People who have ME experience a wide range of symptoms, ranging from weakness to exhaustion. The disease is relapsing and remitting and most sufferers experience major fluctuations in their state of well-being. The hallmark symptom of ME is post-exercise malaise, which leads to significant reductions in functioning and a deterioration in symptoms. People with ME must limit their activities, as their bodies become too weak to cope with daily tasks.
Interestingly, the cause of ME is not yet fully understood. There are multiple causes of ME and different subgroups within the disease. Certain infections can trigger ME. Most commonly, a virus (Epstein-Barr) infection, which causes chickenpox and shingles, is the most common cause. Other potential triggers are enteroviruses and hepatitis A, B, and C infections. Another possible cause of ME is the Ross River virus.
In the past, there was no one cure for ME. Currently, treatments are focused on reducing symptoms and improving functioning in some patients. Different countries have developed different approaches to treat ME. The condition affects 25 percent of patients and has no cure. Individuals with ME have the lowest health-related quality of life scores of any chronic disease. Approximately 25% of patients are housebound. Therefore, medical care is essential. The symptoms of ME can be very debilitating, causing severe disability and poor quality of life.
While ME and CFS are similar in many ways, they do not share the same origins or treatments. The World Health Organisation classifies ME as a neurological condition, and CFS is classified as a chronic fatigue syndrome. These are two different conditions with varying severity and are diagnosed differently. However, they are both considered to be related to one another and have many people suffering from the condition. This is a common misconception about the symptoms of ME and is a major barrier to treatment.
The proposed diagnostic criteria for ME are based on the original description of the disease by Dr. Melvin Ramsay. While the original Canadian criteria are based on the original description of the disease, the validity of the London criteria has been questioned. Another set of proposed diagnostic criteria is called the International Consensus Criteria. While the criteria are not universal, there is no consensus on the definition of the disease and its management. Many people living with ME do not have an accurate diagnosis and therefore suffer in silence.
While a diagnosis of ME/CFS is often difficult, the symptoms of CFS and ME vary widely. The recovery time may be weeks or months. Patients with this disease may experience cognitive difficulties, including difficulty finding words and speaking, slowed responsiveness and short-term memory problems. Physical symptoms may also be associated with the condition, including joint, eye, abdominal, and abdominal pain. There is no consensus on the diagnosis of ME/CFS, but the CDC website offers a wealth of resources.
The prevalence of ME/CFS is estimated to be around one percent of the population, and there is no known cure. However, research suggests that the microbiome plays a crucial role in the symptoms. Interestingly, the microbiome has also been implicated in the development of ME. Researchers at the University of Hawaii have identified the role of hydrogen sulfide in ME/CFS. These findings are consistent with Dr. Ramsay’s work, and the findings show that it affects a large number of people.