‘Sufferer’s plea for more research rebuffed by Health Secretary’ – The Press, York, 14 January 2011

From The Press, York, 14 January 2011 (story by Richard Catton).

A SERIOUSLY ill York woman has asked the Government to fund more research in to conditions which cause chronic fatigue.

Christine Wrightson, 64, had been confined to bed in her Huntington home after being struck down by a mystery illness in 2006. After NHS investigations failed to provide a diagnosis, Mrs Wrightson went private and was found to be suffering from pituitary disease and hypocortisolaemia, conditions similar to ME.

After recently writing to Conservative Health Secretary Andrew Lansley, pictured, she received a reply telling her that conditions such as ME and chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) were “neurological conditions of unknown cause”, and that the nature of the symptoms “could not be fully explained”.

Since her diagnosis in 2008, Mrs Wrightson has been prescribed drugs which have helped her obtain a degree of stamina, but she said it may take years before she is free of symptoms.

“I need a lot of bed rest and my life is very limited,” she said. “My consultant told me that when your body is starved of hormones for years it will take years to put them back.

“I want more research in to what’s causing ME and inflammation of the pituitary gland. They aren’t putting any funding in to this at all. I want GPs to accept it as a serious condition.”

She said prior to the condition taking hold in 2006 she led a reasonable life, despite also suffering from rheumatoid arthritis.

“Without the care and support provided by my husband I would not have been able to survive,” she said.

“There were 250,000 people diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome 10 years ago, I wonder how many of those have got pituitary disease.”

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