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Report on the Annual Medical Lecture

Our annual medical lecture was held on May 28th 2016 at Dumpton School, nr Wimborne.

Helen Lynam, Director of Nutrition at the Optimum Health Clinic in London spoke to us about ‘Cutting Through the Myths & Complexities of CFS/ME’. She explained how CFS/ME is caused by the combination of a number of predisposing factors. These include personality subtypes, (e.g. Achiever Type), and nutritional subtypes, (e.g. Immune Type). It was also explained how CFS/ME affects multiple systems in the body.

Helen showed expertise, and a real understanding of the problems facing sufferers. She stressed that it was vital that any treatment should be introduced at the right stage of the condition, if it is to stand a chance of working. The 3 main stages outlined were:

1. Crash Stage: sleeping a lot, with very little physical, mental or emotional capacity. There may be burnout in the nervous system, mitochondria, adrenals, gastro-intestinal secretions and possibly the detoxification system.

2. Tired and Wired Stage: experiencing pain, physical fatigue, poor sleep, brain symptoms, digestive symptoms, flu symptoms, etc. The mind can feel very busy whilst the body is exhausted and it is very hard to feel relaxed.

3. Reintegration Stage: energy and understanding of the condition definitely increasing with fewer overall symptoms. In this stage it is easy to get stuck in boom (doing too much on a good day) and bust (suffering from having done too much).

It is only when Stage 3 has been reached, that Graded Exercise Therapy (GET) might be effective. However, Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) and Life Style Management, including nutritional supplements and the avoidance of certain foods, may be effective at all 3 stages.

Helen was very interested to hear about our own NHS CFS/ME clinic at Wareham Hospital.