If you start to develop worrisome symptoms, you likely head to the doctor’s office. If they are particularly serious, you might even take a trip to the Emergency Room (ER).
But, what if your doctor tells you that they can’t find anything wrong with you? Do you have to just learn to live with it? Or, perhaps even worse, what if your condition is misdiagnosed entirely?
Common conditions that frequently get misdiagnosed
It happens more often than the medical community likes to admit. Patients fail to be diagnosed, or wind up misdiagnosed and treated for conditions that they don’t even have. Meanwhile, their actual conditions worsen from not getting treatment at all.
The following are all conditions that may be misdiagnosed by your doctor.
You might initially notice that you have trouble with your balance. You could stumble while walking and might notice a growing stiffness in your muscles accompanied by pain in the joints. Alternatively, you might have trembling in your limbs, hands and head.
This disease is degenerative and affects patients’ central nervous systems. But because no lab tests currently exist for definitively diagnosing Parkinson’s, your doctor could mistakenly diagnose your condition as essential tremor, stress, stroke, a traumatic brain injury (TBI) or even Alzheimer’s.
If you get bitten by a dog, there is a visible wound that needs to be immediately cleaned and treated. But, if you get bitten by a tick, you might never even notice. There may be a rash at the bite site that appears like a bull’s-eye, but if it is in a spot that’s hard to see or notice, it could go undetected.
However, that tick bite could leave you with Lyme disease. Its symptoms include:
- Soreness of the ribs or chest
Shortness of breath
Abdominal cramps, vomiting or nausea
- Twitching eyelids or face
Your doctor might incorrectly diagnose you with chronic fatigue syndrome, meningitis, mononucleosis, flu, depression or fibromyalgia. The good news is this case can be definitively diagnosed by the Western blot blood test after an initial positive result with the IFA or ELISA or blood test.
This chronic inflammatory disease is characterized by a butterfly-shaped rash on the nose and cheeks, extreme fatigue and joint pain. It can cause serious damage to the lungs, kidneys and heart.
Doctors frequently misdiagnose their lupus patients with fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome or rheumatoid arthritis. But there are blood tests that can rule out the other conditions and confirm suspected lupus.
What happens when diseases get misdiagnosed?
The worst consequence is that the patient dies. But even if that does not occur, the delay of treatment can cause symptoms to worsen and the disease to spread and cause irreparable harm to the patient.
Was your condition worsened due to a misdiagnosis? You may be able to seek compensation for any losses or damages stemming from this medical malpractice incident.