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How hard is it to identify a parasitic infection?

Did you know that a misdiagnosis could lead to serious discomfort, even if it’s not life-threatening? That is often the case with parasitic infections. Parasitic diseases have the potential to cause serious illnesses, but many of them simply make people feel sick or have long-term digestive issues. Some people may deal with unexplained weight loss or discomfort when they try to use the restroom.

Parasitic infections are more difficult to diagnose than some others, but they’re not impossible to identify. A medical provider needs to carefully review the person’s symptoms and determine if there are signs of parasites.

Parasitic infections may need to build up before diagnosis

The unfortunate truth is that a parasitic infection may need to get worse before it can be identified or before it will cause symptoms that line up with the condition. The reason that this is the case is that these infections are so likely to mimic similar conditions.

For example, parasites can cause intestinal gas, weight loss, dark circles under the eyes, spastic bowel and chronic headaches. It may be harder to identify the real cause of those issues until the parasites reach overload. This is when they start to be discharged from the body or are so apparent that they appear on imaging tests.

Which tests can help identify a parasitic infection?

Parasitic tests that may help identify an infection may include:

  • Stool examinations, such as ova and parasite tests
  • Endoscopies
  • Blood tests
  • X-rays

All of these tests can potentially identify a parasitic infection, so that you are able to receive the treatment you need to recover.

What should you do if you’re misdiagnosed?

If you are misdiagnosed or are unable to obtain a diagnosis until after you have suffered an injury, it may be a case of medical malpractice. You may want to consider speaking with another medical professional about if the original tests showed signs of a parasitic infection or if the other provider asked for the right tests to identify your medical condition. If they made an error or didn’t uphold the standard of care you should have received, then you may be able to make a claim.