We hear all the time from clients that they have been told by friends, family, and even other lawyers, that there problems are all in their head.  This is most common in certain cases where the illness is hard to prove.  Usually, this reaction is based on a lack of understanding of the medicine.  Here is a (short) list of some of the common conditions that we have seen, and helped out clients obtain much needed short term disability or long term disability for:

Here are five common invisible illnesses everyone should have a basic understanding of:

1. Lupus

Lupus is an autoimmune disease where the immune system attacks the body, causing inflammation, swelling, and pain. There are a variety of symptoms, some of which are visible (like a recurring rash), and some of which are not (chronic fatigue, joint pain, flu-like fevers, internal organ complications).  It effects almost 2 million Americans.

2. Crohn’s disease

Crohn’s disease is a chronic inflammatory disease of the digestive tract. It is difficult to identify because the symptoms can vary and change over time, but often include abdominal pain and diarrhea (sometimes bloody), fatigue, and weight loss.  It effects over 780,000 Americans.  

3.   Lyme Disease.    Lyme disease is a bacterial disease caused by a bite from an infected black-legged or deer tick. Early symptoms include a bullseye rash, fever, headache, stiff neck, chills, muscle and joint pain, fatigue, and swollen lymph nodes. Later symptoms can include nerve pain, arthritis, facial palsy, severe headaches and neck stiffness, dizziness, heart palpitations, inflammation of the brain and spinal cord.  There are hundreds of thousands of new cases every year.

4. Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia is a chronic disorder characterized by muscle pain and tenderness, fatigue, as well as sleep, memory, and mood issues that effects 4 million Americans.  Because the symptoms are subjective and there isn’t any official test for fibromyalgia. Combined with the fact that there isn’t a clear cause of the disorder, fibromyalgia is often misunderstood or misdiagnosed as another disease.

5. Endometriosis

5 million women are effected by this conition in the US.  Endometriosis is a disorder in which tissue similar to the lining in the uterus (the endometrium) grows outside the uterus, oftentimes on the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and tissue around the uterus and ovaries. Symptoms include pelvic pain, cramping, excessive menstrual bleeding, pain during intercourse, and infertility.