Chicago residents expect and deserve the highest quality of care from doctors. Unfortunately, some medical conditions can be misdiagnosed. Fibromyalgia is commonly mistaken for something else.
What is fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia is a medical condition that affects women more than men and brings a variety of symptoms such as widespread pain, fatigue, cognitive problems, sleep issues and mood swings. Sometimes, the signs of the condition don’t manifest until the person experiences physical trauma, an infection, surgery or serious psychological stress. Symptoms can also begin to show and worsen over time without an event that triggers them.
It’s also common for people with fibromyalgia to have side effects like headaches, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder, anxiety and depression. The condition has no cure but can be treated with medication, exercise and natural relaxation and stress relief methods.
Why is fibromyalgia commonly misdiagnosed?
When diagnosing fibromyalgia, doctors consider the symptoms the person is experiencing. As a result, it’s common for a medical misdiagnosis to occur. Fibromyalgia is commonly misdiagnosed as lupus as the two conditions share many symptoms.
A person might be mistakenly diagnosed with multiple sclerosis when they have fibromyalgia. The pain, sleep problems, fatigue and cognitive issues can overlap in both conditions.
Rheumatoid arthritis is a common misdiagnosis in individuals with fibromyalgia. Both conditions affect the joints, but symptoms are not as long-lasting with fibromyalgia.
Fibromyalgia could be misdiagnosed as thyroid disease, diabetes and even chronic fatigue syndrome.
A misdiagnosis can also occur because the individual has other medical conditions on top of fibromyalgia. It makes it more challenging for the doctor to recognize it. Patients should be honest and inform their doctors of any and all other health conditions they have when getting diagnosed.
A misdiagnosis could mean that you don’t get the right treatment for your condition. You might want to hold the doctor liable.