Health: Medics Proved Wrong on 'Mythical' Yuppy Flu

Sunday Mirror (London, England), May 23, 1999 | Go to article overview

Health: Medics Proved Wrong on 'Mythical' Yuppy Flu


CHRONIC Fatigue Syndrome, once dubbed Yuppy Flu is now recognised as a serious neurological illness.

So it appears that the medics got it all wrong as for years it was discredited by the majority of medical professionals.

Once thought a fictionally embellished condition which only affected the apathetic, uninspired and bored upper classes, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome - CFS - was presumed an escape clause and a ploy by bored housewives to attract sympathy.

But now the tide has turned and CFS is recognised as a debilitating and diagnosable condition.

Research carried out by Joe Fitzgibbon, an Irish doctor, shows that all social classes are affected.

"Onset of the condition usually occurs between the ages of 20 to 40 years but it can affect anyone regardless of age or social status," he explained.

The research also highlighted that greater numbers of women seem to be affected by the illness and that the incidence of ME/CFS is increasing in all ages.

Vera Kindlon, the chairwoman of the Irish ME/CFS said that the organisation has 360 members and that 20 per cent of these are young people.

"ME/CFS is acknowledged as a serious neurological illness. It is a potentially severe, disabling and chronic condition affecting the immune and central nervous system, but it varies greatly in severity and duration," she explained.

One of the most alarming facts about the illness is that there is no known single cause of the condition.

But the flu, glandular fever and even the common cold is believed to be able to prompt it.

Other triggers such as vaccinations, stress and accidents have also been claimed.

Vera Kindlon maintains that the condition can turn a healthy individual into someone who is severely disabled overnight.

She says it can make a sufferer housebound and, in some severe cases, bed-bound.

The illness can also be further aggravated because it is so difficult to diagnose and can represent a number of other illnesses.

So sufferers are often met with scepticism and disbelief. …

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