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Myalgic Encephalomyelitis: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Myalgic Encephalomyelitis(ME) also known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome(CFS) is a chronic, inflammatory and neurological disorder that affects around 0.3 percent of the UK population and 0.5 percent of the US population. Women have twice the chance of getting affected by ME when compared to men and the majority of women who get affected are between the age of 30 and  50. This disorder gets worsen with physical and mental exertion.

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ME Causes

Hormonal changes and chemical imbalance in the brain, disrupting sleep cycle, blood pressure and temperature, which creates laziness and makes less active. These hormonal changes and imbalance can be due to infection, hormonal disturbance or even hereditary. No specific virus has been found as the cause and it’s worth mentioning that genetic and environmental factors are also related to ME.

ME Symptoms

  • Fatigue after any form of exertion
  • Lack of energy
  • Joint pain and muscle ache
  • Low blood pressure
  • Getting Headache often
  • Irregular or disturbed sleep patterns
  • Lack of concentration
  • Uncomfortable or frequent urination
  • Mouth ulcers
  • Chronic sore throat
  • Irritable bowel syndrome(IBS) and constipation

ME Treatment

There is no perfect cure for ME, but medication can treat ME to some extent. A therapy called pacing is widely practiced, it encourages the sufferer to undertake physical and mental tasks within their limited capabilities, then gradually increase the amount of effort needed. Proper diet, pacing, yoga, meditation all these can help to come out of the problem. As mentioned above pacing is considerd the most helpful treatment. Generally people affected with ME should not take caffeine or other high energy drinks to combat tiredness as it may permanently damage the immune system and cause imbalance in the blood sugar levels.

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