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What is M.E?

Definition of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis

Myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) is a debilitating chronic disease that presents with symptoms in multiple body systems. ME has been classified as a neurological disorder in the World Health Organisation’s International Classification of Diseases since 1969 (ICD 10 G93.3).

People with ME/CFS are often not able to do their usual activities. Often, ME/CFS may confine them to bed. ME/CFS may get worse after any activity, whether it’s physical or mental. This is known as post-exertional malaise (PEM). Other symptoms include: pain, problems with sleep, thinking and concentrating, and dizziness and more. 1

People with ME/CFS may not look ill. However,

  • People with ME/CFS are not able to function the same way they did before they became ill.
  • ME/CFS changes people’s ability to do daily tasks, like taking a shower or preparing a meal.
  • ME/CFS often makes it impossible to keep a job, go to school, and take part in family and social life.
  • ME/CFS can last indefinitely and often leads to serious disability.
  • At least one in four ME/CFS patients is bed- or house-bound for long periods during their illness.

Causes

Myalgic encephalomyelitis is often followed by infection. Several studies have showed that a very common trigger for ME/CFS is mononucleosis/glandular fever (Epstein Barr Virus). 234

Treatment

The cruel thing about myalgic encephalomyelitis is that there currently is no standard treatment. However, bright doctors are working on solutions and it seems to be more promising than it has been for decades. Also, the COVID-19 pandemic has created much more awareness about post viral illnesses which could benefit ME-patients greatly.

References

  1. https://www.cdc.gov/me-cfs/about/index.html
  2. https://academic.oup.com/cid/advance-article-abstract/doi/10.1093/cid/ciaa1886/6048942?redirectedFrom=fulltext
  3. https://www.newswise.com/articles/nih-funded-study-examines-mono-chronic-fatigue-syndrome-in-college-students
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2756827/