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Laboratory testing for Lyme disease may be unreliable

Chronic illnesses can be frustrating, and in some cases dangerous, for people who are unable to pinpoint the cause of their symptoms. Unfortunately, numerous diseases can be difficult to diagnose, possibly leading some doctors in Providence to give patients a wrong diagnosis or fail to diagnose an illness entirely. If the wrong medications are prescribed or treatment is delayed or missed, the consequences might be painful, debilitating or life-threatening.

Lyme disease is a frightening prospect for countless people across North America. The illness, which originates from the bite of an infected deer tick, often causes severe, painful symptoms like fatigue, joint pain and fever. If the disease is left untreated over a long period of time, Lyme disease may cause lifelong complications or be fatal. However, this disease may also be difficult to diagnose.

In fact, many doctors throughout the United States have incorrectly diagnosed patients with chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia or other illnesses when they actually were suffering from Lyme. In numerous cases, a missing or delayed diagnosis led to the wrong type of treatment or the lack of treatment altogether. Lyme disease, when caught early, is usually effectively treated with antibiotics. The illness is much harder to treat in its later stages.

Some medical experts claim that commercial laboratories testing for Lyme result in false positives in three out of four of these labs – with a false result rate of more than 50 percent at one lab in particular. A false positive for any type of disease can have devastating results. When a medical misdiagnosis results in unnecessary pain and suffering, the patient may wish to seek compensation.

Source: Calgary Herald, "Doctors warn of false positives in U.S. testing for Lyme disease," Colette Derworiz, Aug. 31, 2015

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