What Has Lyme Disease Been Misdiagnosed As
Misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose a condition can have far reaching repercussions. When it comes to Lyme disease, an early and correct diagnosis can mean the difference between a full recovery or lifelong illness.
With this in mind, the attorneys of Zucker & Regev, P.C., would like to shed some light on what conditions lyme disease has been misdiagnosed as. Our Brooklyn, NY, attorneys help people who have been misdiagnosed recover compensation for the damages caused by not receiving proper treatment for their illness and can help you if you believe you have been misdiagnosed.
What Is Lyme Disease?
Lyme disease is a tick-borne illness caused by borrelia bacteria. People contract Lyme disease when bitten by a tick carrying the bacteria.
Most people don’t notice when they’ve been bitten by a tick and not all tick bites will cause Lyme disease. However, when Lyme disease is present, symptoms typically begin around 3 to 30 days after the initial tick bite.
Lyme Disease Symptoms
The symptoms of Lyme disease occur in three stages. The stages and some of their common symptoms include:
- Stage 1: One of the first signs of Lyme disease is a rash around the bite that resembles a bullseye. Although common, a bullseye rash does not always appear. Other first stage symptoms include fever, headache, muscle aches, fatigue, and joint stiffness.
- Stage 2: Without treatment, Lyme disease will progress into stage 2 within about 3 to 10 weeks. Symptoms of stage 2 can include widespread rashes, irregular heartbeat, pain that spreads from the back to the legs, eye pain, or vision loss.
- Stage 3: By the third stage, Lyme disease can cause long lasting pain, stiffness, and swelling throughout the body, and arthritis in large joints. Symptoms from previous stages, such as headaches and fatigue, may also continue at this stage.
Conditions Lyme Disease Can Be Misdiagnosed As
Lyme disease has many possible symptoms, which may not show up for some time after a tick bite and many times tick bites can go unnoticed. When Lyme disease reaches a chronic stage, its symptoms can mimic other conditions, sometimes leading to misdiagnosis in Brooklyn patients.
The following are some conditions Lyme disease may be misdiagnosed as.
Lyme disease is sometimes misdiagnosed as fibromyalgia. Fibromyalgia is a disorder that causes tenderness and pain throughout the body, as well as fatigue, all of which are possible symptoms of Lyme disease.
Multiple sclerosis is a disease in which the immune system attacks the protective outer layer of the nerves, affecting the central nervous system.
Like Lyme disease, multiple sclerosis can cause fatigue, vision problems, and eye pain, among other symptoms.
Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis
Juvenile idiopathic arthritis is a type of arthritis affecting some children and teens. Young people with this type of arthritis will experience joint pain, inflammation, and stiffness. Sometimes a young person with undiagnosed Lyme disease will have these same symptoms and be misdiagnosed with juvenile idiopathic arthritis.
Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) is a disease with no known cause but is characterized by significant fatigue lasting over six months. Because fatigue is a common symptom of Lyme disease, it is sometimes misdiagnosed as ME/CFS.
Misdiagnosis Can Have Lifelong Consequences
Early diagnosis and treatment of Lyme disease is essential for giving patients the best chances for recovering from their infection. With early treatment, most people recover from Lyme disease and won’t develop chronic symptoms.
Misdiagnosing Lyme disease can lead to a failure to treat the bacterial infection and result in long term, sometimes lifelong complications, such as headaches, fatigue, pain, and joint stiffness. Chronic symptoms can be so severe that they interfere with quality of life and may make it difficult to work.
Misdiagnosis can also lead to patients being treated for conditions they don’t have, which may also cause injury.
Contact Zucker & Regev, P.C.
Some people with Lyme disease who have been misdiagnosed may be entitled to compensation through a medical malpractice lawsuit. If you have Lyme disease that was misdiagnosed, it’s important to speak with a misdiagnosis attorney. Please schedule a consultation with the Brooklyn law firm of Zucker & Regev, P.C. to discuss whether you have a strong medical malpractice case.