Action for M.E. criticises psychosomatic M.E. claim, January 27, 2016

Action for M.E. has criticised an article on Psych Central claiming M.E./CFS is a psychosomatic illness and the result of conversion disorder. [the article has since been removed]

In their comment on the article, which the site’s moderators had not yet approved at the time of writing, Action for M.E. said:

“Current evidence in no way indicates that chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is a conversion disorder.

“We find it difficult to understand how any professional could, in the face of such biomedical evidence as brain abnormalities (Montoya, 2014) and distinct immune markers (Hornig and Lipkin, 2015), perpetuate such a misunderstanding about the condition – not to mention the fact that it is classified as a neurological disorder by the World Health Organisation.

“What’s most inappropriate is the suggestion that people with M.E./CFS should be encouraged to “understand that the pain is not structurally significant” and that “there should be no physical restrictions of activities.”

“The NICE guideline for M.E./CFS in the UK, while not perfect, makes it clear that healthcare professionals should never offer “advice to undertake unsupervised, or unstructured, vigorous exercise (such as simply ‘go to the gym’ or ‘exercise more’) because this may worsen symptoms.”

“Research by Prof Mark Van Ness has demonstrated that exercise such as walking or jogging exacerbates symptoms, while Prof Julia Newton has found abnormalities in the muscle cells of people with M.E./CFS, including up to 20 times the normal amount of acid being produced.

“NICE also advises, entirely in opposition to this article’s suggestion that M.E./CFS is among those illnesses for which “all treatments for symptoms should be eliminated,” that the symptoms of the condition should be “managed as in usual clinical practice.”

“As last year’s Institute of Medicine report concluded, having reviewed more than 9,000 studies published between 1950 and 2014, “It is clear from the evidence compiled by the committee that M.E./CFS is a serious, chronic, complex, multisystem disease.”

Dr Speedy writes on January 26, 2016: New low in psychiatry, rheumatoid arthritis and carpal tunnel syndrome are now called a conversion disorder …

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