Classified by WHO as a Neurological condition (ICD10 93.3).
There is no
cause and no cure. ME affects all ages all social classes with a ratio of 3-1 females
affected. Although not a life threatening illness it can (in almost 25% of cases) be
severe leaving people housebound or even bedbound for long periods.
ME is genetically heritable but requires an environmental stimulus; a virus, infection and stress or trauma. Diagnosis is by way of exclusion; symptoms are both physical and cognitive and vary from person to person.
• Severe and persistent fatigue of a type entirely distinct from everyday tiredness
• Chronic pain - may be muscular, joint neuropathic, headache (often migrainous)
• Post exertional malaise sometimes with a flu like character
• Cognitive impairment
• Sleep disturbance
• IBS like symptoms
• Postural hypotension or rotational dizziness
• Increased sensitivity to sensory stimuli such as light or sound
• Recurrent sore throat - with or without lymphadenopathy
How common is ME?
An estimated 250,000 people are affected at any one time. Children as young as three have been diagnosed and adults up to age 80. Prognosis is extremely variable, most adults will improve by varying degrees with time, but health and functioning rarely return completely to the individual's previous healthy levels. Outcomes for children are much better. Early diagnosis, treatment and gentle rehabilitation result in many children recovering.
What treatment is available?
For adults there are outpatient facilities for the mild to moderate patient. Therapies include CBT, graded activity and pacing, used as management techniques to help people live with this condition. Prescriptive drugs are available for pain and sleep management. Children with ME are encouraged to anchor sleep, find a base-line of energy that is manageable and then gradually increase over a period of time to rehabilitate and hopefully recover.
ME North East
Covers the whole of the north east region and parts of north Cumbria
• Support in self-management
• Telephone, e-mail, skype support
• Social events
• Awareness raising
Q. Where can I get support for ME
A. ME North East
Chester le Street
Tel: 0191 3892222
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