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YORK & DISTRICT M.E. SUPPORT GROUP

For People Affected by CFS/ME in Selby & York & the East Side of North Yorkshire

www.YorkMESupport.org.uk/

What is M.E.?

M.E. is a severe and debilitating disorder, or group of disorders. It affects around XXX men and women and children in the Yorkshire region of 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. However, the World Health Organisation classify it as a neurological illness and a 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.

Symptoms

The symptoms vary from person to person but this covers many:

Overwhelming fatigue, muscle pain, joint pain, un-refreshing and altered 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 body 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 hours.

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 on treatments or the resources sections.

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 because they do 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 name.