News item alert link
Title: Are you really, really tired? It's not all in your head . . . (Irish
Independent, 4 November 2009)
Contains: Often dismissed as hypochondriacs, ME sufferers have been vindicated by science, says Susan Daly ... In Europe, we refer to it loosely
as ME (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis); in the States they use an umbrella term
called CFS (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome) ... There was some excitement then
last week when Science journal published a study that seemed to establish a
link between ME/CFS sufferers and a recently discovered virus called XMRV
... Tentative though the findings are, they seem a vindication of what sufferers have been saying all along: it's not all in our minds ... The
implication was that it was a type of psychological burnout particular to
the social circumstances of Dr Peterson's affluent patients in the Lake
Tahoe area ... This was incorrect, as the illness was being documented
across lots of other areas, but it stuck for several reasons, some of which
were to do with the health insurance industry in the US who didn't like the
idea of categorising a new illness that they would have to pay out for ...
"Basically what the uncovering of this new virus has done is to further
demand a proper diagnostic approach," says Declan Carroll of the Irish ME
Trust ... The best way forward for ME sufferers here -- at least to diagnose
them -- is for doctors to apply Canadian guidelines which set out a number
of fixed criteria for diagnosing the illness ...
"Otherwise they take the view: you have muscle pain, you're tired all the
time, it may be burnout, stress, so go exercise and I'll give you an
antidepressant. And that is not really satisfactory."
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