ME Sufferers Rely On Alternative Medicines

Neurology / Neuroscience

Article Date: 08 Sep 2008 - 3:00 PDT

More than a third of patients with long-term fatigue conditions like Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME) believe complementary and alternative medicines (CAMs) are more effective than traditional medicine in treating their illness, research launched at the British Pharmaceutical Conference (BPC) in Manchester reveals. 98% of patients believed alternative therapy should be available through the NHS.

Researchers from Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen found that sufferers of chronic conditions had relief from their symptoms when they used CAMs.

The findings showed:

Lead researcher, Dr Yash Kumarasamy said: "Many patients who have a long-term fatigue condition turn to alternative therapies because they feel that orthodox treatments failed to work for them, or because they experienced a lack of support from their healthcare team."

"Patients need to know how important it is to consult a healthcare professional before they take complementary or alternative medicines, or stop taking prescription medication. Pharmacists don't just dispense medicines - they are healthcare professionals with a broad range of knowledge and can help people with expert advice and support in managing their health."

About Myalgic Encephalomyelitis

Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME) is a chronic, inflammatory, primarily neurological disease that affects the central nervous system, the immune system, the cardiovascular system, the endocrinological system and muscoskeletal system. It can cause a wide variety of symptoms, including changes in sensory tolerance, visual problems, exertional muscle weakness, difficulties with co-ordination and speech, severe fatigue, cognitive impairment, problems with balance, subnormal or poor body temperature control and pain.

The British Pharmaceutical Conference 2008 (BPC)