and treat their various ailments but instead of finding relief, many patients experience deteriorated health due to misdiagnosis.
According to the AARP, here are four of the most misdiagnosed conditions that lead to chronic suffering.
1. Lyme disease
A tick-borne illness that mimics the flu, Lyme disease is difficult to diagnose due to symptomology and testing limitations. Additionally, many physicians lack the necessary training to become Lyme-literate, especially in regions where ticks are not prevalent in the environment.
Considered among the modern era’s “great masqueraders,” lupus is an autoimmune disease that causes the body to attack healthy tissues. Doctors often overlook lupus because its symptoms are intermittent and it can lie dormant in the body for years.
3. Celiac disease
Another autoimmune condition marked by gluten intolerance, celiac disease often resembles irritable bowel syndrome or Crohn’s disease. Failure to treat celiac results in severe stomach pain, anemia and extreme weight loss.
A recent study concluded that doctors misdiagnose nearly 50% of fibromyalgia cases, leaving patients with chronic and unexplained pain. Fibromyalgia is particularly tough to identify because it mimics other arthritis-like disorders including rheumatoid arthritis and chronic fatigue syndrome. Additionally, there is no lab test, so even if patients are thorough in reporting symptoms, doctors can neglect to ask the right screening questions.
While not every misdiagnosis is a result of medical malpractice, some practitioners fail to meet the duty-of-care standard. If you suffer due to a missed or delayed diagnosis, you deserve to know why it happened to you.