March 23, 2018
Action for M.E. has signed a letter written by the Countess of Mar and Forward M.E. that has been published in The Times newspaper today.
The letter, which you can read in full below, highlights the potential dangers graded exercise therapy can pose to people with M.E.
The article by your science editor, Tom Whipple, (Times 22 March 2018) highlights a very long-standing problem.
NICE is in the process of replacing their guideline for ME/CFS, but this will take time. Patients with ME/CFS in this country continue to receive damaging treatment in the form of graded exercise therapy (GET). Despite incontrovertible evidence of disabling metabolic abnormalities in their muscles, they are advised to “exercise back to fitness”. They are not simply “deconditioned” as claimed by many psychiatrists. Forced exercise above very low levels characteristically incapacitates most patients. The “exercise will make you better doctrine” applied to ME/CFS is thus profoundly incorrect and has no scientific evidence base.
The human cost is enormous, with many sufferers from ME/CFS rendered much worse by seriously inappropriate medical management. Even worse, such management is inflicted compulsorily on some patients, both adults and children, with their informed consent being bypassed via egregiously erroneous use of mental health and child protection legislation.
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