There is currently no cure for ME, but treatments are available that can help manage symptoms. These therapies usually involve changing daily routines, lifestyle, and activities. The National Institute of Health (NICE) recommends that people with ME receive a tailored treatment plan, based on their specific symptoms. Patients may be prescribed medication to treat aches and pains, such as paracetamol or ibuprofen. If these don’t provide relief, GPs may refer them to a pain clinic.
ME can affect anyone. The condition affects more women than men, but is also common in children and adolescents. It has a wide range of symptoms, and is difficult to diagnose. Many medical providers are unaware of the disorder. This makes it difficult to know exactly how common it is, but it is estimated that more than a million Americans suffer from ME.
ME is a chronic disease that presents itself in relapsing-remitting phases. This means that patients’ symptoms can increase or decrease, often dramatically. Patients with ME often experience fatigue that is particularly debilitating after exertion, such as strenuous exercise. The symptoms can also result in cognitive difficulties and impaired sleep.
ME is also referred to as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS). Although it can affect people of any age, it is most common in women, especially in their late 20s and early 40s. Research suggests that female hormones may play a role. In fact, women are four times more likely than men to develop ME.
The symptoms of ME can vary widely and can affect many areas of the body, including the immune system and central nervous system. While there is no cure for ME, it can be managed with appropriate support. In the meantime, patients with ME often experience a decreased quality of life compared to people with cancer and chronic fatigue syndrome.
The CDC website on ME/CFS contains a guide to identifying symptoms. There are no specific laboratory tests to diagnose the condition, so doctors must diagnose it based on symptoms. Because there are other illnesses that have similar symptoms, doctors must rule out other conditions before making a final diagnosis. There is currently no cure for ME/CFS, but some treatments can help patients cope with symptoms.
Functional MRIs have also been used to help diagnose the disease. These tests examine brain activity during mental tasks. They show that patients with ME have slower processing speed, poor short-term memory, and an inability to concentrate. Another research technique, known as voxel-based morphometry, allows doctors to map the brain structure in patients with ME and healthy individuals.
Although the cause of ME/CFS is unknown, the symptoms and associated treatment are often complex and difficult to manage. They can cause individuals to become depressed and inhibit daily activities. The condition also affects people’s mental and emotional well-being, so it is important to seek out support from others with the disease.