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November 28, 2018

The Most Common Types of Medical Misdiagnosis in Women

When Eve (not her real name) visited her doctor, she knew it would be a routine check-up to confirm the diagnosis from a doctor she had visited earlier on. Her doctor performed a few tests and gave her a disturbing diagnosis – she had breast cancer. She wondered why the previous doctor had put her on antibiotics saying it was just an infection.

Even doctors can go wrong when it comes to your health. Studies show that many women get misdiagnosed nowadays as compared to their male counterparts. It is therefore recommended that you question the treatment or the diagnosis. If you realize that the illness isn’t improving or it’s getting worse, you need to involve a malpractice lawyer.

Today we look at the most commonly misdiagnosed health issues among women.

1. Bloating

Many women are victims of bloating. This can be as a result of the menstrual cycle, too much stress or any other causes. Bloating can be anything from mild to severe, and since it has a lot of causes, then it becomes hard for doctors to diagnose it.

Serious bloating can be a sign of ovarian cancer, diverticulitis or overgrowth of bacteria. So, if you realize the condition isn’t getting better, then you need to let the doctor know about this.

doctor consulting

2. Heart Disease

Heart disease represents the number-one killer of women in the country, and sadly it is the most misdiagnosed condition so far. Doctors usually misdiagnose it to be anxiety or heartburn due to the symptoms that include chest pain, nausea and shortness of breath, which are all common symptoms of the other two conditions. Other symptoms include dizziness, palpitations, and fatigue.

If you realize that the symptoms aren’t getting any better, take the road to a specialist to check the symptoms and come up with the right diagnosis so that you get proper treatment.

3. Thyroid Disease

Thyroid disease manifests as weight gain, weak nails, dry skin, aches, and constipation. Due to the conditions, it can easily be misdiagnosed for menopause, hormonal imbalances or even depression. The symptoms of these conditions develop gradually making it hard for it to be diagnosed.

4. Irritable Bowel Syndrome

This is another confusing health concern that is often misdiagnosed as a PMS symptom or simple bloating. The symptoms come as severe stomach pain including excess gas, stomach pain, cramping and constipation or diarrhea, or both. This can be easily treated with changes in your diet and low doses of antidepressants.


5. Fibromyalgia

This is usually called the “invisible disease” because it is hard to diagnose and treat. It is also relatively rare, and before the doctor rules out the other conditions, it needs many tests.

The symptoms include a tingly feeling in the skin, spasms and muscle pain, weakness in your limbs and at times nerve pain.

The worst thing is that medical examinations such as blood tests never pick up the condition. Additionally, symptoms can vary from one person to the next, and many patients end up being treated for lupus, depression, sleeping disorders, Lyme disease, and thyroid issues.

CT scan for cancer
CT scan for cancer

6. Cancer

There are a lot of cancers that go misdiagnosed each year, including breast cancer, ovarian cancer, throat cancer, and bladder cancer. Misdiagnosis mostly has costly consequences for many women including delays in treatment, wrong prescriptions or unnecessary removal of body parts.

Many cancer types are mistaken for a condition that is less threatening such as an infection or a non-cancerous condition.


7. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

At times adequate rest might not ease the exhaustion you feel. You might think it is just exhaustion, but it might turn out to be chronic fatigue syndrome, which is characterized by irritability, lethargy and muscle pain. On the downside, there isn’t a specific test for this disease, but doctors can be able to rule out the conditions that mimic the condition.

A study conducted by researchers of patients seeking second opinions from Mayo clinic, only 12 percent were correctly diagnosed by their primary care providers while 66 percent required some changes to their initial diagnoses. A medical misdiagnosis if not treated on time, can lead to an intensifying of a patients condition, a death, and undue stress and anxiety.

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