“I became very ill. They hospitalized me and after two weeks they came to the conclusion that I had celiac [disease],” explained a Pitt County woman. She is one of the fortunate ones, because about 3 million Americans suffer from celiac disease but are unaware of it due to failure to diagnose accurately or other reasons.
The woman, who is 36-years-old, was diagnosed with celiac disease nearly 20 years ago. She said some of the symptoms she endured were; joint pain, fatigue, and severe headaches. She states that the solution is to maintain a gluten free diet, which means refraining from all forms of wheat and barley, including even malt.
The founder of the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness says that her celiac disease “was misdiagnosed for eight years” before she was finally told the source of her health problems — by a veterinarian! She says that migraines or infertility could point to underlying celiac disease. A straightforward blood test is the initial step toward finding out whether or not one has this illness.
Celiac disease may be one of those covert diseases that are not easy to diagnose. That, under no circumstances, excuses a failure to diagnose it. Even more so, if this pernicious disease is left untreated, it can start off a chain-reaction of illness. Infertility, cancer, and neurological problems are all possible complications facing those suffering from the disease.
If any Pitt County resident has suffered deterioration in health due to failure to diagnose any disease, he/she may have the basis for a medical malpractice claim. The rights of patients and the duties and obligations of doctors are carefully governed by laws, as well as hospital rules and regulations. The distress of a misdiagnosed or untreated person is understandable, and a consultation with a malpractice lawyer may provide answers and culminate in a successful claim for monetary damages resulting from the negligent actions of others.
Source: The ABC11-WTVD Raleigh News, “Many don’t know they have celiac disease,” Tisha Powell, Sept. 13, 2011