Commonly Misdiagnosed Conditions Among Older Adults

Older adults today enjoy a more full and active lifestyle than prior generations. Proper diagnosis and management of illnesses and chronic medical conditions play a key role in maintaining your overall health. Unfortunately, medical misdiagnosis is common and can lead to dangerous delays in treatment. Our Norristown medical malpractice attorneys want you to be aware of some of the most common conditions your doctor is likely to miss.

 Seven Serious Medical Conditions Your Doctor May Miss

Certain types of symptoms, such as muscle pain, sensitivity to certain foods, and fatigue, are common with aging. It is still important to report these or other symptoms to your doctor as they could indicate potentially serious underlying health conditions.

Unfortunately, once you do tell your doctor, they may downplay or ignore the situation. Medical misdiagnosis is a common problem and patients need to be alert for conditions their doctor is likely to miss. According to the American Association of Retired People (AARP), the following are the seven most common:

  1. Celiac Disease: A common autoimmune disorder, this involves an allergy to foods containing gluten. Inflammation in the stomach lining results in bloating, gas, and diarrhea. Left untreated, it can cause excessive fatigue, anemia, and osteoporosis.
  2. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: This is a potentially debilitating condition that often has no clear cause. Memory loss, muscle pain, poor concentration, pain in the lymph nodes, and sore throat are among the symptoms.
  3. Fibromyalgia: Similar to arthritis, this can cause widespread pain and inflammation. A diagnosis should be considered if you have been suffering for more than three months with 11 or more tender spots throughout the body.
  4. Lyme disease: Caused by tick bites, Lyme disease can cause nausea or vomiting, chest pain, stiff neck, facial twitching, and widespread rashes. The Pennsylvania Department of Health estimates that as many as a hundred thousand cases go undiagnosed each year.
  5. Lupus: Symptoms include widespread joint and muscle pain, inflammation, and rashes. When left undiagnosed, Lupus can cause permanent kidney, heart, and lung damage.
  6. Multiple Sclerosis: A progressive disease impacting the nervous system, symptoms include muscle spasms, lack of coordination or balance, reduced vision, and memory loss.
  7. Parkinson’s Disease: This also impacts the central nervous system, resulting in cognitive impairments, body tremors, and reduced mobility.

Preventing A Misdiagnosis

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) warns that older adults are among those most at risk for being misdiagnosed by medical providers. This can impact your quality of life and may even hasten an early death. To help prevent a medical misdiagnosis, take the following steps when visiting your doctor:

  • Report any new or ongoing symptoms;
  • Request diagnostic tests are performed;
  • Get a referral to a specialist;
  • Refuse any effort to dismiss or downplay your symptoms.

Reach Out to Our Norristown Medical Malpractice Attorney

If you have suffered dangerous delays in treatment or other adverse effects due to a medical misdiagnosis, reach out to The Weitz Firm, LLC. We hold medical providers accountable for mistakes and errors that negatively impact your health. To request a consultation, call or contact our Norristown medical malpractice attorneys online today.

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