When a patient receives medical advice and recommendations, he or she can sometimes assume that the doctor is giving a perfect diagnosis every time. However, human error occurs and there are times where your doctor will make a mistake. Depending on the illness and the combination of symptoms, a doctor could misdiagnose you and the illness you have.
5 Commonly Misdiagnosed Illnesses
- Parkinson’s disease. Currently no official lab tests can confirm Parkinson’s disease. Because of this, it will be completely up to your doctor to observe your condition and make any decisions based on what you tell them. This makes it difficult to accurately understand Parkinson’s disease. Your doctor might accidentally diagnose you with it when you have another movement disorder.
- Lyme disease. In order to properly diagnose for Lyme disease, someone actually has to visit a “Lyme literate medical doctor” or LLMD in order to confirm the diagnosis. These physicians have specific and extensive experience with the disease and give a much more accurate diagnosis than a general doctor. The big issue with diagnosing Lyme disease is that its blood test results can commonly give “false negatives.” Diagnosing Lyme disease must be clinical and based on signs and symptoms rather than lab results because the western blot method is unreliable for diagnosis.
- Celiac disease. Although celiac disease is rare, its symptoms frequently mimic those of other diseases, resulting in diagnostic challenges. Its most common misdiagnoses are irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), inflammatory bowel disease, GERD and stomach ulcers.
- Hyperthyroidism or thyroid cancer. If a patient’s thyroid is not working properly, it can result in weight gain or weight loss, energy problems, mood swings, and much more. Doctors will usually test for a thyroid problem by testing a patient’s TSH levels (thyroid hormone). However, the test can often come back inconclusive, which makes it unreliable.
- Many cancers have symptoms that imitate other diseases. Lung, breast and colorectal cancers are the most common misdiagnosed cancers. In many cases, the diagnosis is delayed because doctors failed to schedule a timely biopsy, even after odd test results. This often leads to the treatment of other conditions, and not of the actual cancer.