Some Health Conditions That Are Commonly Misdiagnosed

On behalf of Peterson, Berk & Cross, S.C.

Wisconsin courts often hear medical malpractice cases based on a misdiagnosis by a doctor. Doctors may miss a diagnosis for any number of reasons, but there are a few conditions that go undiagnosed more often than others. Celiac disease, for example, may be difficult to diagnose because of its non-specific, vague symptoms. Celiac disease is a reaction to gluten, which is present in some foods. It can be diagnosed by a blood test.

Lyme disease has been referred to in medical literature as “the great masquerader” for its propensity to go misdiagnosed. A dermatologist said doctors should order blood tests if the patient may have been in contact with ticks. Thyroid disorders are also difficult to diagnose, because the hormone produced by the thyroid gland has an effect on every cell in the body. Symptoms like insomnia, weight loss, shakiness or restlessness may indicate an overactive thyroid, while low thyroid activity may be indicated by fatigue, weight gain or lethargy.

Lupus, an autoimmune disease, sometimes causes a rash similar to a seborrheic dermatits rash, and so it is sometimes misdiagnosed as that condition. One doctor has said that fibromyalgia is misdiagnosed in 85 percent of cases. Unfortunately, no lab tests have been developed to identify the ailment.

Misdiagnoses may occur for any number of reasons. Those who suffer harm as the result of such an error may be entitled to recover damages for pain and suffering and other losses. An attorney with experience in medical malpractice litigation may be able to help by reviewing the patient’s medical records and obtaining the opinion of health care experts in order to demonstrate that the misdiagnosis was the result of negligence.