M.E. is a severe and debilitating disorder, or group of disorders. It
affects around XXX men and women and children in the Yorkshire
all ages and ethnic backgrounds. There is currently no
clinical diagnostic test and the symptoms are diverse, leading
to considerable debate concerning its cause and pathology.
the World Health Organisation classify it as a neurological illness and
comprehensive report from the Government's Chief Medical Officer
(completed in 2002 and available here
concluded that it a genuine illness and gave formal
recognition of the illness.
The symptoms vary from person to person but this covers many:
Overwhelming fatigue, muscle pain, joint pain, un-refreshing and
sleep and sleep patterns; problems with memory, sequencing words and
numbers, thinking and concentrating; sensitivities including alcohol,
light, noise and other foods and chemicals; other digestive problems;
swollen glands and sore throat; problems in controlling
temperature, blood pressure and blood sugar levels. Mood problems.
Symptoms can vary widely over time. Activities, both physical or
mental, can cause increase in symptoms but this can be typically
delayed up to 72
A major symptom is an intense feeling of unwellness. This is difficult
to describe but has similarities to 'flu.
Treatment and Prognosis
The onset of ME may be gradual or sudden
and it is highly variable, in severity and
duration. An estimated 25% of
people with it are virtually confined to the house or bed. Many
sufferers of ME will improve with time. However, some can
remain chronically ill. There is no universal treatment although it
appears important to have adequate rest in the early stages.
Setting the correct level of activity by pacing
has had some good results.
Diet and food supplements can help and some hormonal treatments and
other approaches are
looking promising. For more information see the Action for ME web site
An AFME booklet on pacing can be found here
and diet information by Patrick Halford can be located here.
What's in a Name?
M.E. (myalgic encephalomyelitis/encephalopathy) is one name of many for
the illness. Many of the medical profession do not like this term
not feel that this is an accurate description of the illness and the
term chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is commonly used. The Chief Medical
Officer, of the Department of Health, used the title CFS/ME. Post viral
fatigue syndrome is another