Arizona patients who suffer from lupus are at risk of having the illness misdiagnosed if they have a mild form of the condition, are exhibiting minimal symptoms and have extended periods between the onset of their symptoms. Also, the symptoms of lupus, which can include the loss of hair, mouth lesions, swollen joints, fever and break outs from sun exposure, can be attributed to a number of other diseases. In fact, because it is often mistaken for other conditions, lupus is referred to as the “great imitator”.
Another reason for the misdiagnosis of lupus is that there is no specific test that can be used to diagnose the condition. In order for it to be correctly diagnosed, it is necessary to compile and assess a patient’s history and symptoms and to conduct exams and medical tests that can eliminate the possibility of other diseases.
Common misdiagnoses of lupus include bipolar disorder, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, anorexia nervosa and hysteria. For people who suffer from cases of lupus that cause hallucinations and other types of delusions, they may be diagnosed as a schizophrenic. Dementia, which can be a result of Alzheimer’s disease or a stroke, can also been diagnosed in older patients who begin to exhibit some form of mental decline. The rash some lupus sufferers have can be mistaken for psoriasis. Those who have some form of tremors or shakiness may be misdiagnosed as having Parkinson’s disease.
A failure to diagnose a disease in a timely manner can lead to a worsened medical condition. Patients who have been harmed in such a manner may want to discuss their legal options with a medical malpractice attorney.