International expert on Myalgic Encephalomyelitis Dr Ros Vallings is giving a talk in Galway on the often misunderstood condition next month.
Around 14,000 people in Ireland are thought to suffer from Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME), now often diagnosed under the name Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS).
Symptoms include overwhelming flu-like exhaustion made worse by exertion (physical or mental exertion), muscle and joint pains, sore throats, swollen glands, disturbed sleep, impaired concentration & memory, dizziness and headaches.
A particular feature of the disease is that the condition waxes and wanes over time and symptoms can fluctuate a great deal from day to day, or even within a day.
ME is a condition that can destroy people’s lives depending on the seriousness of their condition.
Though often misunderstood and dismissed, people suffering from ME are left unable to live normal lives due to the level of debilitation.
Dr Vallings has run a medical practice in Auckland, New Zealand since 1966 and has been specialising in treating patients with ME/CFS for over 35, in which time he has published three books on the topic.
He is also medical adviser to the ANZMES, the national organisation supporting those with CFS/ME, and served as the group’s president for many years.
As part of an international committee has helped develop guidelines for the treatment of ME/CFS.
This talk at the Connacht Hotel on May 21 hosted by the Irish ME/CFS Association will address “Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: Symptoms Diagnosis and Management” followed by a Q&A session.
Vera Kindlon, Chairperson of the Irish ME/CFS Association, said there is still a great deal of work to be done raising awareness of this condition and educating people about it.
“While things have improved in the last decade, many people still experience a considerable delay in obtaining a firm diagnosis.”
“Having a name for what is wrong with them allows patients to better manage their condition. They can also then get in touch with other sufferers, learning how others have dealt with similar problems and gaining support and empathy from those who know exactly what it is like.”
Orla Ni Chomhrai, host of the Galway meeting, said they were delighted to have Dr Vallings come and share his expertise with interested people.
“It is good for patients and the families to be get the opportunity to hear a talk by a recognised expert in the condition.”
“It also affords them the rare opportunity to ask questions of a doctor who has focused on ME/CFS in her practice for the past few decades.”
Orla added that meeting like these are a good way for people like with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis to meet other people in the same place to help support one another.