Did you visit numerous doctors, suffer with symptoms whose cause could not be found, and have every test come back negative? Were you told that it was all in your head? Unfortunately this story is all too common for victims of Lyme disease. It is considered one of the most misdiagnosed of all the autoimmune diseases. Blood tests carry a high probability of false negatives and doctors are treating patients for various other diseases after the test produces a negative result. Misdiagnosis of Lyme disease in Virginia has led to a Lyme disease task force in the state. Their goal is to uncover ways to diagnose and treat the dreaded disease in its early stages.
The most common early symptoms of Lyme disease are:
- A circular rash caused by a tick bite, although this only occurs in half of Lyme disease patents
- Flu-like symptoms, including fatigue, headache, stiff neck, fever/chills, muscle and joint pain, and swollen lymph nodes
If left untreated, symptoms can progress to include:
- Skin rashes
- Pain, weakness, or numbness in the arms or legs
- Paralysis of facial nerves
- Recurring headaches
- Reduced ability to concentrate
- Poor memory
- Rapid heartbeat
Late-stage Lyme disease, when left untreated, can cause:
- Swelling and inflammation of the joints
- Numbness and tingling of the hands, feet, or back
- Severe fatigue
- Neurologic and central nervous system changes, including difficulty speaking, facial twitches, hoarseness, shooting pains, disorientation, and severe migraines
- Gastrointestinal inflammation
- Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, spleen enlargement
- Chronic arthritis
- Extreme weight loss or weight gain
Doctors consider Lyme disease symptoms to be “non-specific” so they mimic the symptoms of over 350 other diseases. Many patients are misdiagnosed with multiple sclerosis, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, Parkinsons, depression, chronic fatigue, or fibromyalgia.
Sadly, many people with Lyme disease spend substantial sums of money seeking to identify and cure their ailments—and years suffering—before finally learning they have the disease. If you have been misdiagnosed in Virginia, you may have a medical malpractice case. Call our trusted Fairfax attorneys at Shevlin Smith today. For more information call (703) 721-4233 or complete the contact form on this page.