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The Scoop on Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

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More than 1 million Americans have myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS). While researchers tie it to problems involving the brain, immune system, and energy metabolism, the causes of the illness and a cure remain undiscovered. Dana J. Brimmer, PhD, a visiting scientist at the CDC, explains what doctors do know.

Q: What is this disease?

Brimmer: Myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) is a serious, long-term illness that can radically alter patients’ lives and last for years. People with ME/CFS often have [symptoms that include moderate, severe, and substantial] pain, [debilitating] fatigue, and sleep problems.

While there is no cure, a diagnosis can help patients and families by giving them a better understanding of ME/CFS and knowledge about managing symptoms. In addition, [the National Academy of Sciences (NAS)] now gives doctors the guidance they need to evaluate and manage the condition.

What are the symptoms?

According to the [NAS], ME/CFS has five main symptoms:

A large drop in ability to perform a person’s usual activities that lasts for more than 6 months and is accompanied by fatigueSymptoms that get worse after doing physical or mental activities that would have been “usual” before they became ill (also known as post-exertional malaise, or PEM)Unrefreshing sleepDifficulty thinking, processing information, or concentratingSymptoms that worsen when a person stands up but improve when lying down (also known as orthostatic intolerance)

Many patients with ME/CFS say that PEM is the symptom that interferes with their lives the most. PEM is not always predictable, so it’s hard to plan activities. For example, a person with ME/CFS may be able to go to the grocery store without problems on some days. But on others, the trip could confine them to bed rest for several days after. People with ME/CFS may also have pain, a sore throat, or flu-like symptoms.

What if a person suspects ME/CFS?

Talk to a doctor. Only a health care provider can make a diagnosis. Since symptoms vary, some patients find it helpful to keep track of symptoms and bring a list to the first appointment. People can find information about ME/CFS on the websites of the CDC and the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

How can I support someone with ME/CFS?

ME/CFS affects patients, families, and friends. The most important support you can provide is to understand that the illness is real and has long-term consequences. The severity of ME/CFS varies by person — for example, some people can still work, but others are very sick and homebound.

The illness can also vary for a single patient — sometimes she may appear “fine,” while other times, she may be too ill to do normal activities. Try to understand these ups and downs, and ask what you can do to help.

2x: Number of women who have ME/CFS as compared to men, although people of both sexes can have the condition.

30s and 40s: Ages when the condition most often appears. But it also can affect young kids, teens, and older adults.

$17 billion to $24 billion: Amount in annual medical bills and lost income due to ME/CFS in the U.S.

Find more articles, browse back issues, and read the current issue of WebMD Magazine.

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Source Here: webmd.com

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Congress Under Pressure: Colorado Officials Push for Cannabis Banking Reform

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With the end of Congress’ session just around the corner, marijuana advocates, stakeholders and lawmakers continue to push for marijuana banking policy change.

This time, Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D) joined forces with Lt. Gov. Dianne Primavera (D), Attorney General Phil Weiser (D), Treasurer Dave Young (D) and Department of Public Safety (DPS) Executive Director Stan Hilkey in urging congressional leaders to revisit the issue, reported Marijuana Moment.

In a letter sent on Monday to both House and Senate leaders, Colorado officials focused on the impact which a bipartisan marijuana banking bill will have in terms of public safety and industry equity,

“The lack of safe banking and financial services for the cannabis industry in the State of Colorado has become a dire public safety issue for highly regulated cannabis businesses operating in compliance with state …

Full story available on Benzinga.com

Original Post: benzinga.com

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New Data Shows Weed Legalization a Boon for Real Estate, New Jobs and Tax Revenue

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A new report from the Federal Reserve Bank shed light on the economic impact marijuana legalization has had in recent years, reported Marijuana Moment. Policy changes on the state level have resulted in increased commercial real estate demand, as well as a surge in tax revenues while creating more jobs.

According to an analysis from the Kansas City arm of the Central Bank, which collected data from several states under its jurisdiction, the Tenth Federal Reserve District, the cannabis industry has become one of the main economic sectors positioned to grow substantially in the coming period.

“Overall, the marijuana industry has had a significant effect on the economies of Tenth District states in the initial years after legalization,” the report said. “The emergence of the industry has …

Full story available on Benzinga.com

Article: benzinga.com

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Will Missouri Legalize Cannabis? Amendment 3 Suffers Another Attack This Time by State NAACP

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Cannabis legalization efforts in Missouri are under attack once again, this time by The Missouri State Conference of the NAACP.

What Happened

The Missouri NAACP, breaking with chapters in the St. Louis area is urging its members to vote against Amendment 3 on the Nov. 8 ballot, reported the Saint Louis Post-Dispatch.

The group announced Thursday that it believes recreational marijuana legalization, as it is proposed under Amendment 3, would prevent minorities from entering the cannabis industry. 

“Marijuana possession should not be a constitutional crime. Additionally, for years now, Black people, other minorities, and people who have been criminalized by marijuana laws in the past have been unable to enter the medical marijuana market,” the Missouri NAACP wrote. “That is not right. In an effort to prevent the permanent exclusion of minorities from the cannabis industry in the state of Missouri, the NAACP calls upon every voter to reject the criminalization of marijuana possession, de facto racist regulation of the cannabis market, and the wool being pulled over our eyes by the supporters of Amendment 3.”

Under Amendment 3, the first “comprehensive” cannabis business licenses would be provided to existing medical marijuana companies. 

The state’s chapter highlighted that the amendment “does not increase the number of available full market licenses” and claims that giving “micro” business licenses to disadvantaged groups makes a “very limited” program. 

According to Nimrod “Rod” Chapel Jr., president of the Missouri NAACP, members agreed last week …

Full story available on Benzinga.com

Source: benzinga.com

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