Over 25 million people in New York and across the United States suffer from autoimmune disorders. Autoimmune disorders are conditions where the immune system mistakenly attacks the human body rather than an illness. Unfortunately, because autoimmune disorders often present with symptoms much like other conditions, doctors might misdiagnose the disease.

There are more than 100 different types of autoimmune diseases currently known to the medical community. Lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease and multiple sclerosis are common types of autoimmune disorders. These diseases cause symptoms that might range from mild to debilitating. It sometimes takes years for patients to get a correct diagnosis and treatment for their disease.

This is because autoimmune disorders take time and patience to diagnose. Many conditions present with rashes, fevers, aches and pains, swelling, difficulty with concentrating, low energy and fatigue. Doctors might misdiagnose a patient, dismiss the symptoms as being made up or push them onto a specialist. Misdiagnosis might delay treatment options that can cause the disorder to worsen. This delay can cause serious side effects and even death. Medical experts urge practitioners to take the time in diagnosing their patients and to educate themselves on autoimmune disorder symptoms to help them get the treatment they need early on in the process.

Patients who suffer from autoimmune disorders know the importance of proper diagnosis and treatment. When a doctor doesn’t take the time to correctly diagnose a patient, the patient may suffer for years with worsening symptoms. Medical malpractice occurs when a doctor is negligent in caring for their patient. For example, a doctor who is rushed to see his or her patients might dismiss symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease as a stomach virus. The disease might worsen to the point that surgery is necessary to remove part of the bowel. The patient may choose to file a civil suit against the doctor for medical malpractice if negligence can be proven.