ME (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis) is a debilitating, often life-threatening neurological condition that affects millions of people around the world. The main symptom is extreme fatigue. Other symptoms may include flu-like symptoms, brain fog, pain, muscle aches, swollen glands, joint pains, and high anxiety.
Symptoms vary from person to person, but in general, most patients report a great deal of physical and cognitive impairment. In addition, the majority of people affected by ME have a much lower quality of life than those with other chronic diseases.
Although there is no cure for ME, treatments can help reduce the severity of the disease and improve a person’s quality of life. These treatments generally involve lifestyle changes and adapting a person’s daily activities to suit their energy level. Many patients also use antidepressants, as well as physiotherapy. For others, medications such as ibuprofen are recommended.
People with severe ME may not be able to leave the house, and they need around-the-clock care. They may develop pressure sores, and they may also need to get help with eating and drinking. Some sufferers may also experience a sensitivity to light and sound. If you or a loved one is a patient with ME, you can contact the organizations listed below for additional resources and support.
Despite the lack of a definite cause, research suggests that genetics plays a significant role in the development of ME. Patients who inherit the disease from their parents have a greater risk of developing it than those who do not. Another factor may be female hormones. However, researchers are still working on the causes of this illness.
ME is a chronic condition, and can affect anyone at any age. It is estimated that about one million Americans have the disease, with women being more likely than men to be affected. Most adults who have the disease cannot work or study. This condition affects children and adolescents as well.
The diagnosis of ME can be a long and confusing process, as there are many possible diseases that can mimic the symptoms of ME. A doctor will make the diagnosis by excluding other conditions that cause similar symptoms. When making the diagnosis, a doctor will examine a person’s health history, as well as using tests to confirm the diagnosis.
Several factors can contribute to the onset of this illness, including viral infection, cognitive overexertion, and an immune system that becomes overactive. ME is also more common among women, although both sexes can develop it.
People with mild to moderate ME can do most of their usual activities, as long as they are able to cope with their symptoms. They may also be able to take on light domestic tasks, but they may not be able to spend a lot of time with friends or family. During the day, they may feel fatigued and have problems sleeping. At night, they may be drowsy, which can make their symptoms worse.
People with severe ME may experience long after-effects from the condition, and may have to be bedridden for a significant period of time. Depending on the severity of the disease, they may need to receive a wheelchair, tube feeding, or other assistance.