Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) and Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME) affect millions of people worldwide. Many lives and many families have been devastated by these syndromes, and the cost to both communities and society as a whole in terms of lost productivity is enormous.
Yet they remain Cinderella conditions, poorly-researched and under-treated, orphans in terms of medical effort. Worse still, their annexation by the psychiatric establishment in countries such as the United Kingdom as psychological in nature has lead to untold misery. Patients are desperate to recover, but are told their illness are the results of ‘faulty belief systems’.
Dr Sarah Myhill is one of the world’s leading physicians in the fight against both Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Myalgic Encephalomyelitis. She has treated thousands of patients with these conditions and published several papers and books on the subject, links to which can be found below.
In this fascinating short film, she describes her journey from general practitioner working in the National Health Service (NHS) in the UK to a doctor specialising in the patients other doctors considered hopeless cases.
One of the reasons Dr Myhill eventually left the NHS was because she had become frustrated with treatment approaches that used drugs to suppress symptoms, rather than understand and treat the causes of the actual illness.
Dr Myhill’s experience in general practice was that many of her colleagues had lost the appetite for a critical question – why? What is the underlying cause of this patient’s ill health? How can the progression of this pathology be halted?
Initially specialising in allergy, Dr Myhill found that dietary approaches such as elimination diets produced good results, and often also helped her patients with CFS/ME. But there was a group among them who did not improve, and she began a forensic level of research to find out why.
Thinking about energy production and the human metabolism, she looked at how we create the energy we need to live, and how we spend it. An imbalance on either side of that equation can lead to fatigue, exhaustion and disease. Working with the brilliant Dr John McLaren Howard, she was the inspiration behind the creation of his ATP profile test. The most basic unit of energy production in our bodies are our mitochondria, the tiny organelles that live in each of our cells. It is our mitochondria that are the tiny power stations that create our energy. By creating this test, and carrying it out on a cohort of patients and matching their clinical profiles with their results, Dr Myhill, Dr McLaren Howard and Dr Norman Booth, a physicist from Oxford University, developed the world’s first objective measure of mitochondrial function, which is an essential part of human energy production.
In describing her model for recovery to her patients, Dr Myhill uses the analogy of a car. You need the right fuel for the vehicle to run – no good putting diesel in a petrol engine. You need a functioning accelerator to move forward – the work of the thyroid gland (which is discussed in more detail later in this playlist). You need a working gearbox – the adrenal gland, which is such a critical player in the production of many hormones required for life and for energy. And because life is always a struggle between getting the nutrients you need to live, and processing both natural and man-made toxins, you need a good catalytic converter – the role played by the liver and the kidneys.
A healthy diet, low in fermenting foods such as carbohydrates and sugars, is the fuel necessary for the engine to run clean, and gut health is increasingly recognised as a critical component in immune function.
Empowering her patients to take responsibility for what they eat, how they live, and how they engage with the process of regaining their health, has always been a guiding light for Dr Myhill. Everything in this film can also be found in her books. For the basics of her treatment approach, please see ‘Diagnosis and Treatment of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Myalgic Encephalitis”, purchasable from the link below.
To learn more about Dr Myhill’s work, please see
To buy Dr Myhill’s books, please see
To learn more about the exciting new health portal Dr Myhill has launched, Natural Health Worldwide, please see
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