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Misdiagnosis and Multiple Sclerosis

September 3rd, 2015

It is not uncommon that many will experience a misdiagnosis when it comes to MS. The road to diagnosis is long enough and misdiagnosis is one of the few things to blame. With symptoms varying from person to person, there is also no singular test that can determine a diagnosis for the disease conclusively.

While initially one will begin by going to their primary doctor, they can be misdiagnosing your MS. It is best to see a neurologist if you feel uneasy about your doctors diagnosis, or at times if your general practitioner is unsure about what may be going on with you he or she may also refer you and suggest you see a neurologist.

The UK MS Society released statistics from which 1,515 people had been surveyed about misdiagnosis with MS. 81 percent of these people stated they were misdiagnosed by their practitioner, one out of four said they had visited their practitioner over four times before they had even been referred to a neurologist. Four in 10 of these patients waited more than one year for an accurate diagnosis.

There are also many other conditions that are likely to be confused and mistaken for MS such as fibromyalgia, Lyme disease, strokes and lupus. 28 percent of patients in the previously mentioned study were told they had a trapped nerve as well as another 14 percent that were diagnosed with depression, anxiety or stress. Symptoms of these conditions are very similar to those of MS and can even begin progressing the same way.

 

The statistics from the study conducted stand as an example that the general public as well as primary physicians need to be exposed to a greater awareness of the disease. This is crucial because a misdiagnosis is delaying the real diagnosis, which can have a huge impact on an MS patient’s well-being. With early diagnosis, the condition itself as a whole as well as the symptoms can be managed better and slow disease progression, disability and irreparable damage.

Misdiagnosis and Multiple Sclerosis - Thu September 03, 2015 2:41 PM