Maryland residents should be aware that fibromyalgia is a commonly misdiagnosed medical condition. Fibromyalgia is non-specific and widespread pain that is associated with overactive nerves. Since widespread pain and fatigue can be caused by a wide variety of conditions, fibromyalgia can be difficult to diagnose accurately.
According to a medical expert, a diagnosis of fibromyalgia should only be given after the physician has exhausted other likely causes of the pain and fatigue. Three broad categories of diseases have symptoms very similar to true fibromyalgia. These are non-fibromyalgia medical conditions, musculoskeletal conditions and metabolic disorders. A doctor may need to run a wide variety of tests to rule out these other conditions as the cause of symptoms.
Doctors may not be willing to take the time and effort required to rule out these other conditions. These diagnostics may include blood tests, thyroid function tests, immune profiles and other protein tests. Musculoskeletal problems may be easier to diagnose because the pain associated with these problems always becomes more intense when certain movements or actions are performed. The pain may be diffuse because several muscles or joints all hurt at the same time.
When a doctor is not thorough enough to find the root cause of pain and assumes that fibromyalgia is the cause, many problems can arise. First, medications for fibromyalgia pain will not treat pain caused by other sources and may have adverse side effects. In addition, the real cause of the pain could be serious and will not be treated. It may get worse and lead to other symptoms or complications. Doctors are expected to be aware of the necessary steps for a complete and accurate diagnosis. If they do not follow these steps, they may be open to a medical professional negligence lawsuit. Patients who have been harmed in such a manner may benefit from discussing their situations with legal counsel.