MYALGIC ENCEPHALOPATHY (M.E.)
Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) causes
persistent fatigue (exhaustion) that affects everyday life and doesn't
go away with sleep or rest.
CFS is also known as ME, which stands for myalgic encephalomyelitis.
Myalgia means muscle pain and encephalomyelitis means inflammation of
the brain and spinal cord. Both CFS and ME are commonly used terms.
Sometimes the term 'myalgic encephalopathy' is used. Encephalopathy
means a condition that affects brain function.
CFS is a serious condition that can cause long-term illness and
disability, but many people – particularly children and young people –
improve over time.
It is estimated that around 250,000 people in the UK have CFS. Anyone
can get CFS, although it is more common in women than in men. It usually
develops in the early 20s to mid-40s. Children can also be affected,
usually between the ages of 13 and 15.
Most cases of CFS are mild or moderate, but up to one in four people
with CFS have severe symptoms. These are defined as follows:
•Mild: you are able to care for yourself, but may need days off work to
•Moderate: you may have reduced mobility,
and your symptoms can vary. You may also have disturbed sleep patterns,
and need to sleep in the afternoon.
•Severe: you are able to carry out minimal
daily tasks, such as brushing your teeth, but you have significantly
reduced mobility. You may also have difficulty concentrating.
• www.meassociation.org.uk - Information on support services,
• www.afme.org.uk - Action for M.E. ,
national charity. Have publications to download, support group info
• www.nmec.org.uk - National M.E. Centre