Often referred to as chronic fatigue syndrome, Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME) is a long-term neurological disorder that affects millions of people worldwide. It is characterized by extreme fatigue that stops patients from performing their daily activities. It is often triggered by a viral infection, such as the flu. The condition is more common in women than men, and can affect children as young as 10.
Although ME is not considered a psychological disorder, it can affect people of all ages and backgrounds. People with this condition typically experience extreme fatigue, sensitivity to light, and other symptoms that can affect their daily lives. Symptoms can vary from person to person, and may involve the immune system, musculoskeletal system, and central nervous system. It is usually diagnosed through the use of diagnostic criteria.
While some people are able to treat their symptoms by taking anti-sickness medication, others need to make significant changes in their lifestyle. Many sufferers find that a good night’s sleep helps them to recharge their energy levels. Other therapies include pacing, which allows patients to match their activity to their energy level. Some people can also use physiotherapy. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence recommends that doctors consider ME diagnosis in patients who have extreme fatigue.
Patients with ME often struggle to find the right diagnosis and get the right care. They may be misdiagnosed, confused with other conditions, or have their symptoms overlooked. In order to get a correct diagnosis, patients need to understand the differences between symptoms that are caused by ME and those that are caused by other illnesses. A person with ME might not be able to complete daily activities, but they may be able to study or do light domestic tasks. In severe cases, people can spend much of their time in bed, and they are dependent on others for all care.
Patients may be confused with other diseases, such as fibromyalgia or irritable bowel syndrome. Despite the similarities between the symptoms of these diseases and those of ME, there is no universally accepted treatment. Antidepressants are often used to help patients deal with the symptoms of ME, but they do not actually cure the disease. The medications are designed to help patients deal with their symptoms and the changes in their lifestyles.
In addition to a poor quality of life, people with ME report lower health-related quality of life scores than those with other chronic illnesses. Despite this, most people with ME report that they are more disabled than they are healthy. They often struggle to perform daily tasks, and they often have cognitive problems. They may be unable to work, study, or participate in social activities.
There is no known cause of ME, but it has been linked to genetic abnormalities. Studies have shown that people with ME have gene activity differences in white blood cells. The condition also involves the vagus nerve, which is a nerve that is located throughout the body. Studies also have found that people with ME have metabolic abnormalities.