Undiagnosed and misdiagnosed illnesses negatively impact patients

On Behalf of | Feb 23, 2021 | Medical Malpractice |

There are many kinds of illnesses that may be misdiagnosed or go without a diagnosis at all. This is because they’re more difficult to identify or share symptoms with many other conditions.

It is a medical provider’s responsibility to determine the reason for a patient’s illness or current state of health. They should go through all possible ailments and then pass the patient on to a specialist or another provider if they cannot come up with a reasonable explanation.

Unfortunately, many patients go without the diagnoses that they deserve.

Undiagnosed illnesses can lead to chronic illness and death

The unfortunate reality is that those who live with an illness but have no diagnosis could be at risk of serious illness or death. Undiagnosed illnesses may produce symptoms such as:

  • Abnormal weight gain or loss
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Psychological disturbances
  • Neurological problems
  • Menstrual disorders
  • Muscle and joint pain

…and many others. Since many ailments begin with the same symptoms or share symptoms throughout the lifecycle of the disease, it’s important that medical providers look at differential diagnoses and determine what is or is not causing a patient’s symptoms.

What are some commonly misdiagnosed diseases?

Some of the most commonly misdiagnosed diseases include:

  • Lupus
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Celiac disease
  • Lyme disease
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome

These illnesses can sometimes progress to a point that a patient’s life is in danger, so it’s vital that a correct diagnosis is received. Then, the patient can begin a treatment regimen to help reduce or eliminate their symptoms.

What should you do if you’ve been misdiagnosed or never received a diagnosis?

As a patient, it is important for you to play a role in your care. If you aren’t satisfied with the treatment or diagnosis you’ve been given, it’s normal to seek out a second or third opinion. Since many illnesses mimic each other, it’s not unusual for one to be misdiagnosed, at least in the early stages. However, if a medical provider misdiagnoses an illness that should have been easily recognizable with standard testing, then you may have a case against them for negligence or malpractice.