Although there is no universal cure for ME, treatments for this chronic illness have improved symptoms and improved the functional capacity of some patients. Many patients have trouble getting a proper diagnosis, which often results in misdiagnosis and mistreatment. Because treatments are often not approved in the medical community, patients with ME may need highly individualized treatment plans. There is also no test for the disease. ME is a multisystemic disorder, with biological abnormalities affecting many bodily systems.
Although there is no cure for ME, doctors have developed medications that help patients manage the symptoms. Pacing helps people with ME match their activity level with their energy levels and avoid crashes. Other treatments include medication, although some medications can exacerbate ME symptoms. Medical professionals also offer assistance with applying for disability and obtaining special accommodations for people with ME. It is vital that patients receive the proper diagnosis and treatment for ME in order to live a normal life and pursue a full recovery.
The Institute of Medicine has recently awarded three collaborative research centers to accelerate the research on ME. Two of these centers are located in New York State, at Cornell University and Columbia University. In the meantime, patients may reach out to organizations listed below for support and medical providers who specialize in the disease. ME Action is a patient-led international network that campaigns for health equity. The Institute of Medicine’s report is an excellent reference for patients with ME. But before a diagnosis is made, a patient must understand the symptoms of the disease.
If ME/CFS symptoms aren’t present 50% of the time, the doctor should consider another diagnosis. They should also ask you about your lifestyle to determine whether it’s true that you have ME/CFS. Some people have mild symptoms and others have no symptoms at all. The CDC’s website for this illness explains the symptoms of ME/CFS and how to explain them to others. They also provide advice on emotional and psychological aspects of the illness.
In general, people with ME have poor energy levels. A recent study found that ME is common among minority groups. Approximately one million Americans suffer from this disease. It’s more common in women than in men, but it can strike anyone regardless of age or race. Many cases of ME have no apparent underlying medical cause. However, researchers do know that genetics are a significant risk factor. In rare cases, ME may be the result of a virus, or a bacterial infection.
Although there are similarities between ME/CFS and fibromyalgia, these illnesses are distinct. In SNOMED CT, the NHS’ electronic classification system, ME/CFS is categorized as a neurological disorder with no known cause. The Department of Health acknowledges the seriousness of this condition in the United Kingdom, and its debilitating effects. A 2002 report to the Chief Medical Officer further reinforced the seriousness of ME/CFS. Although there is no single test to confirm or rule out the diagnosis, research has indicated a correlation between chronic fatigue and mortality.