Rare diseases are more common than people expect. A rare disease often gets misdiagnosed because the doctors and physicians don’t know what they are looking for. If symptoms mimic the symptoms of a more common ailment, doctors may prescribe the wrong treatment, or overlook a diagnosis completely. A misdiagnosis can dramatically affect a person’s ability to perform daily tasks and show up for work.
A misdiagnosis leads to improper treatment that has little or no effect on the illness at all. In some cases, patients can aggravate the “mystery diagnosis” with the wrong treatment. Patients who endure the wrong treatment for a rare disease are compromising their immune systems and undergoing treatment that affects their ability to function in their families, at work and within their communities.
Patients with misdiagnosed diseases are spending their days in doctors’ offices, at medical labs, and at home sick with symptoms that won’t go away despite all the medication and treatment regimens. Patients are forced to call in sick to their places of employment to see specialists, schedule blood work and extensive testing, or simply because they can’t get well enough to get in to work.
A patient knows when there is something wrong with their body but their feelings are often overlooked by physicians, their employers, and coworkers. It’s becoming increasingly harder for patients with misdiagnosed diseases to receive help and support from the medical community so they can get back to work and support their families. The longer a patient is misdiagnosed, the longer their suffering continues to compromise their ability to be successful in the work place.