Being tired is at the moment one of the most common problems that our working generations have to deal with every day. Working long hours, having active and intelligent children that want to make as many things as they are taught to make – and they need full support for it, relationships that need total commitment, dreams that have to be fulfilled – they all lead to fatigue and everything that it involves. All that comes after it is hysteria, because it tends to become overwhelming. The behaviour changes dramatically, the way we talk to each other is mutilated, and everything can break apart. However, there are people who don’t seem to start…stopping. Doctors from Utah are worried about all these things and want to make something about it.
National health experts that are located in Salt Lake City, together with this ambitious doctor from Utah have gathered all their strengths and experience in order to make a detailed study about the issue, that has been released on Tuesday. The purpose that they are trying to follow is to raise awareness of all categories of people in what fatigue is concerned and what are the chaotic influences that it has on our nervous system, in our somatic changes and last but most definitely not least, in our personal lives. As a result, all these experts found a name that, hopefully, will promote better understanding for patients, physicians and the public: systemic exertion intolerance disease.
Dr. Lucinda Bateman, director of the Fatigue Consultation Clinic of Salt Lake City and a member of a national Institute of Medicine committee that studied the chronic fatigue syndrome has also taken part of the grand announcement on Tuesday in Washington D.C.
“Chronic fatigue syndrome is a widespread disease, yet it remains largely misunderstood throughout the medical community. This lack of information often leaves patients undiagnosed and untreated, chronically suffering, unable to work or play, and financially burdened.”
There have been a lot of unresolved cases that were not paid attention even by the most famous doctors, mainly because the gravity of the situation is becoming more and more powerful everyday and it has no precedent in the decades that have passed. An example of such a case is the story of Heather Jackson who lives in the Cottonwood Heights. She has spent decades in trying to find out what is happening to her, with the help of a lot of specialists that always prescribed various medications that didn’t help her at all. Doctors seemed not to understand what was Heather experiencing .As a result, they gave a wrong diagnosis, something like the opposite of multiple sclerosis, where instead of the muscles getting weaker, they got tighter. Unfortunately, fibromyalgia wasn’t the case, and everything got worse over the years, as she was diagnosed with this disease at the age of 14, her actual age being of 34 years old. The only explanation that Heather was able to find, in order to tell her doctors was that it felt like, was that is is the worst flu anyone could ever have, with the slight difference that it never goes away. Besides the migraines and the extreme fatigue, the girl also had to deal with joint and nerve pain that were felt all the way on her spine. Because of these new symptoms, the doctors came out with a new idea: she was hypochondriac, telling her parents that maybe she was trying to avoid something at school or in any uncomfortable circumstances. Running away from responsibilities wasn’t the case for Heather, and everything became more and more frustrating because she was hurting all the time and all over. Unfortunately, she never graduated high-school with her other colleagues, missing out most of her senior year because of this undiagnosed disease. She is currently a beautiful 34-year old mother of three and says that she stopped seeing doctors when she realized that she was taking clearly too many pills in one day for a teenager: 19 different drugs, every single day.
“Even though there is no cure for it, it is wonderfully helpful to have people understand you. […] Other moms might be cleaning, shopping or working out, but I have to reserve that time to be down, to just rest. If I don’t get that down time, it makes even just focusing on homework very difficult for me.”
The research that has been made about fatigue has found that it impacts between 836,000 and 2.5 million Americans. Ellen Wright Clayton, a professor of pediatrics and law who led the nationwide committee of experts on the study of chronic fatigue, knows for a fact that people live undiagnosed or misdiagnosed for years. She believes that it is very important for the patients that this disease has been finally named in some way and that it actually exists as a real affection. Heather Jackson confirms that the discovery is “amazing” for her and that even if she is still feeling it every day, the overall understanding that is happening to her is a bliss.
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