About M.E.

What is M.E. /CFS

ME/ CFS is a chronic illness, affecting the immune, hormone and central nervous systems.
The main symptoms are severe and overwhelming fatigue, muscle pain and weakness, flu-like feelings (e.g. sore throat, enlarged glands and joint pains), sleep and mood disturbance.
Many other symptoms can occur.
Symptoms fluctuate from day to day and the patient experiences periods of relapse and partial recovery.

How does M.E./CFS typically start?

Some form of infection (e.g.flu, glandular fever, hepatitis, tonsillitis) is the most usual trigger.
Less common triggers include vaccinations (e.g. Hepatitis B), pesticides (e.g. organophosphate sheep dip) and major stressful events.

Is there a diagnostic test?

 A diagnosis has to be made on the typical pattern of symptoms together with exclusion of the many other causes of chronic fatigue.
Your doctor may offer you a number of routine blood tests in order to exclude other conditions.

How should I manage M.E./CFS

There is no one treatment which is effective for everybody, but some things increase the likelihood of improvement.
Sufficient rest, especially in the early stages and during setbacks is advisable.
On the other hand, prolonged bed rest beyond the acute stage has its dangers, since the patient can become trapped in a vicious circle of immobility and weakness.

You will need to find a balance of rest and activity.
A good, healthy diet with plenty of fruit and vegetables can help.
Alternative therapies, such as acupuncture and homeopathy, may be worth a try.