ME can affect anyone. There are around one million people living with ME in the United States, and the condition is a greater burden on women than on men. Those with ME may come from all walks of life, from the rich and famous to children younger than 10 years old. Unfortunately, despite the existence of several medical tests and procedures, a diagnosis of ME can be difficult because most healthcare providers do not understand the disease. Fortunately, there are many ways to learn more about ME and to find a qualified health care provider.
ME and CFS are categorized under diseases of the nervous system in the SNOMED CT electronic classification system. The Department of Health has deemed ME/CFS a debilitating neurological disease of unknown origin. A 2002 report to the Chief Medical Officer reiterated the seriousness of the condition. An academic study by Sheffield Hallam University in 1996 estimated the economic cost of ME/CFS to the nation. The findings of the study prompted the UK government to take action.
The symptoms of ME vary depending on the severity of the condition. Some sufferers have a wide range of symptoms, while others experience fewer than five. In the UK, most doctors have accepted the diagnosis as a serious illness. However, the World Health Organisation classifies ME as neurological disease. It affects 0.4 to 1% of the population. In the United States, one in every seven people suffers from ME, and it is estimated that at least fifteen million people worldwide suffer from the condition.
Because of the lack of a standardized diagnostic test, the prevalence of ME/CFS is difficult to estimate. Currently, some clinicians use their own clinical judgment in determining the diagnosis. Nevertheless, it is important to remember that there are many cases of ME, which makes it necessary to develop a universally accepted definition for the condition. The lack of standardized diagnostic criteria and a sensitive diagnostic test has also hindered research. If you’re experiencing symptoms of ME/CFS, consider these tips.