Celebrities with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Posted by: Maff

Maff

I came across a story the other day about the Welsh professional golfer Ian Woosnam and his battle with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). Woosnam hasn't played a European Tour event since July after being diagnosed with CFS, but plans to launch his senior golf career next March at the Barbados Open.

This story made me curious to find out about other celebrities who are suffering from chronic

fatigue syndrome. I'd also discovered a few months ago that Ricky Carmichael, the hugely successful American motorcross/supercross rider, also had recently been diagnosed. His condition has meant he's had to pull out of a recent major event in Las Vegas and another in November. It sounds very much like the seventeen-time champion rider will have his motorcyle racing career prematurely ended by his illness.

 

In a press release dated October 9th he said: "I've just felt like I've been running out of steam the past few months. Training has been difficult. I've struggled to maintain my normal pace on my road bike and though I've been extremely tired, I've had a difficult time sleeping and never really feel rested."

One of the most well known CFS sufferers is Laura Hillenbrand, author of Seabiscuit: An American Legend, which also became a surprise hit movie. Seabiscuit tells the story of an ungainly racehorse that beat all the odds to become champion. The story has undeniable parallels with Laura's own struggles to become a best selling author despite being bed-ridden much of the time due to CFS.

A web search revealed that there are other well known CFS sufferers. An example is Amy Peterson a US speed skater who is nine-time US champion and has been to five winter olympics, collecting 3 medals along the way.

So it seems there are actually quite a number of well known individuals who are suffering the same as the rest of us. I'd like to think something good will come of their suffering and the publicity they generate will advance the cause of CFS sufferers everywhere. When people see that highly motivated and successful people at the peak of physical fitness can be struck down by CFS it may help them to realise that this is no 'yuppie-flu' or malingerers fantasy but a devasting illness that can wreck careers and lives.

I wish each of the individuals I've mentioned all the best in overcoming their health problems. In a perfect world nobody would have to deal with the consequences of CFS.

 

 

 

 

About: Matthew Hogg ("Maff")
Diagnosed with M.E./chronic fatigue syndrome aged only 11 years old and subsequently associated illnesses including irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS). Despite his own struggles he has constantly sought to educate and support others suffering from such "invisible illnesses" through his website, The Environmental Illness Resource. He fully recovered from MCS using his own approach and holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nutritional Health.

 

 

Comments (11)Add Comment
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written by gill gibb, February 27, 2008
Was interesting reading this, i have CFS which took 3 years to diagnois and recently i listened to radio 4's you and yours about the illness. they spoke to Lord Putnam who is also a sufferer, he was very inspiring. i listened to his story and realised i need to listen to my body and treat it with care. I have recently returned to work and with help from the sunderland hospitals CF clinic im doing well. i know ill never be the athlete i was come to that the mother and carer i was but at least im not bedridden so we need to counbt our blessings.
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written by leslie, February 27, 2010
Hi, Was hoping more well know celebrities had CFS so we could get some spokesperons out there. Have any of those menitoned above been approacable and talked to the media? So, many have not heard of it or really don't understand how deplitating it is.

Thanks, Leslie in Denver
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written by JimL., March 14, 2010
Hi Maff,

Bless you for this blog site you have made a resource of! I too suffer from CFS, going on 7 years now although I had hints of it's development going even further back than that. Mine is comorbid to my thyroid disease (Hashimoto's thyroiditis) and I know for a personal fact that the two can co-exist. even the U.S. NIH - Centers for Disease Control now states that CFS can survive well-treated hypothyroidism.

I would like to suggest to CFS sufferers that they have their vitamin D levels tested. I delayed doing this up untill only a month ago and mine came back deficient. It gave me a new glimmer of hope because both D "insufficiency" and "deficiency", the latter being more severe can seriously contribute to symptoms of CFS. It's easily treatable if diagnosed and can aid in symptom relief for CFS sufferers. I've only taken 3 of my Dr.-prescribed vit D mega doses (50,000 unit capsules) but I'm confident I'll see some degree of results once my deficiency is corrected. Maybe significant results (this is my prayer each time I take a dose, once weekly).

I just wanted to share that, although this may not have been the most appropriate article to do so on. I did love the article and was inspiring to read about the famous althletes with CFS. I wish them all recovery!

Interestingly, I heard a program on CFS on an Aussie radio station (I'm in the U.S.) on which several famous Australian athletes also attested to having CFS and how they have found some recovery and coping for it.

Thanks again for this great blog.
Maff
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written by Matthew Hogg, March 22, 2010
Hi Jim,

Thanks for your comment and kind words. I'm just doing what I felt I should...

Don't worry about this not being a vitamin D article. Readers will still no doubt find your information helpful. I myself have tried high dosages of vitamin D as you are doing and felt an immediate improvemtn in symptoms...particularly those of low mood and apathy. I suffer from SAD as well as CFS and high dose vitamin has proven as effective as any other treatment in SAD and I definitely found that to be the case.

Do you happen to recall the names of the Aussie athletes who had CFS? It would be great if people could leave comments with the names of more celebrities, athletes etc who have (or had) CFS.
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written by mischa, June 15, 2010
You didn't mention Michelle Akers, one of the worlds best female soccer players. She wrote a book on her struggles with CFS, which I am trying to locate so I can read.
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written by Leslie, December 23, 2010
I wonder how being exposed again and again to pesticides on golf courses may effect a person's health and contribute to CFS? I also wonder about racing motorcyles and regular exposure to gasoline fumes and other chemicals? There is more and more evidence that toxins in our environment are connected to CFS, obviously to Multiple Chemical Sensitvities and other illnesses.
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written by Mike Hawton, January 01, 2011
A Professional footballer I recall who played for Charlton Atletic and Plymouth Argyle suffered from this cruel illness. I believe he was called Gary Nelson. He went on to write books and represeneted the Professional footballers on the P.F.A. board. Best wishes to all fellow sufferers, many will never understand the severity of CFS/ME!
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written by Blake martinez, July 21, 2011
I was 24 when I was told I had CFS. I was perfectly healthy like many of you I'm sure and it all started with stomach flu which then started ibs, gerd, and then cfs. Very difficult for me. Now I'm currently doing ok. I just try to think positive and cherish the times I feel good. I think that as long as you can laugh then it's ok. You have to accept that you are different and have limitations and have to listen to your body or else it will be hard. For instance if your neck glands are swollen then lay down and put an ice cold rap on your neck to unswell the glands. If your tired then lay down. The good thing is you can still live a full life and travel have a family and kids and go to the movies and football games but have to do it in your own way. You must listen to your body like someone smart once said. The hard part is not being ale to be an athlete or work a full time job, but common people you can still make your body healthy so you shouldn't care about being an athlete and if you are then you only care about attention and should grow up already. There are other ways to compete without damaging your body and getting attention. Long story short control your thinking and it will help. Don't stress the small things cause as we all know stress can make you relapse and make you sick. Live love laugh and pray for a better day. Love everyone
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written by Gab Foley, January 29, 2012
I'm a sufferer of CFS and live in Australia. Some famous sports people from Australia who have CFS are:

* Alistair Lynch, notably one of the greatest Australian Football League players
* Layne Beachley, 7 times world champion surfer

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written by Steven Blake mba, March 26, 2012
Environmental issues trigger the illness and obviously continued exposure to the trigger problem will continue the illness. It is not the whole story however and I have developed a theory of why the autoimmune system does maintain the over reaction to the stimuli. I have carried out limited experiments with success and am now continuing research along those lines hoping to help people clear themselves of the illness rather than just mask the symptoms. I believe that there was a shut-down switch at a time the body needed it and that the switch can literally be turned back on.

There is light at the end of the tunnel and no it's not a train
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written by Stacie M, July 01, 2013
I was diagnosed with CFS earlier this year (April 2013). I started to feel ill in March 2012 and presented with symptoms of heart failure (Level two pitting edema in legs, feet, and ankles). All Echocardiograms, holster monitors, EKGs, and heart catheterization came back as normal. So I never really got a complete answer on why I was having heart failure symptoms. I started to feel better until October 2012. Prior to the CFS diagnosis I was also diagnosed with a stomach ulcer, GERD, small intestine bacteria overgrowth, mononucleosis, and cytomegalovirus. I was then ultimately diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome in April 2013. I was placed on Wellbutrin and basically told to come back in six months. I also have hypothyroidism which I take Synthroid for and a severe vitamin D deficiency which I take 5000 ICUs of vitamin D daily. The chronic fatigue syndrome cost me my job of 11 years. My disability claim was also denied by my insurance as there are no objective test findings for chronic fatigue syndrome.
Seven weeks ago I started a diet called the ideal protein plan . http://www.idealprotein.com/ca/home . In this time I have lost over 22 pounds. I have also seen an extreme boost of energy. I highly recommend those suffering from CFS to give this diet a try as it retrains your pancreas and helps boost your energy. This diet is also beneficial to those with type two diabetes and can reverse the diabetes altogether. I know firsthand how debilitating this disease can be and how little is really understood even by many doctors about it's existence. I just wanted to share what has been helpful to me in the hopes that it may be able to help someone else. smilies/smiley.gif I wish everyone whom are currently suffering good luck and good health!

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