Possibilities for prevention

We do not know how to prevent CFS, but its development can be modified. The most important place for such intervention may be the transition from a transient fatigue state to chronic disability. Although most of us have been exposed to Epstein-Barr virus infection by the time we reach 30 years of age, few go on to develop CFS. Encouraging modest amounts of activity in the weeks after an acute infection has been shown to be effective in reducing the duration of symptoms. Any attempt at maintaining activity and preventing a slide into a vicious circle of symptoms, reduced activity, demoralization, disability, and depression might therefore offer an opportunity for prevention.

There is a second area for intervention—medical and lay attitudes to symptoms and distress. The media have a part to play in promoting awareness of the dangers of simplistic inaccurate depictions of illness as either physical or psychological, which does a grave disservice to those complex illnesses than cannot be so easily pigeon-holed. Likewise, doctors must be acutely aware of the dangers of disconfirmation of a patient's subjective suffering by ill-considered remarks, and a sadly all too pervasive attitude that elevates physical above psychological suffering. Finally, we believe that a good and well-informed doctor- patient relationship is probably the best preventive strategy to reduce the incidence of prolonged fatigue syndromes.

Breaking Bulimia

Breaking Bulimia

We have all been there: turning to the refrigerator if feeling lonely or bored or indulging in seconds or thirds if strained. But if you suffer from bulimia, the from time to time urge to overeat is more like an obsession.

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