What is ME (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis)?
CFS / ME is a complex disease with physical, cognitive, neurological and immunological symptoms. The main problem is a new onset and persistent, unexplained sickly fatigue. Symptoms are intensified by both mental and physical effort. Average activity levels are reduced by at least 50 percent compared to how it was before getting ill.
It can cause serious problems in performing daily activities such as work, school, housework, leisure activities and driving. The sickest are bedridden and in need of care and very sensitive to sensory input. They may struggle with eating enough food.
It is estimated that 10,000-20,000 persons in Norway suffer from the disease.
What are the symptoms?
The core symptom is a characteristic post-exertional malaise from which one does not recover normally by resting.
In addition, patients have various additional symptoms such as:
* sore throat, tender lymph nodes, fever (immunological)
* impaired memory, reduced concentration (cognitive disturbances)
* fall in blood pressure, palpitations, dizziness (autonomic disturbances)
* visual and / or hearing disturbances, numbness, tingling or stinging of the skin (sensory disturbances)
* muscle weakness (motor disturbances)
* muscle pain, joint pain, headaches
It also often includes sleep disturbances, flu or fever feeling, frequent urination, irritable bowel syndrome, dizziness, numbness, nausea, problems with temperature regulation, cold hands and feet, hot flashes, increased thirst, intolerance to certain foods or chemicals, hypersensitivity to sensory input and more.
There is normally considerable variation in symptoms and intensity. This is a quote from the Health Directorate. Read more on their info pages on ME / CFS. As of today there is no cure or recognized treatment for ME, except to learn coping techniques and to learn to live with the disease. ME is a disease of unknown cause for the time being, however, with many people it comes on after various types of infections, such as mononucleosis.