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Science
CASE NOTES
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Tuesday 21:00-21:30
Repeat Wednesday 16:30
Dr Mark Porter gives listeners the low-down on what the medical profession does and doesn't know. Each week an expert in the studio tackles a particular topic and there are reports from around the UK on the health of the nation - and the NHS.
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LISTEN AGAINListen 30 min
Listen to 11th October
PRESENTER
DR MARK PORTER
Dr Mark Porter
PROGRAMME DETAILS
Tuesday 11th October 2005
Tired-looking man

Full programme transcript >>

Tired all the Time

Being 'tired all the time' is now such a common reason for a GP visit that TATT has become a universal acronym.

In this week's episode of Case Notes Dr Mark Porter investigates the medical causes of TATT. 

His guest in the studio is London GP Dr Ann Robinson who discusses the latest research and treatments for chronic tiredness.

Why are we so tired?

Most cases of TATT have a psychological reason such as stress, depression, or acute anxiety due to problems like divorce.

However if none of these become apparent at a consultation, a GP will order blood tests for anaemia, thyroid problems and diabetes.

Mark visits consultant haemotologist Dr Brian Colvin at his lab at the Royal London Hospital to find out what exactly is going on in the blood of patients with these conditions.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Sufferers of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome - also known as M.E. (myalgic encephalomyelitis) - feel profound, overwhelming exhaustion which is made worse by activity, and is not relieved by resting.

While it's not known exactly what causes the condition, some researchers think that it could be triggered by an infection, even a minor one. Stress can also be a factor.

Professor Leslie Findley, consultant neurologist at Oldchurch Hospital in Hornchurch, tells Mark what doctors can do to help CFS sufferers

Coeliac Disease

Coeliac disease, where sufferers are intolerant to gluten, is a common cause of TATT which is not routinely screened for.

Although the more recognisable signs of coeliac disease are chronic diarrhoea, anaemia and severe weight loss, fatigue is also a symptom.

There are 250,000 diagnosed cases in Britain but research suggests up to 90% of sufferers don't know that they have it.

Claudia Hammond investigates why coeliac disease is so often overlooked, and speaks to sufferers about life on a gluten-free diet.
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