7 Most Commonly Misdiagnosed Conditions
Last updated Tuesday, November 21st, 2023
Effective treatment of a medical condition is impossible without an accurate diagnosis. However, because many diseases have similar symptoms, doctors sometimes misdiagnose their patients – an error that, depending on the circumstances, can rise to the level of malpractice. In such cases, patients may be entitled to sue their healthcare providers for the harm they suffered as a result of the negligent misdiagnosis. Read to Learn about the most misdiagnosed disease.
Examples of commonly misdiagnosed diseases include:
- Lupus is a chronic inflammatory autoimmune disease in which the immune system attacks healthy tissue in the body. Lupus causes mild to severe symptoms, including rashes, fatigue, joint pain, and damage to vital organs.
- Fibromyalgia is a condition that causes chronic, widespread joint pain, fatigue, anxiety, and sleeping issues, commonly misdiagnosed as arthritis.
- Celiac disease is an autoimmune disease affecting the intestines, in which individuals become intolerant to gluten, a protein found in wheat. Consuming gluten causes an immune reaction, inflaming the small intestine’s lining. Inflammation can damage the small intestine, prevent the absorption of nutrients, and increase the risk of cancer. Celiac disease is commonly mistaken for irritable bowel syndrome, cystic fibrosis, or Crohn’s disease.
- Depression is a mental health condition characterized by low mood, aversion to activity, loss of interest in activities, and low self-esteem. Depression may be misdiagnosed as bipolar disorder, ADHD, PTSD, schizoaffective disorder, hypothyroidism, or fibromyalgia, for example.
- Cancer is the most commonly misdiagnosed disease. Breast cancer, cervical cancer, prostate cancer, and colon cancer are misdiagnosed with particular frequency. Cancer shares symptoms with a wide range of other medical conditions. Failure to timely diagnose cancer allows the disease to advance and become less treatable.
- Pulmonary embolism is a blockage of arteries in the lungs, which causes symptoms such as shortness of breath, chest pain, rapid heart rate, and coughing up blood. Pulmonary embolisms can be misdiagnosed as mild conditions such as heartburn or indigestion, or as more serious medical emergencies such as a heart attack.
- Chronic fatigue syndrome, which is also called myalgic encephalomyelitis, is a complex, long-term medical condition with poorly understood causes and mechanisms. Common symptoms include fatigue or malaise after physical or mental activity, diminished stamina, sleep problems, and chronic pain.
How to Prevent a Misdiagnosis
Tips for reducing the risk of becoming the victim of misdiagnosis include:
- Document your symptoms and physical complaints, a timeline of your symptoms, and a list of your medications, so you do not forget to bring them up with your doctor.
- Ask detailed questions about your diagnosis, including what other diagnoses your doctor considered and why your doctor ruled them out.
- Keep track of your recovery after beginning treatment and follow up with your doctor if your symptoms do not improve.
- Do not hesitate to obtain a second opinion if you do not get better with treatment or if you have suspicions about your initial diagnosis.
Contact Our Experienced Connecticut Medical Misdiagnosis Lawyer Today
Contact the law firm of Wocl Leydon today for a free, no-obligation consultation if you have suffered harm due to a medical misdiagnosis. Our firm can help you pursue compensation and justice for your financial expenses, pain, suffering, diminished quality of life, reduced life expectancy, and more.