Posted in Support ME
ME (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis) or CFS (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome) does not lend itself easily to definition or diagnosis. There still remains a considerable amount of dispute as to what it is, how it should be defined and what causes it. However, it is increasingly being acknowledged as a debilitating and genuine illness after years of controversial debate. The illness is recognised by the World Health Organisation as a ‘Disease of the Nervous System.’
Dr. Trudie Chandler, who runs a clinic for the condition at Kings College Hospital in London describes it as a syndrome characterised by “extreme exhaustion, muscle pain and a severe flu-like malaise” and other symptoms include difficulties with concentration and memory, loss of balance, digestive problems, visual disturbances, sleep disorders and mood swings.
However, the terminology applied to fatigue can also cause some confusion. After all, we all know what ‘fatigue’ is, but it is very hard to define or measure. As one UK specialist states, “the term ‘fatigue’ is at once meaningful and imprecise “). Studies show that it is common for between one-third to half the population to experience fatigue when they are run down, but this is very different to the debilitating fatigue experienced by ME/CFS sufferers. As Dr. Chandler states, “it’s important not to confuse chronic fatigue with chronic fatigue syndrome, which is a complex condition caused by a combination of factors.”