The Seven Most Commonly Misdiagnosed Conditions

The average American will suffer at least one serious health condition in his or her lifetime. Unfortunately, some of these people will have their conditions misdiagnosed. Connecticut residents should know about the seven health conditions that doctors most frequently misdiagnose; that way, they can watch out for symptoms that may seem minor in isolation and ask accordingly for second opinions.

Coming in seventh are pulmonary embolisms, which are blood clots in lung arteries that lead to chest pains, shortness of breath and coughing. Emergency department patients are most at risk for the misdiagnosis, so anyone who exhibits these symptoms should see a doctor right away. Next are thyroid disorders — underactive or overactive thyroids can lead to fatigue, constipation and feelings of depression. Being gradual, the symptoms are often misdiagnosed.

Fibromyalgia, a disease of the muscles leading to chronic conditions like arthritis and lupus, is often mistaken for thyroid disease. Fourth is Lyme disease, which is transmitted through tick bites. Its symptoms can be mistaken for depression. Celiac disease, a condition where gluten consumption leads the immune system to damage the small intestine, has over 200 symptoms, which makes it difficult to diagnose. Depression, the No. 2 most misdiagnosed condition, is experienced differently by different people; therefore, it is hard to pinpoint. Cancer is the most frequently misdiagnosed condition as there are over 200 types.

The failure of many cancer treatments is due precisely to the failure to diagnose the condition in its early stages. If someone dies from cancer and the family believe the doctor is responsible, they can consult with an attorney about filing a medical malpractice suit. The lawyer can first determine if the doctor failed to live up to a certain standard of care.