What is ME/CFS?
Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME) is a chronic illness which can be diagnosed under many names. Within the NHS it is commonly
called Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS or ME/CFS). Sometimes it is known as Myalgic Encephalopathy or diagnosed as Post Viral Fatigue Syndrome (PVFS).
ME affects an estimated 250,000 people in the UK and can affect anyone, including children, but is most commonly diagnosed in women aged mid 20s - mid 40s. Although the cause of ME isn't currently known, diagnosis often follows a viral or bacterial infection (such as glandular fever or pneumonia), immune system problems or hormone imbalances.
There is also a noted connection within your genes, which is currently being researched in the 'Decode ME' study - the largest ever study of people with ME.
Depending on the severity of an individuals condition, ME can display as an invisible illness or can lead to somebody becoming bed bound, and everything in between. However severe, it usually has a big impact on day-to-day life which can often be hard to communicate to other people.
ME also often comes hand in hand with other conditions such as Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (PoTS) or fibromyalgia.