Although ME is rare, it can affect any age group. One million Americans are believed to suffer from it. While it affects more women than men, it can affect people of all races and from all walks of life. Children younger than 10 are particularly susceptible to ME, and it is difficult to determine how many people have it in the United States. Unfortunately, few medical providers recognize the disease, making it difficult to assess its prevalence. However, there are ways to make diagnosis easier.
In addition to talking to a doctor, you can also learn how to manage your ME/CFS on your own. Making changes in your life can increase your energy and mobility. Planning your time can help you figure out patterns of how you spend your time and identify which activities take up your most energy. Remember that rest is vital to the recovery process. This includes resting from mental and physical activities. It can help you build a picture of your energy needs and your symptoms.
The simplest way to think about your energy level is by thinking of it as a cell phone. It’s fully charged in the morning, as it was plugged in over the night. After a good night’s sleep, you’re usually feeling refreshed and ready to tackle your day. If you’re suffering from ME, your body’s energy levels are like an old cell phone. You might not have enough energy to perform daily activities, and you’re not even aware of it.
In the UK, there’s a brochure about ME/CFS that is helpful for doctors. ME is a disorder characterized by symptoms that affect several body systems. The World Health Organisation classifies ME as a neurological disorder and categorises it as a chronic illness. The disease affects people of all ages and from all walks of life. Approximately fifteen to thirty million people worldwide have myalgic encephalomyelitis.
The cause of ME/CFS remains unclear, but it is well recognized as a debilitating neurological disease. The Department of Health published a report in 2002 reiterating the seriousness of ME/CFS. Another study, by the Sheffield Hallam University, estimated the annual economic costs of ME/CFS to the nation. Although there are no definitive diagnostic criteria for ME/CFS, the latest data is encouraging and has led to improvements in treatment and research.
The medical community has not yet developed a laboratory test for the diagnosis of ME/CFS. Because the symptoms are unrelated, diagnosis is often difficult and frustrating. The average patient may be diagnosed with ME after suffering for months or years. However, there are some symptoms that can be managed and may be alleviated by rest. But the key is getting the right diagnosis for ME. So, how can you get the right one? Here are some helpful steps.
Symptoms of ME/CFS may appear suddenly or develop slowly over time. It can be triggered by a bacterial or viral infection. Herpesviruses and enteroviruses have been implicated as potential triggers. Other people have reported a similar illness that developed after a COVID-19 outbreak. While there is no single diagnostic test for ME/CFS, doctors continue to search for differences in genes. In the meantime, research is needed to determine whether ME/CFS can be diagnosed.