I am a people person
My main goal is to be a positive role model for others and encourage them to take charge of their own lives. I am also a strong advocate for people who are affected by chronic illness, especially myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) and chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS).
I believe in self-love and that it is possible to change the way we think about ourselves and our bodies. Having ME has taught me to be more aware of my body and how it responds to stress, and that I need to be gentle with myself and take the time to relax.
Symptoms vary from patient to patient, but most often people with ME experience post-exertional malaise (PEM), which is a severe worsening of symptoms that occurs when they are exposed to physical or cognitive exertion. In addition to PEM, ME patients may experience unrefreshing or disturbed sleep, trouble concentrating, pain and dizziness, bloating and constipation, problems with regulating their temperature and other symptoms.
The symptoms of ME can be very debilitating. In some people the condition develops gradually over months or years, while in others it is triggered by a sudden flu-like illness.
ME is a very serious illness that can be life-threatening, and it affects people of all ages. Most adults with ME can’t work and many children require extra help at school.
There are many factors that contribute to the development of ME, including genetics, central nervous system, immune and metabolic changes. Research is ongoing to learn more about these processes and how they relate to the development of ME.
When ME is diagnosed, a number of laboratory tests are usually carried out to look for signs of other conditions that may be causing similar symptoms. The results of these tests are sometimes used to make a diagnosis, although they can be difficult to interpret and they don’t always reveal the true cause of the illness.
If a diagnosis of ME is made, the person with ME will be given a treatment plan that is tailored to their specific needs. This includes medications, dietary advice and psychological support.
What does ME really mean?
ME is a long-term, fluctuating neurological condition that causes symptoms in multiple body systems. It is estimated that between 15-30 million people worldwide suffer from the illness.
It is most common in adults, with women being more likely to be affected than men. It is most commonly diagnosed in the 40- 60 age group, but can occur at any age.
Those with ME tend to have a low quality of life and are frequently neglected in primary care, with little improvement after a few visits. This has a detrimental impact on their physical and emotional wellbeing and can lead to isolation.
There is no known cure for ME, but there are effective treatments and management strategies that can improve the quality of life of those who have it. However, the most important thing is to be able to recognise when symptoms are getting out of control and seek urgent help.