Hullverson Law Firm

Misdiagnosis may affect treatment choices

As Missouri residents may know, some diseases are more commonly misdiagnosed than others because symptoms sometimes resemble those resulting from other illnesses. When a physician orders the appropriate testing to challenge a differential diagnosis, finding the correct one is possible. This allows the patient to receive the right treatment earlier. A missed or delayed diagnosis of a medical condition may lead to inappropriate treatment or a worsening of symptoms.

One medical condition that may be misdiagnosed is Lyme disease. While many individuals are familiar with the bulls-eye rash that might accompany the disease, not all Lyme patients present with this type of rash. Some may exhibit joint pain or hives instead. When Lyme disease is a possibility, ordering a test to rule it out is necessary.

Celiac disease is another illness that is frequently misdiagnosed. Presenting with gastrointestinal symptoms due to a reaction to gluten in the diet is common. Anemia, neurological symptoms and other signs such as higher than normal liver enzymes may also signal that a patient may be suffering from celiac disease. Ordering a text that shows the presence or absence of celiac disease may assist a physician in making the correct diagnosis.

Thyroid problems may cause a number of symptoms that might be mistaken for other diseases. Excessive thyroid hormone production might result in weight loss while inadequate amounts may cause weight gain. Diagnosing thyroid disease depends on ordering the proper tests.

A misdiagnosis may result in delayed or unnecessary treatment that might cause harm to the patient and result in financial distress as well. When this happens, obtaining the advice of a medical malpractice attorney may be advisable. Legal counsel can review the patient's health care records and obtain the opinions of medical experts in order to demonstrate that the physician failed to show the required standard of care and should thus be held responsible for the losses sustained.

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