Yuppie flu comes out of the cold
The scepticism hanging over chronic fatigue syndrome has been officially banished, with a British government-endorsed report recognising it as a chronic and treatable condition.
Controversy has raged around Myalgic Encephalomyelitis - once tagged yuppie flu - for decades. Patients have complained that they were told that their symptoms were all in the mind.
"This has been a disease in the wilderness," Britain's chief medical officer, Sir Liam Donaldson, said yesterday on publication of the report.
"Sufferers have often been ignored, not always taken seriously. From today all that changes. This is a real condition. We have a real basis for action.''
However, the controversy surrounding ME is unlikely to disappear. No cause has yet been identified, and some mental health doctors believe the psycho-social side of the problem should have had more emphasis in the report.
The report says that most people with ME can be cared for by their family doctor.
What evidence exists suggests that graded exercise therapy and cognitive behaviour therapy are most successful.
The report also calls for more research and funding into ME.
(c) 2002 Sydney Morning Herald
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