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The conditions that doctors most often misdiagnose

Every year in Kentucky and across the U.S., health care professionals misdiagnose serious health conditions. Those who experience symptoms connected to any of the following conditions may want to consult with a doctor as soon as possible.

The condition that's misdiagnosed more than any other is cancer. There are over 200 types of cancer, many of which are deadly, so when doctors fail to detect the condition, they raise the risk for failed treatments and death. The No. 2 most misdiagnosed condition is depression. Worldwide, about 350 million people suffer from depression; however, the wide variety of symptoms has complicated matters. Third is Celiac disease, a condition where gluten consumption causes the body to attack the small intestine. This condition is associate with over 200 symptoms, ranging from fatigue to migraines to joint pain.

Tick-transmitted Lyme disease is also regularly misdiagnosed because its symptoms, which include fatigue, aches and mood changes, resemble those of depression. Fibromyalgia, on the other hand, can resemble thyroid disorders. The chronic pain caused by fibromyalgia may even be mistaken for arthritis or lupus. Overactive and underactive thyroids constitute the sixth most commonly misdiagnosed condition because their symptoms develop slowly over time.

When a doctor fails to diagnose a serious condition and the patient either incurs a disability or dies as a result, there may be grounds for a medical malpractice suit. However, an attorney may have to prove that there was a preexisting doctor-patient relationship and that the doctor failed to meet the proper standard of care. The lawyer could request a medical inquiry and strengthen the case before proceeding to negotiations.

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