People in Massachusetts should know the truth about medical malpractice. It’s not as rare as they’d hope. In fact, most people will be misdiagnosed at least once in their lives. Now, not all of these cases are the result of negligence. Sometimes many conditions share the same symptoms, and it can take time to refine a diagnosis. However, forewarned is forearmed. Understanding what disorders doctors miss the most means people can advocate for themselves more effectively.

Difficult conditions to diagnose

Lupus is notoriously difficult to diagnose. Common symptoms include things like fatigue and joint pain. Lupus is an autoimmune disorder, and it’s often mistaken for similar conditions like rheumatoid arthritis. It can take time for the characteristic butterfly rash to manifest. Almost half of lupus patients are misdiagnosed at first.

Irritable bowel syndrome is another disease that can look like something else. Many times, doctors mistake IBS for celiac disease or lactose intolerance. All of these conditions share similar symptoms. There’s still no real objective test for IBS. Right now, it is only diagnosed based on symptoms. Showing symptoms for six months is one criterion for this diagnosis. Patients also must have been affected for at least three days of each month for three months in a row. Only then can they be diagnosed with IBS.

Hidradenitis suppurativa is a chronic skin condition that’s often mistaken for acne. It looks a lot like normal pimples, but these are actually more like cysts. But actually, HS is a type of persistent inflammation that affects as many as 1% of Americans. GPs and even some dermatologists have trouble recognizing it.

Anyone who’s been misdiagnosed should seek advice from an experienced lawyer. Sometimes, late diagnoses can lead to serious complications for patients. Luckily, damages are available to victims of medical malpractice.