6 Commonly Misdiagnosed Illnesses | PKSD

Diseases That are Commonly Misdiagnosed by Doctors

Posted by PKSD Law Firm on June 8, 2018 in Medical Negligence

doctor reviewing documentsMisdiagnosis is one of the most common forms of medical malpractice. It occurs when a doctor fails to make a diagnosis or when he or she misdiagnoses the patient with the wrong illness.

Misdiagnosis can cause substantial injury to patients because they are not receiving treatment for the ailment they have. Doctors could also start treating the wrong illness, making the underlying condition worse or causing painful side effects.

If you believe your health care provider misdiagnosed you and caused you to sustain an avoidable injury, contact an experienced medical malpractice lawyer for help. The licensed Milwaukee medical malpractice attorneys at PKSD can evaluate your claim and help determine if you may have a right to recover compensation.

Six of the most common misdiagnosed illnesses include:


There are many forms of cancer. However, many instances are misdiagnosed. Some of the most commonly misdiagnosed forms of cancer include:

  • Lymphoma
  • Sarcoma
  • Melanoma
  • Breast cancer

These conditions may be misdiagnosed because of missing information in a patient’s medical history. Additionally, health care providers may not give enough time during a routine exam to properly evaluate the patient for signs of cancer.

Lyme Disease

Lyme disease is a bacterial infection, usually caused by a tick bite. Common symptoms associated with this illness include:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Muscle and joint pain
  • Soreness of the chest or ribs
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Skin rash
  • Stiffness of the neck
  • Face twitching

This condition may be mistaken for the flu, fibromyalgia, meningitis or depression because of similar symptoms. While a blood test may catch this disease, the antibodies of the illness usually do not appear until several weeks after the patient is infected.


Lupus is a chronic inflammatory disease that involves damage to major organs, joint pain and a rash. Lupus often presents in different ways, making it difficult to diagnosis. The condition may affect the joints, kidneys, brain, skin and lungs. The symptoms may mirror those of other conditions. Advanced DNA tests may be necessary to properly diagnose this condition.

Celiac Disease

Celiac disease is a particularly severe immune reaction to gluten that causes inflammation in the small intestine. Patients with this condition are unable to properly digest gluten. Digestive problems may occur when the patient eats food that contains gluten, such as rye, wheat and barley.

Common signs associated with this condition include:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Weight loss
  • Bloating
  • Joint pain
  • Acid reflux
  • Anemia
  • Leg cramps
  • Itchy skin
  • Heartburn
  • Headaches

The symptoms mimic other conditions, such as irritable bowel syndrome or Crohn’s disease. Many people go several years before they are properly diagnosed with this condition.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder that causes inflammation and the painful swelling of joints. The early stages of this condition mimic other diseases. The most common symptoms include aches or joint stiffness, which are present in many other conditions. Doctors need to take the patient’s full medical history and do a careful physical exam to properly diagnose this disease.

Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis is another autoimmune disease. It is progressive in nature and attacks the central nervous system, disrupting communication between the brain and other parts of the body. Symptoms associated with this condition include:

  • Tingling in one or more arms or legs
  • Weakness
  • Numbness
  • Muscle spasms
  • Balance problems
  • Blurred vision
  • Cognitive impairment

This condition presents differently for different patients. Some patients may have symptoms that are more severe than symptoms that other patients have. This condition is sometimes mistaken for Alzheimer’s, lupus or a viral infection. Blood tests may be necessary to rule out other conditions.

Contact a Lawyer for Assistance

While accidents may occur, many of these conditions can be properly diagnosed when physicians with the requisite knowledge and training provide proper care to their patients.

If you have been harmed due to a preventable misdiagnosis, the lawyers at PKSD may be able to help. Our Milwaukee personal injury attorneys are knowledgeable about the expected standard of care and can explain how the health care provider’s care fell below this standard.

We can discuss the possibility of recovering for the damages that you have sustained, such as increased medical expenses, lost wages, lost earning capacity, and pain and suffering.

Complete a Free Case Evaluation form today or call us at 877-877-2228.

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