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Errors in diagnosing diseases


The failure to diagnose an illness is often the result of the similarity of symptoms many illnesses share. Oregon residents might already be aware of the three diseases that are routinely mistaken for other illnesses.

Celiac disease, which is an extreme adverse reaction to consuming gluten, can take up to 10 years to diagnose correctly. It can have different effects on people, but common symptoms include abdominal pain, mouth sores and low levels of iron. If celiac disease is allowed to persist, it can result in damage to the small intestine, and it may lead to death.

Lyme disease shares many symptoms with other debilitating diseases, such as fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis and Parkinson’s disease. Sudden mood changes, cardiovascular issues and cognitive impairment are some common indicators, but during the initial stages of the disease, most of the symptoms mimic the flu. In some cases, Lyme disease can be easily identified if there is a bullseye-shaped rash surrounding the bite left behind by an infected tick. Blood tests are usually used to confirm presence of the disease.

Doctors have been unable to identify any risk factors for endometriosis, a disease that affects women and that is often misdiagnosed. Endometriosis occurs when the uterine lining begins to grow outside of the uterus and starts to shed at the beginning of a menstrual cycle. The shed lining begins to accumulate inside of the body, causing extreme pain, and in some cases, damage to the ovaries. Endometrial cells that accrue in the fallopian tubes and the pelvic cavity are the cause of endometriosis.

Illnesses like these are commonly misdiagnosed for a variety of reasons. If the a misdiagnosis of a disease occurs and results in unnecessary suffering or even death, medical malpractice attorney may be able to make a victim aware of his or her compensation options.