Epidemic of apathetic and tired women

I. Introduction
II. Article/notice
III. Reader commentary

I. Introduction:

The following info is a slightly-smoothed Google translation from the physicians’ weekly magazine/journal, Läkartidningen (The Physicians’ Newspaper), online edition. This info is shared here for educational purposes only, and while accuracy has been attempted, it is not guaranteed. All credit for content, tone, style, etc. lies with the publisher, the article/notice author, and the commenter – as further credited below.

Only preapproved comments have been allowed on the article/notice. At the time of this posting, there are nine comments, for the most part from individuals with ME and/or loved ones/advocates, but with one comment as well from a poster who identifies himself as Dr. Lars Englund, and which hints at the brutal ignorance and bigotry which ME patients in Sweden, and elsewhere, too often face.

Thank you to all, especially those in the healthcare field, who are working to change such attitudes and the neglect to which they lead.

General information, including sphere of influence: Läkartidningen is a publication of the Swedish Medical Association, to which 85% of Swedish physicians belong--medical students may join as well, giving the association a membership of around 43,000 individuals. Access to Läkartidningen (print edition?) is included with membership to the Swedish Medical Association.


II. Article/notice:

26 May 2014; “Politicians and doctors build a network for ME patients” / Läkartidningen

The disease myalgic encephalomyelitis is underdiagnosed, and knowledge about it within the healthcare system is ‘embarrassingly rudimentary’, according to five parliamentary politicians and doctors in DN Debatt [Dagens Nyheter Debate] today.

By: Elisabet Ohlin

Attitude/reception, diagnosis, and treatment of ME have mostly "been conspicuously absent from nearly all of our healthcare leaders' attention/concern. This must change!" wrote the five parliamentary politicians—Finn Bengtsson (M), Sven Britton (S), Barbro Westerholm (FP), Agneta Luttropp (MP) and Eva Olofsson (V), of whom the first three are also doctors.

The disease/illness is estimated to affect between 0.2 and 0.4 percent, or 20,000 to 40,000 people in Sweden, according to Vårdguiden 1177 [A Swedish state information site, and phone number/helpline, for health and healthcare information]. According to the debate-article authors, there are 40,000 individuals with ME in Sweden, and this is a conservative estimate.

There is no known cure for this disease/illness, which is also often called chronic fatigue syndrome. But much can be done for symptom relief, support for self-help, and improved quality of life, according to the debate authors who have created a network together with the ME patient organization in order to spread awareness of the disease/illness. The debate authors hope to also influence government agencies in order to create a national center of excellence/expertise to support diagnosis, treatment, and research of ME.


III. Reader commentary

Comment (allegedly) from Dr. Lars England: A Norwegian epidemic on its way here? In Norway, apathetic and tired women receive care for their condition at a hospital specifically designed for this diagnosis [ME], some are tube fed, and the prognosis seems to be poor. Should we fear that this will happen in Sweden now too, and what does it mean that professionals in Sweden haven’t made such a fuss about this condition? Have we perhaps put the brakes on a Norwegian development?

Isn’t there a risk that an initiative such as this will contribute to an increased prevalence of this condition in Sweden? Can the healthcare system contribute to ill health by creating an awareness and, thereby, fertile ground for this cultural illness? With the best intentions, understandably? And what do we know about this condition’s prevalence in relation to what we in the profession are interested in?

[Signed] Lars Englund, general practitioner and head physician at Jakobsgårdarnas clinic in Borlänge

[District Medical Officer, who defended a fall 2000 thesis on physicians’ and especially district physician practices, regarding sick leave and attitudes in sick-leave issues among social-insurance employees and the sick.]



OMG.. that is so terrible, in so many different ways. I so wish doctors like that could be sacked! If they talked about any other serious illness like that, they'd be in big trouble Im sure.. but it seems doctors can say what they want when it comes to ME/CFS and be immune.

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