Fighting Fatigue: Managing the Symptoms of CFS/ME

Fighting Fatigue: Managing the Symptoms of CFS/ME


By (author) Sue Pemberton, By (author) Catherine Berry


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  • Publisher: Hammersmith Press Limited
  • Format: Paperback | 200 pages
  • Dimensions: 170mm x 216mm x 20mm | 422g
  • Publication date: 31 May 2009
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 1905140282
  • ISBN 13: 9781905140282
  • Illustrations note: 25 b&w line illustrations
  • Sales rank: 269,733

Product description

Chronic fatigue syndrome, or myalgic encephalitis, (CFS/ME) affects approximately 180,000 people in the UK. In addition to persistent and abnormal tiredness, sufferers commonly experience muscle pain, headaches, sleep disturbance and loss of concentration as well as a huge range of other symptoms. At its worst it can be completely disabling and yet it is still poorly understood and often regarded as purely psychological. This makes it doubly difficult for sufferers and their carers to cope with. This practical manual comes from a nationally recognized centre for the condition and is jointly written by health professionals and their patients. They give straightforward and specific expert advice, accompanied by real life stories, on managing different aspects of everyday life that can affect energy and they show how to put this advice into practice. They understand the way fatigue affects concentration and therefore break their guidance into easy-to-follow steps that can be worked through at the reader's own pace. Unlike other available books, this does not cover causes, symptoms or the controversy around whether the condition is 'real'. It is purely about how to get better. It is for patients who have been diagnosed with CFS/ME and for their carers. It is also highly relevant to health professionals wanting to provide their patients with self-help strategies that are compatible with the current evidence base. Anyone suffering ongoing, abnormal fatigue will likewise find it a 'must read'.

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Author information

Sue Pemberton is a qualified occupational therapist who was involved in setting up the Leeds based CFS/ME service in 1990, one of the first NHS clinics specifically for the condition. She wrote the original therapy programme and has worked clinically with the service throughout its history. Sue is currently the Clinical Champion for the condition for the North, East and West Yorkshire area and contributes to collaborative work nationally in this field. She is the only Consultant Occupational Therapist working in CFS/ME in the country, speaking regularly at national conferences on the condition and contributing to the national training of health professionals. Catherine Berry suffered with CFS/ME for 9 years. Over that time she followed many different treatment options in the hope that they would improve her health. She researched the condition on the internet and read several books which claim to offer advice which will improve the health of sufferers. Nothing seemed to offer practical solutions to the problem. She attended the Leeds and West Yorkshire CFS/ME Service in 2006 and while completing the programme her health significantly improved. She is keen for the information to be available to all those sufferers who are not able to attend the Service personally. Janine Spencer has been the Clinical Team Manager for the Leeds based CFS/ME service since 2005. She is responsible for the management and leadership of the team and service. Janine is also the Clinical Network Co-ordinator for the North East and West Yorkshire area and contributes to collaborative work nationally in this role.

Table of contents

1. What we know about CFS/ME; 2. Grading activity - the effect of activity on energy levels and how to break it down into manageable parts; 3. Rest - understanding rest and improving its quality; 4. Sleep - normal sleep patterns and factors that can affect them; 5. Diet - how food relates to energy; 6. Stress and relaxation - the physiological relationship between demand and energy and how to reduce stress; 7. Thoughts and feelings - how to use basic cognitive behavioural strategies to recognise patterns of thinking and change them to improve fatigue management; 8. Memory and concentration - factors that can influence memory and concentration and how to combat them; 9. Dealing with other people - basic assertion techniques and how to deal with disapproval; 10. Physical activity and exercise - improving posture and physical activity within the limitations of CFS; 11. Relapses and setbacks - how to cope with increased symptoms and lack of progress; 12. Carers - understanding CFS from the outside and how help someone to recover.