10 October 2019 14:49
Most people in the UK who think they have Lyme disease "probably do no", according to an expert. Hundreds of patients seek diagnosis for the condition after they visit their GP with symptoms that could also match those of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome - tiredness and loss of energy can be a sign of Lyme disease. But because of the stigma attached to the syndrome they do not want to accept the diagnosis, or find that doctors shy away from telling them they have chronic fatigue syndrome, scientists explained. Dr Sarah Logan, lead consultant at the Hospital for Tropical Disease, University College London Hospitals, said: "Most people who now think that they may have had Lyme disease, in fact have a syndrome that is more in keeping with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Most people who now think that they may have had Lyme disease, in fact have a syndrome that is more in keeping with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome "And because there is increased awareness about it, they are testing for Lyme Disease and then they are going on to various different Lyme disease forum on the internet and being told, 'well actually the UK tests are rubbish, but you need to send it off to Germany'.
"And then they are coming back with a test that is positive and saying 'you doctors are all wrong and I don't have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, I have Chronic Lyme disease'. "So I think that most people who think they have got Lyme disease in the UK, probably don't." She explained that she did not think it was an issue of doctors not being able to diagnose chronic fatigue, but that the problem may lie in the "stigma" still attached to the condition. Dr Logan added: "It is the sort of syndrome that is difficult for people to hear when they are told that they might have it, and it is also difficult for doctors to give the diagnosis because at the moment our treatments and out support network within the NHS for patients with chronic fatigue is not great. "I think we are not doing these patients a great service at the moment by not confronting the issue upfront - to be honest I think GPs probably do shy away a little bit from spelling out those words to patients, because they feel this is terribly unsatisfying for everybody.