Some medical conditions are more difficult to diagnose, and some mimic the symptoms and signs of other conditions—making diagnosis even more difficult. We’ve gathered a list of four commonly misdiagnosed conditions for you to consider in case you’ve experienced any other symptoms. You may want to seek a second opinion.
This chronic condition typically involves widespread pain in the muscles and joints, anxiety, sleep complications, and overall fatigue. Because the symptoms and their severity are different for individual patients, fibromyalgia is commonly misdiagnosed as arthritis or another rheumatic conditions. Treatments for fibromyalgia vary and may include pain medications, massage therapy, or specialized treatments for symptoms in specific parts of the body.
Celiac disease is an immune reaction to gluten. This reaction results in inflammation in the small intestine and can also cause headaches, joint pain, heartburn, and itchy skin. Since these symptoms are often blamed on more common conditions, celiac disease can be very difficult to identify. Some people suffer with it for years before they know they have it. Celiac disease can be identified with a blood test.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Another chronic condition commonly dismissed as simple reactions to particular foods, patients are only diagnosed with IBS after other diagnoses prove false or ineffective. This condition is characterized by cramping, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and constipation in some cases. In most situations, IBS can only be treated with dietary changes and avoiding certain foods or beverages.
The trademark symptom of lupus is a butterfly-shaped rash across the cheeks, but this doesn’t appear on all patients. Lupus can affect the skin, lungs, brain, kidneys, and joints, and the symptoms vary on an individual basis. This chronic inflammatory disease often mimics rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia, and can result in hair loss, rashes, joint pain, and organ damage.
These symptoms can be difficult to identify, so if you’ve experienced any of the telltale signs often associated with other conditions, consider voicing your concerns to a healthcare provider.