What is My Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS)?


ME is a chronic, progressive illness that causes widespread fatigue and multiple other symptoms that affect many body systems. This can make life difficult for people with ME and it can have a negative effect on their self-esteem and mental health.

ME/CFS is a complex condition that can have long-lasting effects on your health, including poor sleep and energy levels, pain, cognitive function and digestive problems. It can also impact your relationships, work, and ability to take care of yourself and your family.

There are many different types of ME/CFS and they can be triggered by a variety of infections or other triggers. For example, glandular fever, Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) and herpesviruses such as chickenpox/shingles, HHV-6 and CMV may all trigger ME/CFS in some patients. Other viruses or bacterial infections have been linked to ME/CFS, such as viral meningitis and gastroenteritis.

The symptoms of ME/CFS vary from person to person and the severity of the illness can fluctuate from day to day, week to week and month to month. The most common symptom is post-exertional malaise (PEM). PEM is a global increase in symptoms following any kind of exertion, such as physical exercise or cognitive work.

Other possible symptoms include headaches, muscle aches, shortness of breath, and gastrointestinal problems such as abdominal pain or bloating. Some people also experience other comorbidities, such as fibromyalgia and postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS).

Most importantly, ME/CFS is a progressive disease that can make a profound impact on your life. There is no cure, but treatments can help you manage your symptoms and improve your quality of life.

It’s important to get diagnosed early, because it can lead to a better treatment plan. It’s also a good idea to talk about your condition with your doctor, because they can help you understand what’s happening and how to manage it.

There are many other diseases that can cause similar symptoms as ME/CFS, so it’s important to have a thorough medical assessment and diagnosis. Depending on the type of ME/CFS you have, your doctor might refer you to a specialist who specializes in treating this condition.

The best way to find a doctor who can treat you is to ask your general practitioner or family doctor for referrals. Alternatively, you can look for a doctor who specialises in ME/CFS and ask for their contact details.

While some of the recommended treatments for ME have proved effective, others have been associated with adverse side effects or do not offer meaningful benefits. These include graded exercise therapy (GET) and cognitive behavior therapy (CBT).

ME is a difficult illness to diagnose, and it’s important to seek out support from your doctor or other healthcare professional. You can also look for support groups or organisations that offer peer support, information and advice.

There is no cure for ME/CFS or any other chronic condition, but there are many effective and safe treatments that can reduce your symptoms and improve your quality of life. The most common treatment for ME is to get a lot of rest and make lifestyle changes that can help you live more comfortably with the illness.