Myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) which is also known as chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), are the names given to poorly understood disorders where the cause of the condition remains uncertain. ME usually starts very suddenly and is accompanied by flu-like symptoms.
Getting lives back on track-
At the Priory we recognise that everyone's situation is different, which is why we ensure that everyone has a unique treatment plan tailored to their needs.
What are the symptoms of ME?-
ME is more likely to occur in winter and can often be an effect of a viral infection or severe stress. As such, the syndrome is often not taken as seriously as people believe it should be.
Fatigue is a common symptom in many illnesses but ME is a relatively rare disease. In order to be diagnosed with ME the individual must display severe mental and physical exhaustion which does not improve with rest and worsens with exertion. These symptoms must be present for at least six months and will not be a result of any other medical condition. Associated symptoms include:
- Marked fatigue after exertion
- Muscle and joint pain
- Cognitive difficulties
- Physical exhaustion
- Concentration problems and short term memory impairment
- Flu-like symptoms
Individuals report marked and critical reductions in levels of physical activity which are comparable to the degree of disability caused by conditions such as multiple sclerosis (MS), AIDS, heart disease and rheumatoid arthritis. The capabilities of patients with ME can differ greatly. Whilst some people are able to continue leading a relatively normal life, others will be unable to take care of themselves and may be completely bed-bound.
Care and management of ME-
The most effective known management strategy for treating ME is cognitive behavioural therapy (CBH). This treatment helps patients understand their specific symptoms and develops strategies for them to improve their everyday life. Stepped exercise programmes are also an alternative treatment option.
How the Priory can help to support you-
The type and length of treatment is dependent on the individual's circumstances and the severity of the condition. Some patients are treated as outpatients, which means they come to Priory for hourly sessions with their consultant, psychologist or therapist. Others require a more structured treatment approach which can include staying at one of the Priory hospitals as an inpatient for the duration of their treatment where they take part in the psychological group programme as well as regular sessions with their consultant.