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New hope for the "yuppie flu."

Whether you call it chronic fatigue syndrome or the "yuppie flu," it's no joke. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta defines it as "debilitating fatigue lasting at least six months, plus eight out of 11 influenza-like symptoms, including muscle and joint pain."

It's an unusual American who doesn't know someone who has it among one's family, friends, or work colleagues. It has been blamed on an earlier case of infectious mono-nucleosis, the so-called Epstein-Barr virus, or other offending agents, but the cause is still unknown, and not much has yet been accomplished in treating in.

Its victims have just had to learn to live with their disease--not an easy thing to do when you have to drag yourself around all day and convince these active, healthy people around you that it's not "all in your head." What is known is that chronic fatigue syndrome involvesan imbalanced immune system--the knowledge of which isn't much use in helping its victims to cope.

However, a new drug now under trial by the Food and Drug Administration has been designed to treat the disease. If the drag continues to produce the results it has thus far, and if the drug manufacturer can convince the FDA that its side effects are not those of the disease itself, its approval should bring great relief. As it are also used, as is bladder control training (increasing the time between trips to the toilet).

About 50 percent of these treatment methods work for only about 50 percent of patients, and that for only about six months. Female urologists are the most likely to diagnose and treat the disease.

To learn more about the disease, and to educate doctors concerning it, a registry of patients is maintained by the Interstitial Cystitis Association. For more information about this distressing problem, send a self-addressed, stamped envelope to: Interstitial Cystitis Association, P.O. Box 1553, Madison Square Station, New York, NY 10159.
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Publication:Medical Update
Date:Apr 1, 1992
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