I have Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME) or chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS).
ME is a debilitating condition affecting people of all ages. The most common symptoms are intense fatigue, unrefreshing sleep and problems with concentration. It can also cause pain, dizziness, bloating and constipation.
It is a chronic illness that is incurable and does not have any cure. It can make it hard to work, go to school or even drive a car. It can make you feel like you are constantly exhausted and can leave you feeling depressed or overwhelmed.
There is no known cure for ME, but there are treatments that can help you cope with the condition and improve your quality of life. These include pacing, using a range of medications and supplements, and getting enough sleep.
The best thing you can do for yourself if you think you have ME is to tell your doctor as soon as possible. They can take your medical history and check to see if you have any other conditions that could cause the same symptoms as ME. If they believe you have ME, they will refer you to a specialist who will carry out tests and make the diagnosis.
You can also keep a diary of your symptoms and bring it to your GP. They may be able to diagnose you after 3 or 4 months of seeing a pattern of symptoms and can give you advice on how to deal with your condition.
Your GP will also look at your medical history and blood tests to see if there are other illnesses that could be causing your symptoms. If there are, then your GP will recommend treatment for these illnesses.
Some people with ME find it helpful to talk to other people who have ME or to a support group. This can help them understand how they feel and what it is like to live with the illness.
ME can be very disabling and you should seek support as soon as you suspect that you have the illness. It is important to get diagnosed early so that you can start treatments as soon as possible.
The most common symptom of ME is severe fatigue that lasts more than 24 hours and cannot be relieved by rest. Other symptoms include difficulty concentrating, unrefreshing sleep, pain, dizziness and problems with temperature regulation.
Symptoms can vary from person to person and can come on suddenly or gradually over time. They can also be triggered by certain activities or stress, such as after a long period of being sick or after a stressful event.
Some people with ME can be sensitive to certain medicines so your GP should recommend the safest ones for you. They can also recommend a range of other treatments that can help you cope with the disease.
ME/CFS is a chronic illness that affects about 250,000 people in the UK and over 1 million people in the USA. It is a complex, life-changing illness that can be very debilitating. There is no cure and the condition affects your everyday life and relationships.