M.E. is definitely not caused by a virus despite past claims, leading scientists say.
They have ruled out a theory that the illness, also known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, is triggered by little-known bugs found in blood.
Two years ago researchers claimed to have made a breakthrough when they discovered a virus in blood samples of those with the condition that was not present in healthy people.
But now scientists who have looked at numerous other studies published since the discovery have dismissed the idea as ‘another false claim’.
M.E., which stands for Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, affects 200,000 Australians and is slightly more common in women than men.
Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is a complex disorder that causes extreme fatigue. Persons with CFS most often gets so fatigued that they can’t perform normal daily tasks like they used to before the onset of illness.
Physical or mental activities often make the condition worse, and rest usually doesn’t improve it either. It is most common in women in their 40s and 50s, but anyone can have it. It can last for 6 months or go on for years.
Since there is no known cure for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, treatment is aimed at symptom relief. A combination of drug and nondrug therapies like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Graded Exercise Therapy, Pharmacologic Therapy are generally suggested for the patients. In addition to these therapies Professional Counseling, Support Groups and Antidepressants also may help.
In general, people with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome should avoid too much physical or emotional stress.
Maintain a standard daily routine to avoid a setback or increase of symptoms. If you raise your level of physical activity, do so steadily. Avoid taking total rest as it may make your fatigue worse. Decrease the consumption of alcohol and caffeine, especially at night to sleep well.
Also, social isolation should be minimized.
This really is an unknown illness and there are many possible reasons. There may even be more than one reason. Also, because you’re fine one day and then bed-ridden the next, people think that the only thing that is wrong with you is in your head. This really doesn’t do the stress levels any good for a CFS sufferer.
This makes the illness very mis-understood…and very frustrating for the sufferer. It even makes the sufferer question it themselves.
by David Livingstone