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The Most Misdiagnosed Conditions

October 25, 2018
Common Misdiagnosed Conditions Pittsburgh, PA

The Most Misdiagnosed Conditions

When you visit the doctor presenting with symptoms of an unexplained illness, you expect that a visit to the doctor will result in at least a proper diagnosis of your condition and an appropriate treatment plan. However, misdiagnosis of illnesses and conditions occur more than you think. In 2014, scientific research revealed that as many as 12 million – or one out of 20 – adult Americans may be affected by a misdiagnosis of medical conditions.

The following is a list of some or the most misdiagnosed conditions and a brief description of their symptoms.


Lupus is a chronic inflammatory disease that affects joint function and causes kidney, liver, and heart damage. Sometimes, those with lupus present with a butterfly-shaped rash on their cheeks; however, some people do not present with such a symptom. Because the symptoms include breaking out in rashes and fatigue, those with lupus may be misdiagnosed with conditions that present with similar symptoms including fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, and chronic fatigue syndrome. There is no one way to diagnose lupus; however, a doctor may arrive at a proper diagnosis after analyzing blood and urine tests of a patient.

Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune disease wherein the immune system of a person attacks that person’s own nerve cells and, thereby, disrupts communication between the person’s brain and body. Multiple sclerosis may be misdiagnosed because the symptoms of the condition are episodic. However, once a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis is suspected, doctors can confirm the diagnosis by performing an MRI or a spinal tap. Symptoms include numbness or weakness in one’s limbs, partial loss of vision, tingling or pain in parts of the body, tremors and/or lack of coordination, fatigue, dizziness, and slurred speech.

Lyme Disease

Lyme disease is a bacterial infection caused by a tick bite. Although the primary symptom of the disease is quite distinctive, a bull’s eye pattern rash, not everyone develops this symptom. Accordingly, doctors may have difficulty properly diagnosing those who do not develop this rash. This is even more accurate given the fact that some blood tests administered to those suspected of having the disease have yielded inaccurate results. Symptoms of lyme disease include fever, chills, fatigue, neck stiffness, and swollen lymph nodes.

Celiac Disease

Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder, which prevents those who have it to be unable to digest gluten. On average, it takes six to ten years for a patient to be properly diagnosed with this disease, largely because the symptoms vary from person to person. The symptoms of Celiac disease often include vomiting, constipation, diarrhea, weight loss, abdominal pain, anemia, and leg cramps and, thus, doctors may misdiagnose patients with this disease with irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn’s disease, and cystic fibrosis.  

Contact Our Experienced Medical Malpractice Attorneys Today

Doctors who misdiagnose patients may be liable to the patients due to injury that results from the misdiagnosis. If you think you may have been misdiagnosed with a medical illness or condition, contact our team of skilled attorneys at Berger & Lagnese, LLC about your case now. Berger & Lagnese, LLC has a certified physician on our staff whom you may also consult with regarding your diagnosis by contacting us. Remember, you will owe no attorney’s fee unless we are successful.

The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.

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