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Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Known originally as "Yuppie Flu", this condition is still thought by far too many doctors not to exist. The common response is to tell you that the symptoms that are making your life miserable are "all in the mind". As is often the case with these sorts of comments, they are wrong.

Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (or M.E.) as it is more often refered to in the literature has a number of symptoms, varying from person to person, from day to day, can appear and disappear for no obvious reason, and can last any amount of time, even many years.

As you can imgine, this makes diagnosis an absolute pain in the neck for the doctor, and because it is not a nice neat illness, a lot of doctors are very sceptical about it.

So, what are these debilitating symptoms?

and this isn't even all of the symptoms you might suffer from.

So it is all just people "putting it on", isn't it?

No. There are detectable changes in brain scan images that are characteristic of sufferers, and detectable changes in the structure of white blood cells, to name just a few of this things which demonstrate that it is a real disorder.

So what triggers it?

or any combination of the above problems

There has been some good results with medically supervised germanium suppliments, but the main approach to managing the disorder is to try and identify what the triggers are for that patient, and try and avoid them.

Amitriptyline is sometimes prescribed to sufferers, but can aften have major side effects. Heather Stott has written a very good book about her experiences with the disorder and the medical profession.

last modified 16:01 2005/08/07