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Press Release from Dr Myhill's office April 2014
CFS is all in our cells, not in our minds!
Dr Sarah Myhill has treated over 5,000 patients with CFS since qualifying from Middlesex Hospital Medical School in 1981. She is now one of the leading authorities on Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) in the UK. As she emphasises, CFS is not a diagnosis but a clinical picture that has many causes, and her book, Diagnosis & Treatment of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, looks at the underlying nutritional, biochemical, immunological, toxic, hormonal, and lifestyle mechanisms that cause the symptoms, collating many years of research and revealing that CFS is a result of mitochondrial failure.
Dr Myhill clearly explains what mitochondria are, the importance of the job they do and how failure can arise. Their key role is to supply energy to every cell in our bodies in the form of a chemical compound called adenosine triphosphate (ATP). ATP is known as the 'universal currency of energy'; it is essential for all sorts of biochemical jobs, from muscle contraction to hormone production. When mitochondria fail this results in a poor supply of ATP (i.e. energy); consequently, cells go slow, which means that all bodily functions go slow. What is exciting, as the book describes, is the research conducted by Dr Myhill, with Dr John McLaren-Howard of Acumen Laboratory and Dr Norman Booth of Mansfield College Oxford, which supports an objective 'ATP Profile Test' that correlates with subjective experience of fatigue. This test can now measure the rate at which ATP is made and also looks at where the problem behind poor function lies.
In Diagnosis & Treatment of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Dr Myhill reviews the clinical picture of CFS and uses a really simple analogy throughout, likening bodily functioning to what a car needs to work properly:
• Engine = Mitochondria * Accelerator pedal = thyroid
• Fuel = Diet and function * Oxygen = lungs
• Gearbox = Adrenals * Service and repairs = Sleep
• Cleaning – oil = Antioxidants * Cooling system = Detoxification
• Driver =The brain
Dr Sarah Myhill says: 'My book Diagnosis & Treatment of Chronic Fatigue is based on years of scientific evidence and clinical experience. Finding a test that can now measure fatigue that is based on solid scientific evidence has allowed me to write this book. My treatment package works and again is based on scientific evidence. For CFS sufferers it's about re-laying good "foundations" that can actually work for anyone who wants to have good health'.
Dr Myhill's treatment plan is based on 5 key pillars which she explains in detail in her book:
Rest & pacing: By this Dr Myhill really does mean complete rest - no reading, computers, TV or noise – and she talks about doing things in short bursts and varying activity as energy returns. She advocates simplifying your life, asking others for help and doing things by the clock, as the body likes things to happen (especially sleeping and eating) at certain regular times.
Stone Age diet: Diet is the fuel in the tank and Dr Myhill recommends eating a Stone Age diet, saying: 'Modern studies of ancient tribes who continue to eat a Stone Age (Paleolithic) diet show that these people do not suffer from diabetes, obesity, heart disease or cancer.' The book outlines the principles of this diet and how to put it in place, including low 'glycaemic index' foods as well as foods that are chemical and allergen free. Her book gives a clear list of what you can eat (e.g. meat, salads, root vegetables, eggs, fishes, green vegetables and all herbs, seeds, certain spices and low carbohydrate fruits such as berries) and when. A suggested menu is also included with daily dietary suggestions.
Nutritional supplements: Dr Myhill confirms that taking nutritional supplements is essential in the 21st century and outlines the rationale for this. She recommends a daily programme that includes the multi-mineral mix (MMM) that she has developed herself, with no bulking agents or preservatives, vitamins D and B12, plus an omega-3 supplement high in the essential fatty acid EPA, such as Igennus's Vegepa, or Biocare's MicroCell Essential Fatty Acids for vegetarians, with a high dose of vitamin C in the evening. MMM contains essential minerals such as calcium, zinc, potassium, iron, manganese, iodine boron magnesium, selenium and chromium.
Adequate sleep: This, she says, is essential for life, recuperation and repair and she sets out the key rules that we should pay heed to: we need more sleep in winter than summer and one hour's sleep before midnight really is worth two after because growth hormone (needed for bodily repair) is produced only during the hours of sleep before midnight. The book is full of tips on how to get the best night's sleep and explains that many people have disturbed sleep because of hypoglycaemia – a crash in blood sugar during the night that puts the body into stress mode; adopting the Stone Age diet will put a stop to this.
Chemical check up: The book looks at toxins the body produces (especially free radicals) and also toxins that the body is exposed to, such as dental amalgam, air pollution, indoor pollution, silicone implants, smoking, pesticide residue in food, hair dyes and also occupational exposure for people like farmers, firemen, aviation staff and war veterans. It looks at toxic stress and highlights the benefits of antioxidants, chelation therapy and far-infrared sauna-ing as approaches to detox.
Diagnosis & Treatment of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is an easy to read self-help book based on years of clinical experience and supported by evidence-based research. Written in a clear, logical and concise way, the book is full of practical, comprehensive, step-by-step solutions for patients, and is equally a 'must read' for doctors and other health professionals as it provides a detailed treatment solution with an evidence-based approach.
'Diagnosis & Treatment of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome - - it's mitochondria not hypochondria' - £14.99 (print) and £7.50 (ebook) from www.hammersmithbooks.co.uk. Launched 5 April 2014 in print and for Kindle, Nook, Kobo and ipad.
Dr Sarah Myhill's biog
Dr Myhill has worked in the NHS and private practice since qualifying from the Middlesex Hospital Medical School in 1982 (medicine with Honours). For 17 years she was the Honorary Secretary of the British Society for Ecological Medicine (renamed from the British Society for Allergy, Environmental and Nutritional Medicine), a medical society interested in looking at causes of disease and treating through diet, vitamins and minerals and through avoiding toxic stress. She helps run, and lectures at, the Society's training courses and lectures regularly on organophosphate poisoning, the problems of silicone, CFS and so on. Dr Myhill is fully media trained and has had many appearances on TV and radio. She is also a founder member of OPUS (organophosphate users support group) – a charity to help sufferers of pesticide poisoning.
For reviews of Dr Myhill's book, please visit the CFS book reviews page of her website here: