A FERMANAGH woman has overcome her battle with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS/ME) and wants to help others who are in the same situation.

Pauline McGoldrick, from Ederney, has battled with the condition for more than 20 years, and says she first noticed symptoms after she had her children.

She said: “About 20 years ago, after my children were born, I was diagnosed with ME, which is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

“The main thing with chronic fatigue is extreme tiredness and just feeling generally unwell. It can bring on depression, anxiety and not feeling well, whether mentally, physically or emotionally.

“You wake up every day feeling like you have the flu.”

Now, a determined Pauline wants to help others, using her own experiences, and her qualification as a Diet and Nutritional Advisor/Consultant, to raise awareness of the condition and offer help and hope to other ME sufferers.

She revealed: “I’ve developed my own treatment programme for ME.” Pauline said that, having tried and tested many methods, her programme – which she described as alternative therapies including rest used with supplements – can help people manage the condition better.

“I developed the programme to help people work around auto-immune disease. I took a career break and got back into studying, and I started studying ME for three more years.”

Pauline decided to focus her time on studying auto-immune disease after the death of her mother in 2013.

She has called her programme, ‘Autoimmune: The Holistic Way’, and wants to use it to help others who have experienced autoimmune conditions.

Pauline now believes that she has “overcome” the condition and wants to use her knowledge and experiences to help others.

“I’ve had a 20-year battle with chronic fatigue; I know how it feels. It annoys me to see people tired, because I know how it feels to be really tired.”

Pauline explained how she “struggled” with day to day tasks. She said: “I would have had to hold on to things, walking. I remember walking up the hall and the children were only three and one. I remember holding on to the walls just to get up the hall. I was very weak with ME.

“I remember, when the kids were wee, I had to use a floor brush to brush the toys and blocks into the corner in the evening, as I hadn’t the energy to get down on the floor. It was soul-destroying.”

The condition can impact on people in many ways. Pauline also touched on other issues, outside of tiredness and mental health, that can have an impact on people who suffer from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

One of the ways it can impact people is through issues with the digestive system. Pauline said: “I would have had digestive issues such as constipation, IBS [Irritable Bowel Syndrome], severe PMS and nerve pain.

“I do believe that most of it comes from the gut. They say the gut is the core of a lot of health issues. It is where you hold all your stress and your emotions, and that’s what developed as my digestive issues.

“I couldn’t even eat, with the pain – I had stomach pains every time I ate.”

At the time, Pauline approached doctors on the issue but there was nothing that could be done about her diagnosis. Today, however, there is a much greater understanding of the disease, and there is much more medical advice and support on the issue.

Consult your doctor for advice if you feel that you are suffering from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.