My A-Z of M.E. (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis)

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Hepatitis A , hepatitis B , or hepatitis C tests. Track what helps you feel better, as well as the things that make your symptoms worse. Use a mix of medical care, daily self-care, and support. Get specialist care when you need it. Sign "release of information" forms so that your doctors can work together as a team. Treat the worst first Start by listing your worst symptoms—the ones that make it hardest to get through the day. Sleep Good sleep habits can help improve the quality of your sleep.

Keep a diary for a week or so. Write down the times of day when you have energy and when you are tired. If there is a pattern to how your energy level changes during the day, try to plan your work, school, or other activities around that pattern.


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Do what you can to take charge of your fatigue level. Try not to do too much when you have more energy. If you do too much, you may become overtired. And it may take several days for you to recover. Sleep problems may add to your fatigue and other symptoms.

Go to bed only when you are sleepy. Get up at the same time every day, whether or not you feel rested. If you lie awake for longer than 15 minutes, get up, leave the bedroom, and do something quiet until you feel sleepy again. Avoid alcohol, caffeine, and tobacco well before bed. Alcohol can disrupt your sleep when you drink it within 4 hours of bedtime.

Caffeine is a stimulant that stays in the body for 12 hours. So make sure to avoid it during that block of hours before your bedtime. Keep the bedroom at a comfortable temperature. Get rid of all sound and light disturbances. Make sure your mattress provides good support. Use a neck support pillow to keep your head and neck from moving too much when you sleep. Take naps if you need to. Keep them short 20 to 60 minutes. And try not to take them late in the day or evening.

Medicines that may be helpful include acetaminophen such as Tylenol , ibuprofen such as Advil or Motrin , and naproxen such as Aleve. Be safe with medicines. Read and follow all instructions on the label. Talk to your doctor if your pain is not relieved by nonprescription medicine. Join a support group. These groups can be a good source of information and tips for managing your illness. Ask your doctor or contact a local hospital for the location of a support group near you.

Consider going to counseling. Eat a balanced diet.

Myalgic Encephalomyelitis ("Chronic Fatigue Syndrome")

Include plenty of fruits, vegetables, grains, cereals, legumes, poultry, fish, lean meats, and low-fat dairy products. Medicine choices Over-the-counter medicines include: Pain relievers and anti-inflammatory drugs: Over-the-counter drugs include acetaminophen for example, Tylenol , ibuprofen for example, Advil, Motrin , and naproxen for example, Aleve. They sometimes relieve frequent or severe joint and muscle pain, headaches, and fevers.

Prescription medicines include: Anticonvulsants, also called antiseizure medicines. This type of drug, such as gabapentin and pregabalin, is sometimes prescribed for pain and sleep problems.

Symptoms of CFS/ME

It seems to work best when used for nerve pain. Antidepressant medicine is prescribed by a doctor to ease depression and anxiety, improve your ability to concentrate, and help you sleep better. Migraine Headaches. Treatment choices Some popular complementary treatments include: Acupuncture. Massage therapy. Some of the more popular ones include: Large doses of vitamins or minerals. But taking too much of certain vitamins and minerals can actually be harmful. Diets that eliminate certain foods or ingredients such as yeast, sugar, or food additives that some people believe stress the immune system.

But if certain foods seem to make your symptoms worse, there is no harm in avoiding them as long as you are eating a balanced diet. Aloe vera juice. Evening primrose oil. Royal jelly a bee product. Consider these questions with your doctor: Is it safe? Do not use treatments that could harm you, such as unusual diets or excessive vitamin or mineral supplements. A daily multiple vitamin is okay. Is the product manufactured reliably? Vitamin and mineral supplements and herbal products are not subject to the same regulations as medicines.

Ingredients may vary from one maker to another.

My A-Z of M.E. (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis)

Read the labels carefully, and choose well-known brands you trust. Does it work? It may be hard to tell whether a treatment is working. Keep in mind that when you get better after treatment, the treatment may not be the reason for your improvement. Or the treatment may be causing a placebo effect , which makes you feel better.

How much does it cost? An expensive treatment that may or may not help you may not be worth the high cost. Beware of products or treatment providers who require a large financial investment up front or a series of costly treatments. Will it improve my general health? References Citations Institute of Medicine Institute of Medicine. Accessed January 31, Cleare A, et al. Chronic fatigue syndrome. Accessed February 23, Credits Current as of March 28, Previous Section: References Top of Page. Current as of: March 28, Institute of Medicine For example, many patients with chronic fatigue syndrome have an unusually high heart rate and low blood pressure when they have been standing for a while.

Several parts of the immune system remain activated for long periods in people with chronic fatigue syndrome. There is growing evidence that some patients with chronic fatigue syndrome have an autoimmune condition: their immune system is attacking particular tissues in the body. Patients with chronic fatigue syndrome have defects in the ability of cells in their bodies to make energy. Some studies indicate that certain genes are built differently, and that the activity of genes in white blood cells is different, in patients with chronic fatigue syndrome.

Many different tests of the brain, and of the autonomic nervous system, reveal abnormalities that are not seen in healthy people of the same age, or in people with other conditions that can cause fatigue, such as depression. Many of the abnormalities of the immune system, energy metabolism, and the nervous system seem to come and go.


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  • Myalgic Encephalomyelitis ("Chronic Fatigue Syndrome").

Furthermore, not all of the abnormalities affect every patient with chronic fatigue syndrome. In the United States, federal health authorities estimate that chronic fatigue syndrome affects 1 to 8 of every 1, Americans older than age Women are affected about twice as often as men. Although the illness is most common in people 25 to 45 years old, chronic fatigue syndrome can attack people of all age groups, including children.

The condition also is found in people of all racial, ethnic and economic backgrounds. It appears to be more common in African-Americans and Latinos, and in people in lower socioeconomic groups. It appears to be less common in Asian-Americans. Studies from the U.

Although most cases of chronic fatigue syndrome do not occur during epidemics, at least 30 outbreaks of chronic fatigue syndrome have been reported, during which many people in the same area suddenly developed the illness at the same time. However, health experts have failed to identify a cause for their chronic fatigue syndrome symptoms. The most prominent symptom of chronic fatigue syndrome is an unexplained feeling of fatigue, which is not relieved by rest. In addition, the diagnosis requires that patients should have at least four of the following symptoms that also are present for at least six months:.

People with chronic fatigue syndrome often have other symptoms that are not part of the official definition of the illness, such as nausea and difficulty tolerating alcoholic beverages or medicines that act on the brain. The following may be linked with a patient developing chronic fatigue syndrome: Viral infections Many different viruses have been researched, but none of them have been exclusively linked to the disorder.

M.E. and me - BBC Newsbeat

Hormonal imbalance Many patients with chronic fatigue syndrome produce lower levels of cortisol and other hormones, which can greatly affect many other parts of the body. Immune system problems People who develop chronic fatigue syndrome often have abnormal immune responses, such as particular T-cell activation markers and intolerance to some foods or medications. Sex: Women tend to be two to four times more likely to develop this condition versus men. Age: It most commonly affects people in their 40s and 50s. Family history: Sometimes, chronic fatigue syndrome is developed by members within the same family.

This indicates a possible genetic link, although one has yet to be discovered. Diagnosing chronic fatigue syndrome Of the up to the four million people in the U. Chronic fatigue treatments and complementary approaches This syndrome can be debilitating to the person suffering but also devastating to loved ones and caregivers. Lifestyle approaches Beyond that, there are a few lifestyle changes that can be made to help relieve and prevent some of the symptoms. These include: Develop a sleep routine: Sleep hygiene is key for good health.

Set a schedule and keep to it. Make sure to avoid problem products like caffeine and alcohol. Keeping a clean and clutter-free bedside table and room in general also helps promote sleep, as does going to bed at the same time and shutting off all screens TV and computer at least two hours before bedtime. Try to reduce stress: Try meditation or yoga or whatever works for you. The point is to make time every day to relax and burn off some emotional stress. A great way to have all of those symptoms come crashing back is to overexert yourself.

Vitamins and minerals for rest and energy. Get Free Email Updates! Thank you for subscribing. Something went wrong. About the Author: Arizona Pain. Arizona Pain was founded on a single premise—provide world class care that we would want for our own mom or dad. We use a team approach with cutting edge treatment plans as we ask one simple question with every patient. Related Posts. July 1st, 0 Comments.

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