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Helston Teen Joins Calls For Better ME Diagnosis

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Published by the Pirate FM News Team at 7:01am 1st June 2013

A Helston teenager tells Pirate FM how it took four years for her ME to be spotted by doctors.

Polly Bayes has been speaking out as charity AYME calls for better diagnosis and treatment of chronic fatigue syndrome.

16 year old Polly has suffered since she was ten.

She says it has completely changed her life: "I was just very weak and tired and I felt groggy all the time. It started to affect my schoolwork really badly so I had to give up most of my subjects in Year 11, so I only have four GCSE's.

"It's really important to know how this illness affects you because a lot of people think it's all in your head or they think you're just tired and you just need more exercise, they think it's just laziness quite a few people."  


The main symptoms are:

Fatigue

* Utter exhaustion, often to the point of collapse, totally different from 'normal' tiredness.
* At its worst, you might look pale.
* You may suddenly need to sit or lie down very quickly wherever you are.
*People experience "post-exertional malaise", which is fatigue that is delayed, often by one or two days - after too much activity.
*Although fatigue is the ‘main' symptom, it isn't always the worst.

Pain

*Anywhere in the body but particularly headaches, and intense muscle and joint pain without redness or swelling, especially in the legs.
*Is often difficult to relieve with standard painkillers.
*You might also feel skin crawling and pins and needles.

Cognitive impairment

*You find it hard to remember things.
* It's easy to get confused or mentally tired - your brain seems to run out of steam.
* It's hard to concentrate, and you get stuck on words or working things out.
* You find it hard to plan or think ahead.
* These symptoms together are commonly called 'brain fog'.

Other symptoms

* You may feel too hot or too cold.
* A recurring sore throat is particularly common in children.
* You might get dizzy (especially when getting up from sitting or lying down).
* You might find things are too bright or too loud for you.
* You could also have sleep problems, feel sick, lose your appetite, find that your stomach and gut is playing up; you may feel moody, and experience panic or anxiousness; and you might find that you're now sensitive to certain foods, medication, alcohol and chemicals.

You can get more advice here

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