ONLY a handful of doctors have signed up for free national seminars on chronic fatigue syndrome, prompting patient advocates to call for a change of attitude among health professionals toward the illness.
ME/CFS Australia invited Dr Byron Hyde, founder of Canada’s Nightingale Research Foundation for myalgic encephalomyelitis and CFS, to speak to health professionals around Australia this month on the latest research and treatment options.
The organisation expected an overwhelming response to the visit by Dr Hyde, who has more than 26 years’ experience treating the conditions and is the author of several reviews and two books on CFS.
However, despite efforts to promote the event to hundreds of general practices and medical students, ME/CFS Australia said the response rates were “disappointing” so far.
ME/CFS Australia CEO Penny Abrahams said the poor turnout across the country suggested doctors were not taking CFS seriously and did not see it as a “real illness”. As Australian Doctor went to press, a total of 22 doctors had expressed interest in Dr Hyde’s final presentations in Perth and Melbourne.
Blake Graham, president of the ME/CFS Society of WA, said the “pitiful” response indicated a lack of interest from health practitioners. It was also likely doctors opted not to attend because they underestimated the impact of CFS or felt they were unable to treat the condition, he added.
“A change of attitude is needed so practitioners can expand their knowledge and level of care,” he said.
Of course they don't wan't to go. Treating ME/CFS sucessfully usually takes a great deal of biocehmichal knowledge...serious reading about how the body works on a very low level. It takes WANTING your patients to get well enough that you are willing to work at it in a way that goes beyond the 15 to 30 minute consult.
Patients wit Fibra/CFS/ME/Myfascial Pain SYndrome/MCS - are not rewarding to treat becasue to treat them well you have to LEARN all the time. You must be willing to admit that medicine does not yet know everything there is to know, and also be willing to step outside of the standard disease paradgm set. You need to learn toxicology, and liver detoxification pathways, how the body feels pain, and dive into a huge world of malfunctioning biochemical pathways, and quite possibly epigenetic switches that are turned the wrong way round (things barely mentioned in even the most modern medicial schools in THIS era, and unheard of 10 years ago).
It also opens doors into questions of POLUTION as a possible source of a slew of chronic illness problems, and requires that the physician become familair with many alternative medical techniques from accupuncture to supplements and herbs...things that change the dopamine level of a brain low on it, that increase acetylcholene, repain synapses, and support/repair the bodies S-Glutathion detoxification pathway.
This is heavy science to learn. Much of it is new, and that which is not touches on topics that docs have not bothered with since pre-med classess in university.... which are then crossed with alternative medicine becasue TRADITIONAL DRUGS FAIL BADLY to manage this illness. Often they make people worse. You also have to fight the system to get people into pain mamnagement so they they can survive long enough to have a prayer of getting better.
All of this goes far outside the interest of people who signed on to medicine with the expectation of dealing with a small practice with a few doctors, dealing with people with gastro and a bit of high blood pressure or diabetes. Many physicians also have serious ego problems and when you cannot cure your patient overnight, or give them a pill and let nature do the healing (all in a few weeks mind you) it is not an ego boost. THose who get better from this stuff take years to decades to do it...because it took that long to get sick. You haveto read from abstracts, protocols like Drs Pall & Ziem, and reading every night after work.
It requires being a real doctor, not just a vender for McDOnalds Medicine.