ME expert offers insights into condition medics deny exist

Health, Beauty and Lifestyle with Denise McNamara

One of the UK’s foremost authorities on Myalgic Encephalomyelits (ME) visited Galway last Saturday to deliver a lecture and meet patients without charge aged under 20 whose symptoms are devastating their lives.

Touring Ireland as part of ME Awareness month, Dr Roger Speight is a consultant paediatrician formerly at the University Hospital of North Durham who has spent the last three decades researching ME and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), treating more than 1,000 patients across Britain.

His work is regarded as pivotal in the publication of the 2021 National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) guidelines on ME/CFS, which finally accepted ME/CFS as a medical organic condition and recognised that many patients have been treated with a mixture of denial and neglect. The guidelines also withdrew their previous support for Graded Exercise Therapy (GET) and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT).

Before the Covid pandemic, between 10,000 and 20,000 people in Ireland were believed to suffer from ME/CFS but the numbers have increased dramatically globally since so many of us became infected with the Covid virus.

Several preliminary studies are now showing that nearly half of people with Long Covid have ME/CFS. Dr Anthony Fauci, former head of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, stated it was “extraordinary how many people have a post-viral syndrome that’s very strikingly similar to ME/CFS”.

Researchers in the Netherlands have attributed Long Covid symptoms to 12.7% of patients infected with Covid-19 – that could equate to 216,000 sufferers here with 1.7 million confirmed cases.

Pictured: Dr Roger Speight helped to support over 200 families of children with ME who were threatened with Child Protection proceedings after they were accused of inventing symptoms when their children were unable to go to school because of the condition.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune:

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