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UK Snooker Players And Their Battles Off The Baize

Saturday 4 July 2015


From UK news outlet The News Hub:


Jason Weston
Jason Weston
(Photo: Sarah Standing)

Snooker players and their battles off the baize

By in Other Sport
18 June 2015, 19:08 GMT

Jason Weston has just won a pro tour snooker card for two years after qualifying through QSchool last month. But, off the baize he is fighting and managing another tough battle.

The 44-year-old Portsmouth cueist suffers from CFS (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome) or ME, as it is sometimes called - although there is still some doubt over which term to use in how to define this type of illness.

CFS is an unusual illness which, according to NHS Choices, has 250,000 people in the UK sufferering from it.

It is an illness which causes a person to be constantly tired - and the feeling doesn't go away from just normal sleep or rest.

The illness is treatable, but can cause unusual patterns in sleep, i.e, some people will want to sleep in the afternoon, and will probably not sleep very well at night.

The actual causes are not exact, but it could be due to stress or anxiety, a hormone inbalance, or, a viral bacterial infection. More research is needed.

This year, US researchers proposed the illness be renamed “systemic exertion intolerance disease” – rather than myalgic encephalomyelitis.

There are also three levels of the illness, moderate, mild and severe. In the severe cases, you will have reduced mobility, and feel extremely tired and lethargic.

Possible treatment involves the use of CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy), medication to treat poor sleep patterns, and, a structured exercise regime.

Snooker is a mental sport, and, for Weston, he has apparently learned how to deal with the illness. He told the Portsmouth News that it had been 12 years since he had picked up a cue, and that he felt like he was given another bite of the cherry to play the sport he loves.

Weston was on the pro tour in the 1990s, and his highest ranking he got to was 73 in the world.

But then he fell off the tour after he was diagnosed with CFS.

According to a statement by a panel of individuals, selected by the National Institute for Health, more research needs to be undertaken into the illness. They also claim that clinicians need to be more sympathetic to the illness when patients are seeking a diagnosis.

Dr [Anthony] Komaroff, US researcher at Harvard says the NIH [National Institutes of Health] and IOM [Institute of Medicine] reports "should put the question of whether ME/CFS is a 'real' illness to rest.

He added: "When skeptical physicians, many of whom are unaware of this literature, tell patients with ME/CFS that 'there is nothing wrong,' they not only commit a diagnostic error: They also compound the patients' suffering."


Ali Carter, who now has the all clear from Lung Cancer, can testify to the tough battles that snooker players face off the baize. Not only did he have to suffer and battle cancer, twice (see video), he suffers from Crohns Disease.

He revealed in 2012, his battle with the disease.

A disease he has, like Weston, learned to cope with.

Crohns, like CFS, is not exact in how it is caused, and, like CFS, is uncommon, although, 115,000 in the UK DO suffer from it.

People with Crohns can have periods where they are "free" from it, and, then suddenly it flares up. The exact causes are not yet known.

When it does flare up, treating the inflammation of the digestive system is key.

According to a pilot study, people suffering from Crohns may benefit from taking VITAMIN D tablets. 27 patients were randomly tested and the results suggested over a three month period, their digestive transits improved significantly.


The above originally appeared here.


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