Doctors ill-equipped to treat ME

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The Independent Online
Doctors ill-equipped to treat ME

Almost all family doctors now recognise the reality of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, but few are said to offer sufferers any helpful advice.

A survey for the support group Action on ME, published yesterday, showed that 96 per cent of GPs accepted that CFS existed. But only 33 per cent are able to give patients any advice on coping with its debilitating symptoms.

Action on ME said the problem was that doctors did not receive proper training about the condition.

CFS, also known as Myalgic Encephalomyelitis or ME, causes long periods of weakness and lethargy which in extreme cases can leave victims bedridden. Sufferers also complain of headaches, aching muscles, sleep disturbance and depression.

The survey also showed that 94 per cent of CFS sufferers are forced to give up work.

More than 60 per cent benefit from alternative therapies, the most popular being aromatherapy massage, acupuncture, homeopathy, meditation and yoga.

Action for ME estimates there are more than 150,000 sufferers in Britain.

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