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This was posted to the Co-Cure email list.
quote:M.E. 'no joke' says top doctorInterview By Steven JaffeIT is a much misunderstood disease which has been treated by newspapers andeven by many doctors with disdain. ME (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis) has oftenbeen dubbed Yuppie Disease, as if the sufferers were all middle classneurotics who needed nothing better than to learn how to take it easy,between long stints at the office."Not so," says Dr. Derek Enlander, anexpert in the field.Belfast-born Enlander practices in New York. Educated atBelfast Royal Academy, he trained at Stanford in the late 1960s.But morethan a trace remains of his Belfast accent and he journeys back homewhenever he can to see relatives and friends.In New York he has animpressive reputation in his treatment of patients, and is the doctordesignated to attend to the Prime Minister and members of the Cabinet duringtheir visits to New York.In the US alone, there are more than three millionME sufferers.A new book by Dr Enlander has been hailed as a majorcontribution towards assisting medics and patients in recognising thesymptoms of ME, and evaluating the treatment of what is also known asChronic Fatigue Syndrome."ME is not a disease dating from the 90s" explainsEnlander in his smart surgery in the upper East side of Manhattan. Thispoint is made nicely on the book's cover which depicts not a jadedstockbroker or burnt-out lawyer but a 19th century nurse. "FlorenceNightingale was a sufferer," points out Enlander, "and so was Charles Darwinon his return from the Galapagos".Dr. Enlander sees patients who have hadtheir lives ruined by the disease. "Careers are lost, marriages areterminated and lifetime ambitions are dissolved." In fact, the original casewhich sparked his interest was a childhood friend who had to give up his jobin Belfast. Enlander acknowledges the causes of the condition are stillunclear and there are difficulties in achieving a quick and accuratediagnosis. Contrary to a body of opinion within the psychologicalprofession, "it is most certainly not all in the mind," Enlander emphasises."The physical symptoms are often cyclical and, as well as excessivetiredness, there are dysfunctions of the immune system, skin sensations,such as easy bruising and abnormal heat and temperature changes." TheDuchess of Mar in a speech to the House of Lords admonished a paperpresented to the Chief Medical Officer earlier this year, which argued thatthe condition was psychological. The Duchess and Enlander have been incommunication on the subject.Enlander warns there are powerful vestedinterests at work in making ME appear a "joke disease". Employers,government organisations and insurers may all have a part to play in this,as well as an insensitive media. Enlander says ME isn't contagious, althoughpeculiar unexplained outbreaks affecting families and other groups have beenreported. "If an infectious agent is responsible for immune changes", hepoints out, "the incubation of the agent has long passed when the conditionbecomes obvious, thus the risk of infection has passed".As for treatment,Dr. Enlander's research follows a protocol that requires a complex injectionto boost the immune system. He also talks about the potential importance oflifestyle changes, cognitive therapy, anti-depressant and anti-anxietydrugs, and a range of other treatments. Depression, he emphasises, is asecondary depression caused by the disease, and is not the prime cause ofthe illness.Enlander maintains an open mind to alternative medicineapproaches. He listens to what his patients tell him about the benefitssometimes experienced from, for example, phototherapy, acupuncture, orherbal medicines.The book is concise and to the point. Technical argumentsare rendered easy to follow. And Dr Enlander offers the following advice tosufferers who feel they are not getting a serious hearing from theirGPs."Insist the condition is physical and must be treated" he says."The CFS (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome) Handbook" by Derek Enlander MD,published in the USA, is available by order through www.amazon.com or UKbook shops (price �20).
 

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Interesting! I think I had heard before about Florence Nightengale...Thanks for posting that Susan!!
 

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In the case of FL, she apparently 'took to her bed' for many of her later years.In the case of CD, I've come across references to chronic abdominal pain, for which no cause was found, constipation, chronic fatigue and, apparently, a high degree of hypochondria. I believe CD put his problems down to the emotional stress of fighting his intellectual corner over his theories.Incidentally, his house, just south of London has been open to the public for a few years now. The gardens have been reinstated to how they were in Darwin's day, with a long pathway where Darwin would take exercise and mull over his work. I've been meaning to visit one day and trace his steps!!
 
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