Whenever you experience a health problem like sudden pains in different parts of your body, nausea, digestive issues, or other strange symptoms, you head straight to the doctor. You trust that they will diagnose your health problem accurately and will make sure you get the right treatment. But what if the doctor, the one you trust so dearly with your life, gets it wrong? Instances of doctors misdiagnosing a medical condition are actually quite common. Sometimes, symptoms of a disease may not be specific to that particular disease and may differ from person to person. Your chances of being misdiagnosed increase if you have a very common disease or a very rare one. Here are the 7 conditions doctors commonly misdiagnose.
Lupus is a chronic inflammatory disease. It’s most prominent sign is a butterfly-shaped rash across the cheek, but all patients do not develop this rash. In such instances, it gets very difficult to accurately diagnose the disease. Lupus affects the kidneys, brain, lungs, skin, and joints, which makes it even harder to diagnose the condition. People have to undergo a complete physical exam and have to get blood and urine tests done in order to diagnose the condition.
2. Lyme Disease
Tick bites are quite dangerous and can cause Lyme disease. Patients typically develop a rash, but not in all cases. Its symptoms are fatigue, stiffness, headaches, muscle and joint pain, and other flu-like symptoms, which can easily be confused for symptoms of other diseases. A blood test can confirm the presence of Lyme disease antibodies, but it takes time for these antibodies to show up in the blood. Since blood tests are not completely reliable, people may even suffer for a year before Lyme disease is accurately diagnosed.
3. Celiac Disease
Celiac disease is an immune reaction to gluten, which causes an inflammation of the small intestine. The main reason why this disease is commonly misdiagnosed is that it has many symptoms which vary from person to person and some people show no symptoms at all. People with this disease would have digestive problems when they ingest gluten and about half of them experience diarrhea and weight loss. Other symptoms of celiac disease include headaches, acid reflux, joint pain, and itchy skin.
Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition which causes muscle and joint pain, anxiety, and fatigue. The strange issue with this disease is that when people complain about their persistent pains, there seems to be no physical cause. In such cases, doctors often diagnose the condition as fibromyalgia. In many instances, this condition is mistaken for rheumatoid arthritis and lupus.
Your thyroid gland is responsible for producing thyroid hormones which help govern the metabolic processes of your body. In the case of hypothyroidism, the thyroid gland does not produce a sufficient amount of thyroid hormones. The hormonal imbalance causes fatigue, dry skin, weight gain, weakness, and muscle pain. These symptoms are commonly mistaken for symptoms of fibromyalgia and depression. Since it is common in older women, the symptoms are often attributed to declining bodily functions due to age.
6. Heart Stroke
A heart stroke is potentially disabling and fatal due to which its early symptoms should never be overlooked. In many cases, young people with early symptoms of a stroke are often misdiagnosed with alcohol intoxication, migraine, or vertigo. A stroke can happen at any age, so you should never ignore its symptoms, such as a severe headache, confusion, vision problem, drooping on one side of the face, speech difficulty, and weakness in the arm. If you or anyone you know experiences these symptoms, you should not waste any time in calling for help.
Appendicitis is a condition in which your appendix, a 3.5-inch-long tube that extends from the large intestine, gets inflamed. Its symptoms include pain around the belly button area, nausea, and slight fever. In some cases, appendicitis is not diagnosed because a person’s appendix may be pointing backward due to which they may experience back pain, leading to a misdiagnosis. In some other cases, the appendix may rupture and the pain may subside after a while, causing people to think they have nothing to worry about. But it can be potentially life-threatening if fluids from the intestines seep out and cause infection.
You should never take any sudden pain or a strange feeling in any part of your body lightly. You should be aware of your body and should get a physical examination done regularly. If you are not satisfied with a diagnosis made by one doctor, you can always get the opinion of a second one just to be on the safer side.