The Law Offices of John Phebus

Common diseases that are often misdiagnosed

Arizona residents may be surprised to learn how common a misdiagnosis can be for doctors. Incorrect diagnoses can even be made for common diseases. Part of the problem is that some common illnesses share symptoms, making it difficult to distinguish the conditions from each other. Some diseases can only be identified through symptom elimination.

One common disease that can be difficult to diagnose is Celiac disease. This autoimmune disorder can take about six to 10 years to diagnose. A misdiagnoses could potentially lead to damage to the small intestines or even death if the case is severe enough. Symptoms can include seizures, anemia, weight loss and diarrhea. Endometriosis is another disease that is commonly misdiagnosed. It causes the uterine lining in a woman to grow outside the uterus. If it is not diagnosed in a timely manner, the disease can cause infertility and excessive bleeding even between periods.

Individuals should also know that Lyme disease often goes undiagnosed because the symptoms mimic other illnesses. Lyme disease symptoms include severe joint pain, headaches, depression and even cognitive impairment. As such, it is often misdiagnosed as fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis or ALS. A diagnosis can be made through a blood test, so someone who believes they may have Lyme disease should request one.

A misdiagnosis can cause serious, irreversible harm to a patient. If the misdiagnosis causes a patient's health to worsen, they may potentially file a medical malpractice case against the doctor who provided the care in addition to the hospital. An attorney may help by determining if the there is evidence of hospital negligence or if the doctor error could have been avoided. The attorney may also assist with seeking compensation for additional medical care, lost income and other damages associated with the illness.

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