Conditions That Are Difficult to Diagnose: Part I

Most people suffering from mysterious symptoms find it is difficult or impossible to work. Along with their symptoms, they experience stress from not knowing what they are suffering from or how to treat it, making it difficult to focus in the workplace. In many cases, their symptoms are accompanied by a long and frustrating road to finding a diagnosis - if one is ever found.

Conditions That Are Difficult to Diagnose: Part I | Share Lawyers

To help our clients find their best treatment, Share Lawyers is creating a two-part series including information and resources about conditions that are difficult to diagnose, often missed by medical professionals, or even misdiagnosed.

Conditions Hard To Diagnose:


Hypothyroidism Disability Claim | Share Lawyers

Also referred to as underactive or low thyroid, hypothyroidism is a disorder that affects the endocrine system, causing the thyroid gland to under produce the necessary amount of thyroid hormone to regulate the body’s metabolic rate, heart and digestive functions, muscle control, brain development, and bone maintenance.

Hypothyroidism Symptoms | Disability Claim | Share Lawyers

Hypothyroidism is difficult to diagnose because the signs and symptoms vary between individuals and hormone levels. The condition is often gradual and develops over a number of years. Symptoms like weight gain or fatigue are also connected to advancing age, and depression is sometimes attributed to lifestyle rather than a medical condition.

Without treatment, hypothyroidism can have complications ranging from a goiter, to infertility, to heart problems. If you are experiencing these symptoms, it’s important to ask your doctor for the necessary blood tests, as it cannot be diagnosed based on symptoms alone.


Lupus Disability Claim | Share Lawyers

Defined as a chronic inflammatory disease also known as systemic lupus erythematosus, lupus is a disease of the immune system that is usually (90%) present in women. With lupus, the immune system malfunctions and attacks healthy parts of the body, leading to tissue damage and illness.

Lupus Symptoms | Disability Claim | Share Lawyers

Lupus is often hard to diagnose or overlooked because not all symptoms are present in those suffering. In most cases, if the tell-tale face rash is missing, medical professionals may overlook the possibility of a lupus diagnosis.

There is also no one way to diagnose lupus. A combination of blood, urine, and physical exams are often necessary to find the lupus diagnosis. That’s why it’s so essential to keep a detailed list and journal of your physical and mental symptoms to help you with any diagnosis - especially with lupus.

Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple Sclerosis Disability Claim | Share Lawyers

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune disease of the central nervous system. MS attacks myelin, the protective covering of the nerves, causing inflammation and damaging the transmission of nerve impulses. Canada has the highest rate of MS in the world, with an estimated 1 in 340 Canadians living with the disease.

Multiple Sclerosis Symptoms | Disability Claim | Share Lawyers

MS is difficult to diagnose or often overlooked because the symptoms of MS are unpredictable and vary greatly from person to person. They tend to wax and wane, rather than be persistently present. Once a doctor suspects MS, a spinal tap can provide the diagnosis.

Lyme Disease

Lyme Disease Disability Claim | Share Lawyers

Lyme disease is an inflammatory infection that spreads to humans through tick bites. The disease is caused by the transfer of borrelia bacteria, which commonly infects animals like birds, mice, other small rodents, and deer.

Ticks get this bacteria by biting infected animals, and then pass it on to other hosts, including humans. There are many strains or genospecies of borrelia that cause Lyme disease (borreliosis) in humans.

Lyme disease presents in individuals in a myriad of ways, and there are over 100 known symptoms of this disease. The infection can affect many areas and aspects of the infected person, including:

Lyme Disease Infections | Disability Claim | Share Lawyers

Early treatment of Lyme Disease is crucial; however, diagnosis can often be difficult due to the variety of ways symptoms present in those infected. The tell-tale “bullseye” rash from the tick bite does not appear in all individuals. A blood test can check for Lyme disease antibodies in the blood, but these antibodies don’t appear until a few weeks after the infection and this test is notoriously unreliable.


Fibromyalgia Disability Claim | Share Lawyers

Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition often characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain. Symptoms usually begin after a physical trauma, surgery, infection, significant psychological stress, or sometimes gradually accumulate over time with no single triggering event. Women are more likely to develop fibromyalgia.

Fibromyalgia Symptoms | Disability Claim | Share Lawyers

Diagnosis for fibromyalgia is often difficult or prolonged, as other conditions are usually ruled out first before your doctor settles on the diagnosis for fibromyalgia. It also exists within a medical culture where all symptoms and diseases must be treated, and fibromyalgia had no known cure.

Patients can sometime be dismissed by their medical professionals when presenting this disorder as an option, as it is often labeled as “all in your head” or a “woman’s disease”.

Awareness of your symptoms and patterns is an essential part of working toward your diagnosis. When consulting with your medical professional, advocate for exploring every avenue when searching for a diagnosis.

It’s important to make your health a priority. Take advantage of all the resources available to you and remember that you are not alone.

Has your long-term disability claim been denied? Contact Share Lawyers and put our experience to work for you. We offer free consultations and there are no fees unless we win your case. Find out if you have a disability case.

We have recently settled cases against Empire Life, Desjardins, Manulife, RBC Insurance, Sun Life, and much more. We love hearing feedback from our clients, so please share your own experience with us.

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A note from our long term disability lawyers

Taking a medical leave from work is not an easy decision to make. Concerns about providing for yourself and your family and keeping your job may cause you to want to push through your pain, but this won’t make your problems go away. Stopping work is often the smartest decision for your long term health and well-being, and your disability benefits are there to provide you with financial support until you can return to work.

If you have made the tough decision to stop working and apply for your short term disability or long term disability benefits, you may feel overwhelmed by the process and have questions that your employer and your insurance company are not able or willing to answer. Share is There to see you through and answer your questions.

Our Disability law firm knows what you have been going through

We understand that things have not been easy for you over the last little while. Your health has been suffering, you are unable to work, and now your insurance company, who was supposed to be there in your time of need, has decided they will not pay your disability benefits or respect your disability claim. These benefits exist to provide you with the financial support you need so that you can focus on your health and rebuilding your life. It is unfortunate that your insurance company has not lived up to its promise. If your disability claim has been denied, we will fight to get you the benefits you are entitled to. Our disability lawyers have helped thousands of Canadians get their long term disability benefits over the past 35 years, and we can help you too.

Our experienced disability lawyers can fight back on your behalf

Share Lawyers believes that every client who is dealing with a disability claim deserves superior personal service. To achieve that goal, we have developed our team of experienced, compassionate, and caring long term disability lawyers, law clerks, and administrative staff to meet all of your needs. Our team of experienced long term disability, life insurance, employment, and critical illness insurance lawyers have made successful claims against many insurance companies, third-party administrators and employers.

If you are unable to work, your disability benefits should be there to provide you with the financial support you need. While your insurance company may be focused on finding ways to avoid paying your claim, our focus is on what is in your best interest. When Share Lawyers gets involved, you have an entire team of lawyers that are there to support you and to fight for what is yours.

Our disability claim lawyers fight for your disability insurance claim by relying on our many years of experience to apply the best strategic planning and approach in each case, using the latest technology available. Experience matters, and with Share Lawyers, you are in the best hands with 35 years of success on your side.

In this video, we explain the role of a long term disability lawyer and how we can support you when you have been denied your long term disability benefits.

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