Myalgic encephalopathy/chronic exhaustion syndrome (M.E.) is an extremely serious, long term illness that affects multiple body systems. People with ME/Cfs are perpetually unable to perform their most basic activities. This can include common movements like walking or bending.
Me/Cfs is classified as a progressive disorder because it gradually loses control. Once the condition appears, there is no known cure. Treatments for people with this condition typically involve a combination of lifestyle and dietary changes. In addition, some type of medication may be prescribed for this syndrome to block or reduce certain neurotransmitters in the brain.
Most people who have been diagnosed with M.E. experience symptoms such as chronic fatigue, muscular pain, headaches, shortness of breath, sleepiness, irritability and general tiredness. Although myalgic encephalopathy/chronic exhaustion syndrome causes symptoms in almost all individuals with whom it comes into contact, it tends to strike women more frequently than men. In addition, people who work in extremely physically demanding jobs are more prone to become afflicted with the illness.
When myalgic encephalopathy/chronic fatigue syndrome strikes, it leaves sufferers almost completely unable to perform their daily activities. Some symptoms are less obvious, like memory loss or difficulty concentrating. More common symptoms include extreme exhaustion, severe muscle pain, loss or lack of appetite, headaches, shortness of breath, numbness or tingling in the hands or feet, muscle weakness or cramps, and stomach problems. Although these symptoms tend to manifest over a period of time, they can result in significant disability and impairment. In advanced cases, symptoms may even lead to severe illness. This is why it is especially important to have your doctor evaluate your symptoms and perform testing to confirm the presence of this condition.
If myalgia gets better, it usually follows a course of therapy that gradually eases the effects of the illness on the body. A very common treatment for chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalopathy is an antiviral medication, which in many cases can relieve symptoms. Antiviral medications are designed to attack specific viruses that cause the illnesses. For example, if the virus causing cholera is attacking the liver, an antiviral medication that attacks the virus triggering the hepatitis will effectively treat both problems.
Scientists are still researching ways to better treat various symptoms of myalgia, but so far there is no known cure for it. Some people take comfort in this because, despite its lack of a cure, they can at least take comfort in knowing that myalgia is not a long-term disease. It’s still better to be comfortable than to suffer from symptoms for a lifetime.