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BBC1 tonight — Doctor in the House, featuring "chronic fatigue"

Discussion in 'General ME/CFS Discussion' started by sarah darwins, May 22, 2017.

  1. sarah darwins

    sarah darwins I told you I was ill

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    Oh, dear. Just found this in Radio Times for a programme on BBC1 tonight (9pm 22nd May:

    Remains to be seen if the programme is as wide of the mark as that write-up, but it sounds like we're going to be conflating chronic fatigue with ME/CFS. Again.

    Link to Radio Times article: http://www.radiotimes.com/tv-programme/e/fpy7s2/doctor-in-the-house--series-2-episode-2
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2017
  2. sarah darwins

    sarah darwins I told you I was ill

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    Interestingly, two of the newspapers carry previews that are rather better phrased:

    Guardian:
    The Times:

    So it may just be the Radio Times writer who put his own "chronic fatigue" interpretation on things. We'll have to wait and see.


     
  3. SamanthaJ

    SamanthaJ Senior Member

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    Looking forward to the solution that is 'life-changingly simple'! You have to brace yourself for BBC coverage, don't you? Reading between the lines, I wonder if he'll end up with a different diagnosis. The bit about not getting doctors to listen rings true, obviously.
     
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  4. sarah darwins

    sarah darwins I told you I was ill

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    Yep to all that. I'm hoping that the programme itself will avoid conflating this guy's exhaustion and sleep problems with ME/CFS. And if the doc finds a solution for someone with those problems, that's great, and it may help other people with similar problems. I just hope it's made clear that the guy doesn't have ME — else all of us in the UK will be getting phone calls tomorrow from helpful relatives saying "Turns out all you have to do is ... "
     
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  5. Skippa

    Skippa Anti-BS

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    Uh oh, will NOT be watching, I guess it will be very triggering.

    Waiting for the solution to be exercise. And CBT to reinforce it. "Life-changingly simple". Oh dear.
     
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  6. MeSci

    MeSci ME/CFS since 1995; activity level 6?

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  7. Hilary

    Hilary Senior Member

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    I've been half watching it and as far as I've noticed ME hasn't been mentioned (although I didn't watch right from the beginning so I may have missed significant stuff). They just focused on his fatigue, insomnia and night sweats. There was some attention paid to difficulties he had faced earlier in life (homelessness I think was mentioned) and resulting anxiety, but they also did blood tests and found an unusually high level of homocysteine -and I didn't notice any serious attempt to dismiss his problems as psychological. He was given a combined supplement with B12 and folate (and I don't know what else) and the homocysteine level dropped dramatically and bingo - he recovered.
    Sorry to be a bit vague - trying to do two things at once.. Open to correction if someone else has been paying attention better than me..
     
  8. MeSci

    MeSci ME/CFS since 1995; activity level 6?

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    I watched pretty intently, and it was indeed his homocysteine that needed a very high level of supplementation, after which he was sleeping well and functioning well. There are quite a few threads on homocysteine here, but I'm not sure whether I'm susceptible to low levels. It could be that different people are short of different things.
     
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  9. arewenearlythereyet

    arewenearlythereyet Senior Member

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    I watched it as well. There was no mention of ME and very little mention of chronic fatigue. In fact they had quite a bit of coverage of him at the gym. His main symptoms were not sleeping well and night sweats. It also did highlight the fact that GPs can't deal with complex conditions very well.

    They indicated at the end that his presumably dysfunctional methylation (they just said metabolic pathway) was a result of a genetic predisposition. His homocysteine levels were over 30 before supplementation and ended up being 7 after oral supplementation with b12 b6 and folate.

    If only everything were that simple to treat.
     
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  10. KME

    KME

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    I too missed the beginning but in the portion I saw there was no mention of ME or CFS, only of "exhaustion" and "chronic fatigue". As others said homocysteine seemed to be the key. His was apparently very elevated at 34.something. He had had what he was told was a mini-stroke or TIA at age 20 or so. The doctor then spoke about checking him for a genetic pathway that might be working slower, but did not say which pathway it was. He put him on this supplement: NT Factor Advanced Physician's Formula with B Vitamin Complex https://www.nutri-link.co.uk/shop/nt-factor-advanced-physicians-w-b-vit-complex-x-150-tablets.html The doctor described it as B12, B6 and folate but there are a good few more things in it. The guy helpfully held it up to the camera so you could see the full name. He had a very good and very fast response to it in terms of improvement in energy, which surprised the doctor. Repeat blood tests showed his homocysteine had gone back down to 7.
     
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  11. maybe some day

    maybe some day Senior Member

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    I avoid reading or watching anything related to curable cfs...esp the word "simple"
    If theres a ligit cure we would all know about in short order.
     
  12. wastwater

    wastwater Senior Member

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    I saw this per chance but turned off when they started mentioning sleep apnea but a friend who watched the whole thing thought it was rather good
     
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  13. sarah darwins

    sarah darwins I told you I was ill

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    So, turns out it was good. That doc is interesting — very strong emphasis on food and the gut, and very willing to use supplements to address problems there.

    While this wasn't about me/cfs, the guy did have a condition that might easily be confused for it in the current climate (witness the Radio Times' "chronic fatigue"). He would presumably have met the junk Oxford criteria so could have ended up with an ME diagnosis — his first stroke of luck was that he didn't, his second was getting on this programme with a doctor willing to spend real time understanding his condition.

    Quite thought provoking stuff, really.
     
  14. arewenearlythereyet

    arewenearlythereyet Senior Member

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    To me it just confirms that calling any disease by a generic symptom is always going to cause confusion. It's akin to saying "headache syndrome". No wonder there is an apathy by GPs to get the diagnosis right when they have 5-10 minutes. We need a biomarker!

    The pernicious anemia society have picked up on this program as well and are discussing the show on their forum. Funny how many of us have the same experience of incorrect diagnosis and treatment by GPs.
     
  15. Skippa

    Skippa Anti-BS

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    Does anyone know if it is possible to get an appointment with this Doctor?
     
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  16. sarah darwins

    sarah darwins I told you I was ill

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    Yes, he sees patients privately in Manchester as well as being a GP for the NHS.

    His website is here: https://drchatterjee.com/clinic/

    Presumably his NHS consultations are 10 minutes long, his private ones an hour or two. Not that we have a two-tier health service, oh no sir-ee ;-)

    From his website:

     
    Last edited: May 23, 2017
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  17. sarah darwins

    sarah darwins I told you I was ill

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    Beautifully put. And LOL to 'headache syndrome'! :ill::p
     
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  18. Apple

    Apple Senior Member

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    Anyone ever had their homocysteine levels checked?
     
  19. AndyPR

    AndyPR Senior Member

    @Jo Best
    As his website says
    Perhaps making him aware of the developments that IiME are involved with in this area is worthwhile?
     
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  20. arewenearlythereyet

    arewenearlythereyet Senior Member

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    No ... But I had already ear marked it for my next GP visit (which I have been putting off for ages since the advent of MUS). In the UK, it isn't a standard test (similarly for MMA), but they can send it off to specialist labaratories which makes it expensive. I'm building a case at the moment, although I am not confident that he will agree.
     
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