Intended for healthcare professionals

Primary Care

General practitioners' perceptions of chronic fatigue syndrome and beliefs about its management, compared with irritable bowel syndrome: qualitative study

BMJ 2004; 328 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.38078.503819.EE (Published 03 June 2004) Cite this as: BMJ 2004;328:1354

Possibility of more rapid recovery from CFS may change G.P.'s attitudes

Dear Sir/Madame

I would like to comment on the article “General practitioners’
perceptions of chronic fatigue syndrome and beliefs about its management,
compared with irritable bowel syndrome: qualitative study” that appeared
in BMJ 328: 1354–1356 (5 June 2004).

The article concerns barriers to the management of patients with
chronic fatigue syndrome, and, as it suggests, if effective medications
were available for the illness it would clearly help apart from the
patient’s own efforts at self-help. Stereotyping is an almost insuperable
obstacle otherwise.

I am a doctor who developed severe symptoms of ME/CFS early in 2000,
immediately after confirmed Influenza A. The illness lasted until April
of this year. I then had a rapid recovery following the use of small
doses of nimodipine (Nimotop, Bayer) prescribed by a North Berwick doctor
who himself had had ME for 15 years. He had undertaken self-
experimentation with the medication. My GP now prescribes it for my CFS
but I need it only rarely.

I attended a number of concerts at the recent at the recent Edinburgh
Festival. I haven’t been able to do anything like this for 4½ years and I
now have things that I only dreamed of coming true. I understand exactly
what it is to be stereotyped but I believe effective medication can
dramatically improve the health of a person with CFS for the better and
change general practitioners’ perceptions of the patient as improvements
occur. Everyone feels more positive. Something can be done now.

Yours sincerely,

Marilyn McNeill (Dr)marilynm@medix-uk.com

Competing interests:
None declared

Competing interests: No competing interests

15 September 2004
Marilyn L. McNeill
Private Practitioner
The Rowans Drem East Lothian EH39 5BN