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Do you think you have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome? Here's what you need to do

14 May 2021 3:48 PM
Tags:
post-viral fatigue syndrome
ME
CFS
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Myalgic encephalomyelitis

Dr Elizabeth Murray says years after ME or CFS was noted as a syndrome sufferers struggle to be heard, but there is hope.

ME (Myalgic encephalomyelitis) also known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) has found its way into the discourse surrounding long Covid which is marked by symptoms of illness that persist or occur long after an initial case of Covid-19.

Top medical experts have pointed out similarities between ME/CFS and some symptoms reported by long Covid sufferers.

RELATED: 'Long Covid is a post-viral fatigue syndrome also seen after swine and bird flu'

Pippa Hudson talks to Cape Town medical doctor Elizabeth Murray, who specialises in the management of post-viral fatigue syndromes.

She says decades after it was described as a syndrome, people suffering from ME or CFS continue to struggle to have their condition taken seriously even now.

I only know about it because I got it, no teaching in medical school. Patients are told to go to a psychiatrist or even worse, they are told they are malingering.

Dr Elizabeth Murray, Medical Practitioner

Why do many doctors seem unwilling to buy into the diagnosis?

Doctors don't like to say 'I don't know', and we don't know a lot about it. But we do know how to manage it.

Dr Elizabeth Murray, Medical Practitioner

What should you do if you suspect you may have post-viral fatigue syndrome?

For the first six months, it is considered to be post-viral fatigue and thereafter it is termed ME or CFS, explains Dr Murray.

I would suggest phoning your GP and asking what is your approach? And if they say it is psychiatric or requires psychotherapy then you do not go to that doctor.

Dr Elizabeth Murray, Medical Practitioner

You can phone me because my main aim is to train GPs, so I will send you and your GP things to read and what to do immediately, and if your GP is not going to manage it, there are doctors at the Ingress Clinic in Cape Town who know how to do so and I can direct people to all those things.

Dr Elizabeth Murray, Medical Practitioner

She says catching it early is important.

What is a key symptom to look out for?

Murray says it is fatigue - but far more than normal fatigue.

It is post-exertional neuroimmunological exhaustion.

Dr Elizabeth Murray, Medical Practitioner

Over and above this there are many other symptoms including palpitations, extreme sensitivity to things like light and noise, anxiety, depression, and many more.

Listen to the interview below:




14 May 2021 3:48 PM
Tags:
post-viral fatigue syndrome
ME
CFS
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Myalgic encephalomyelitis

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