What is ME – Myalgic Encephalomyelitis or Chronic Fatigue?
Kristina Symes ,
Table of contents
Myalgic Encephalomyelitis or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, is a little-understood, female-biased  illness. It is estimated that up to 90% of people with the condition go diagnosed  and about 25% of sufferers are severely ill . In recognition of the profound physical and psychological impact this disease has on its victims, August 8th has been designated as a Severe ME Awareness Day.
What is Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME), also known as Chronic Fatigue?
The disease is best known for a state of extreme and unremitting fatigue. A range of additional symptoms may suggest the presence of an infectious disease: myalgia, nausea, cognitive disturbance, “flu-like” symptoms, sore throat, palpitations, headache, and insomnia . In severe cases of ME, the fatigue syndrome patients may be bedridden and lose the ability to do the simplest of tasks, such as boil eggs for lunch  or feed themselves .
Diagnosing a Fatigue Syndrome
Although outbreaks of possible ME or chronic fatigue syndrome have been recorded since 1955 , and several studies have suggested a viral or bacterial etiology, a lack of coherent understanding of etiology and pathogenesis makes the diagnosis of ME or chronic fatigue syndrome particularly difficult. Fatigue syndrome symptoms may persist for years  and patients in general practice settings may be sent from one specialist to another until all other potential disorders (notably Lyme disease  ) are discounted. Since most patients with ME or chronic fatigue syndrome are ultimately referred to Infectious Diseases specialists, GIDEON lists the condition in its database, allowing clinicians to run a side-by-side comparison with similar diseases.
Treatment to improve the quality of life of chronic fatigue syndrome patients demands significant changes in lifestyle, such as creating a quiet, environment to help reduce the effects of hypersensitivity [11, 12]. Fatigue syndrome treatment is tricky especially with the range of symptoms and difficulty of diagnosis of the illness.
There is currently no known cure for this syndrome. A variety of drugs are currently under review, including Metformin and Momordica charantia extract . Newer diagnostic techniques include a nanoelectronics-blood-based diagnostic biomarker .
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