What is Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?


Myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) is a condition that causes you to feel very tired, even after minimal activity. It can affect people of all ages. People with ME/CFS may have a wide variety of symptoms, from mild to severe.

Doctors do not understand what causes ME/CFS. They believe that many factors can contribute to the illness, including immune, central nervous system and metabolic processes. They also think that ME/CFS may be triggered by infection.

Some people develop ME/CFS after a flu-like illness. Others become ill gradually over months or years.

There is no one diagnostic test for ME/CFS. It can take months or years to get a diagnosis. People with ME/CFS often experience a lot of pain and other symptoms before they are diagnosed. They can have a variety of different medical and psychological treatments.

It is important to know that there is no cure for ME/CFS. But treatment can help reduce symptoms and improve quality of life. People with ME/CFS should try to rest as much as possible. This includes sleeping at the same time each night and not napping for more than 30 minutes during the day. It is also important to avoid stress, eat healthy meals and exercise.

People with ME/CFS may have comorbidities (conditions that occur together). For example, many people with ME/CFS also have fibromyalgia, which can increase the muscle pain of ME/CFS. It is important to treat these comorbidities because they can worsen ME/CFS. Treatment may include medication and exercise.

Some people with ME/CFS find that cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and graded exercise therapy (GET) are helpful. CBT and GET are designed to change unhelpful illness beliefs and coping behaviors that can lead to deconditioning and poor functioning. These treatments are usually done in person.

Other people with ME/CFS can benefit from medications to treat symptoms, such as pain and sleep problems. Medications should be started at lower dosages and slowly titrated up to avoid triggering drug sensitivities that are common in ME/CFS. In addition, people with ME/CFS should avoid alcohol and caffeine.

ME/CFS can have a devastating impact on the lives of people who have it. Three out of four adults with ME/CFS are unable to work full time and some need around-the-clock care. People who have the most severe ME/CFS may be confined to their homes and bedbound. However, those with the less severe form of the disease can have good days and can make progress on their recovery goals. If you have ME/CFS, it is important to keep up with your health care and to ask for help when you need it. You can get support from family, friends and community groups. You can also join online support groups to connect with other people who have ME/CFS. You can also learn more about this condition by reading articles and watching videos on this website. You can also ask for a referral to a specialist. A healthcare provider can give you an accurate diagnosis and recommend the right treatments for you.