Most New York patients who have received a fibromyalgia diagnosis don’t actually have classic fibromyalgia. That’s because many doctors use the term fibromyalgia to diagnose patients who have widespread pain and fatigue of unknown cause. In reality, about two-thirds of the patients who have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia actually have something else.
When a patient is misdiagnosed with fibromyalgia, they may be prescribed a treatment plan that will not actually help them to recover from their underlying condition. These misdiagnosed patients could have one of a wide range of different conditions including hypothyroidism, multiple sclerosis, autoimmune connective tissue disorder, anemia or cancer. Musculoskeletal problems can also lead to pain and fatigue that is commonly mistaken for fibromyalgia. Unless a patient receives a correct diagnosis, it will be difficult for the patient to receive effective treatment for their symptoms.
Doctors may be able to avoid misdiagnosing patients with fibromyalgia by conducting many different screening tests to rule out other possible conditions. Some of the standard tests that should be performed include thyroid function tests, standard blood chemistry tests and Lyme disease screenings. Classic fibromyalgia can only be correctly diagnosed when all other possible medical conditions are ruled out in screening tests.
If a doctor diagnoses a patient with fibromyalgia without ruling out other conditions first, this could be deemed medical professional negligence if the actual underlying disease continues to be untreated and a worsened medical condition ends up causing harm. People who feel that they have been the victims of such a failure may want to discuss their options with an attorney.