Diseases Doctors Commonly Misdiagnose and Why It Happens

Posted on behalf of James Lynch on June 11, 2019  in Medical Malpractice News. Updated on February 24, 2022

Medical diagnoseSome diseases are more difficult to spot than others. Doctors may diagnose patients with the wrong disease because it causes symptoms sort of like those caused by the illness the patient is suffering from. No matter how it happens, victims of misdiagnosis could be at risk for a fatal outcome as their true illness goes untreated. This is why it is important to know about diseases that are commonly misdiagnosed because it might lead to you getting a second or third opinion to achieve the correct diagnosis.

If you or a loved one has been misdiagnosed due to a medical error, you may be entitled to file a medical malpractice claim. Contact the knowledgeable team at Lynch Law Firm, PC for help with your claim. Our lawyers can explain how misdiagnosis resulted in damages and how to pursue the compensation you need at this difficult time.

Lyme Disease

Lyme disease usually occurs because of a tick bite. Doctors may misdiagnose the patient because of symptoms that are similar to other conditions. These symptoms include:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Soreness in the chest or ribs
  • Abdominal cramping
  • Instances of nausea and vomiting
  • Stiffness of the neck muscles
  • Face or eyelid twitching

The illness can mimic the flu, chronic fatigue syndrome, depression or meningitis. Fortunately, there is a two-step blood antibody test available to check for this disease to avoid such a misdiagnosis.

Parkinson’s Disease

As a degenerative disorder within the person’s central nervous system, Parkinson’s disease can mimic other medical conditions, such as a stroke, extreme stress, tremors in the body, or traumatic head and brain injuries. Some doctors may even mistake it with Alzheimer’s disease. There are no tests that can diagnose the patient with this condition, medical professionals normally diagnose it through clinical examination. Symptoms of this condition may include the following:

  • Tremors in the limbs or head
  • Stiffened muscles
  • Balance issues
  • Problems walking

Celiac Disease

Many people with Celiac disease are either undiagnosed or misdiagnosed with a different condition. Some individuals who have this illness exhibit no symptoms while others appear to have irritable bowel syndrome. Symptoms include the following:

  • Joint pain
  • Bouts of depression
  • Headaches
  • Abdominal pain
  • Instances of constipation and/or diarrhea

Thyroid Conditions

Thyroid conditions occur due to a hormonal imbalance. They can trigger more or less thyroid hormones than the body needs. The thyroid hormone is a necessary application for standard metabolic processes in your body. If there is an imbalance, it can cause weakness, fatigue, muscle pain and aches, and fluctuations in weight.

While these symptoms are often mild or minor in nature, they can appear as something else to the doctor, such as more severe conditions or depression. Misdiagnosing someone as having a thyroid condition can result in a person being subjected to unnecessary treatment.


Nearly one-third of normal cancer patients are misdiagnosed. Some types of cancer are misdiagnosed much more than others, such as:

  • Lymphoma stages I-IV
  • Breast cancer
  • Sarcomas
  • Melanoma

In many of these cases, there are missing details, fragmented medical histories or doctors had an inadequate amount of time to evaluate the patient. If the person has an incomplete medical history, doctors need to do a more thorough examination before ruling certain things out.

Misdiagnosis of cancer could cause irreversible damage if cancer spreads and becomes inoperable. This could result in death because treatment may not work when the cancer is in its later stages.

Contact a Compassionate Attorney Today

After the doctor misdiagnoses an illness, it is important that you contact a skilled New Jersey medical malpractice lawyer you can trust. At Lynch Law Firm, PC, we can walk you through a medical malpractice claim, explain the steps involved in this process and how your specific illness and the harm you suffered factor into the value of your claim. Our lawyers will work to protect the fair value of your case by gathering crucial evidence and calculating the full value of your damages. We will also interview any relevant witnesses.

Based on our contingency fee agreement, we do not charge you unless we win and you are compensated.

Contact us or complete a Free Case Review form to evaluate your claim.

* Results may vary depending on your particular facts and legal circumstances.

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