Despite the lack of an FDA-approved test for ME, there are ways to treat the disease. Pacing therapy helps people with ME match activity to energy level and prevent crashes. Medication can be used to reduce symptoms and increase functioning, but patients with ME are sensitive to medications. Your health care provider can help you apply for disability benefits, obtain accommodations, and obtain assistive devices for daily life. Learn about your options. You may already be living with ME.
ME is a neurological condition that has many symptoms. Symptoms may vary from person to person, and many different definitions exist around the world. Recent diagnostic criteria include post-exertional malaise (PEM). This is a sudden and global increase in ME symptoms after physical or cognitive exertion. The disease causes substantial loss of physical and cognitive function, and can lead to bedbound status. There is no known cure for ME, so treatment must be personalized.
In the United States, ME is classified under the category of diseases of the nervous system. The UK uses a SNOMED CT classification system. The Department of Health recognizes ME/CFS as a debilitating condition and a neurological disorder of unknown origin. A report to the Chief Medical Officer in 2002 reinforced the seriousness of the condition. Another study published by Sheffield Hallam University in 1996 estimated the economic burden of ME/CFS on the nation.
The National Institutes of Health recently funded three collaborative research centers to advance the understanding of ME. Two of the centers are located in New York State, and may serve as points of contact for medical providers who specialize in ME. The ME Action community is an international network of patients fighting for health equality. A website devoted to this topic has links to patient-friendly resources, and many other resources. You may also find a local group or physician who can provide support and referrals.
The CDC’s website for ME/CFS has information on diagnosing and treating ME. There are no definitive biomarkers for ME. Nevertheless, studies have revealed that biological abnormalities are common among patients with the disease. These include an altered immune system, altered gut flora, and abnormal physiological responses to exercise. In addition, you must meet certain diagnostic criteria in order to be diagnosed with ME. A doctor should consider the severity of symptoms in addition to your physical and emotional health.
ME can affect people of all ages, races, socioeconomic status, and gender. It is more common among women than in men, and is often a sign of depression. Women and children are the most vulnerable groups, and it can strike both sexes. In spite of this, most healthcare providers don’t recognize ME as a separate illness. The illness is not a life-threatening condition, but it can be difficult to recognize.
Treatment for ME/CFS varies. It may be triggered by an infection or by a specific environment. While some symptoms may occur suddenly, others develop gradually over a period of months or years. Patients may experience symptoms that make it difficult to perform daily activities. Moreover, the disease can affect a patient’s mental, emotional, and self-esteem. While there are no proven causes, the symptoms of ME/CFS are often very difficult to manage. That’s why it is important to find a treatment for ME/CFS that can treat the symptoms.