Monday, September 10, 2012
CHRONIC FATIGUE SYNDROME M.E. Symptoms, Diagnosis, Management
by Dr Rosamund Vallings MNZM, MB BS
Published by Calico Publishing, September 2012, RRP: $40.00
“This is simply the best book available on Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/ME.
Dr Vallings informs and educates readers on every aspect of this often misunderstood illness. Everyone who has Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/ME should read this book – it will help them cope, and will improve their life.”
Dr Ken Jolly, Medical Advisor, ANZMES
Health, energy and vitality are the holy grails of the twenty first century. We hear endlessly about how best to maximise health and wellbeing, but what if those things are elusive for some because they have an illness called Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) or, as it is also known, ME.
More than 20,000 New Zealanders are afflicted with CFS/ME and potentially many more go undiagnosed; either through ignorance or prejudice. Seemingly a relatively new illness, CFS/ME has actually been around since ancient times and was first recognised by a Babylonian philosopher as early as the eighteenth century BC. However, until quite recently CFS/ME had no fixed label, so it is hardly surprising that the illness was mired in misunderstanding and perceived as a ‘cop out’ illness.
However, thanks to research and better diagnostics, we now know that CFS/ME is usually triggered by infection, that the average age of onset is 18 to 35 and that 85 percent of sufferers experienced physical or emotional stress prior to diagnosis. CFS/ME is a complex disease with many symptoms, the main ones being severe fatigue, muscle pain, brain fog and inability to exercise. Those who contract it are frequently busy, active, high-achievers; many top sportspeople have succumbed to the illness.
Dr Rosamund Vallings has been working with patients suffering with CFS/ME for more than 40 years, having first encountered it in the UK when she was a junior doctor. She has since made it her life’s work and is not only a pioneer in the field but an internationally recognised expert. Her book is a distillation of her vast experience as a doctor diagnosing and treating the condition and is the only up-to-the-minute, comprehensive overview of the diagnosis, treatment and management of CFS/ME. Significantly, it also includes the latest diagnostic guidelines for CFS/ME, which have just been published (June 2012).
Vallings’ book is an invaluable resource for CFS/ME patients, their family, friends and colleagues, and health professionals. Vallings takes the reader on a journey from diagnosis to the impact of CFS/ME on the body, and how best to manage and live with the illness, including: stress and pain management, taking exercise, optimising sleep and nutrition, medication and alternative therapies, and coping with depression. Her wisdom and experience offer comfort and hope, and her insights make a significant contribution to the on-going conversation around CFS/ME.
Dr Rosamund Vallings is a leading specialist in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome CFS/ME and has been helping those with this condition for more than 40 years. In 2008, she was awarded Membership of the New Zealand Order of Merit for Services to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. She lives in Clevedon with her husband.