It is possible that you have heard about doctors misdiagnosing their patients. You may have even experienced it yourself. Nearly 30 percent of all diagnoses are wrong. It’s unfortunate, but it can happen, after all, doctors are human and humans make mistakes. Village Emergency Centers cares about your well being which is why we want to provide you with information that can help prevent a misdiagnosis. If you suspect you may have one of the diseases on the list, do not hesitate to speak up or try to get a second opinion. Here we list some of the most common misdiagnosed diseases.


Cancer misdiagnosis is the most common misdiagnosed disease of all. Different types of cancers are misdiagnosed as well which is why it’s important to have a complete medical history of the patient, adequate time to evaluate the patient, and complete information of symptoms and medications. The more information the doctor knows about you, the more accurate his diagnosis will be. Ask for multiple tests, until you feel certain there’s no other possible ailment.

Heart Attack

Heart attacks can be tricky to diagnose as many don’t show the classic signs that people tend to associate heart attacks with such as chest pain. Symptoms may vary by age, so an older person will not feel intense chest pain and confuse the symptom for indigestion. Women are also at high risk of being misdiagnosed as their symptoms are often confused with fatigue or malaise.  


Depression is a disease that has overlapping symptoms with other mental illnesses such as anxiety, PTSD, and bipolar disorder. Due to this is can be very difficult for doctors to come up with a correct diagnosis. Common symptoms include feelings of extreme sadness, nervousness, and irritability. Diagnosis should be determined by conducting a complete history exam and having access to the patient’s medical history to determine possible risk factors.

Celiac Disease

celiac disease

Celiac disease is an uncharacterized disease, meaning that its symptoms vary from person to person not only in type but in quantity as well. There can be people who are living miserably, trying to figure out how to deal with their symptoms while others are walking around not knowing that something is wrong. The most common misdiagnosis for celiac disease is irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). If you have been diagnosed with IBS and are not 100 percent convinced that is what you are suffering from, ask your doctor what are other possibilities.


Younger generations who are suffering from strokes are being misdiagnosed with vertigo, migraine, or being confused for being drunk. Strokes do not discriminate, any age can experience the following: trouble seeing, being in a confused state, intense headaches, facial paralysis, and difficulty walking or talking. If you are experiencing any of the aforementioned stroke symptoms, please seek medical help.

Lyme Disease

Lyme disease occurs in humans when they are bitten by ticks as this insect transfers a bacterial infection. In a situation like this one it’s important to mention to the doctor of your environmental surroundings as those tend to become critical factors, sometimes the causes of our illnesses. Here the exposure to an environment where ticks are present is a big clue to determine if Lyme disease is present. Sharing as many details as possible with your doctor is ideal for diagnosis.



Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition that exhibits muscular and joint pain, exhaustion, nervousness, and trouble sleeping. It is prevalently confused for rheumatoid arthritis or lupus. High-risk factors are related to having family members who have had fibromyalgia and a history of rheumatic disease. It is highly found in middle-aged women.

Thyroid Conditions

Thyroid disease involves hormone imbalance and it can present itself mildly, so much so that it goes unrecognized as many of the symptoms can be mistaken to be something else. Some of the symptoms include weakness and fatigue, weight loss or weight gain, and sore muscles. Thyroid disease tends to be mistaken for depression. If you don’t feel debilitating sadness, ask for a second opinion.

Aortic Dissection

A tear in the wall of the aorta will lead to the blood rushing through and will force layers of the aorta to separate. An aortic dissection can be fatal if not treated immediately; it must be diagnosed as soon as humanly possible. The dangerous part about this illness is that it can be very hard to diagnose accurately as it doesn’t present itself the same way every time. Almost 30 percent of cases of aortic dissection are misdiagnosed. It’s important for all tests to performed immediately.

Pulmonary Embolism

Often caused by a blood clot, during a pulmonary embolism, the pulmonary artery becomes blocked. This can be very dangerous as the pulmonary artery is the main artery in the lung. This malady manifests itself through sharp chest pain, shortness of breath, fainting, and anxiety. A study from the American Journal of Emergency Medicine found that one-third of patients with pulmonary embolism were sent home or admitted to hospitals with an incorrect diagnosis. Pulmonary embolism is often confused for other conditions such as a heart attack or pneumonia.

All Diseases Can Be Misdiagnosed

Common Misdiagnosis

Even if you have a non-threatening illness, you can still be misdiagnosed. Patients have grown accustomed to accepting a diagnosis by medical professionals and often never question them which has lead to this list of most misdiagnosed diseases. After all, patients expect doctors to know what their ailment is because their training is supposed to prepare them. There are many factors that go into diagnosing a patient. Cooperation is the number one factor that will determine successful results. Communicate with your doctor, don’t be afraid to tell him or her everything you have been experiencing. When a diagnosis doesn’t feel right, let your doctor know.

Stop by our emergency room in Houston if you are wondering about a recent diagnosis. At Village Emergency Centers, we strive to provide you and your loved ones quality medical care. Our ER is conveniently open 24 hours 7 days a week and accepts walk-ins because we know emergencies are not events that can be planned. Get directions here to visit our location.