The purpose of this blog is to inform people about Myalgic Encephalomyelitis /Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS).
An estimated 17-20 million people suffer from ME/CFS worldwide, and 25% of them have a very severe form of it. They’re not functional and can hardly take care of themselves. Since most doctors still don’t know how to treat this illness, all patients can do is attempt to manage its symptoms, and that is if they have a doctor knowledgeable of the illness.
The general public needs to find out about the real suffering this illness causes and take positive action to change the future for those who have ME/CFS now and those that will get it in the future.
Many have heard of ME/CFS but don’t really understand what it is. In fact, the name Chronic Fatigue Syndrome itself is responsible for many of the misconceptions and trivializations of it. Even though fatigue is a prominent feature of the illness it is a symptom and not the illness.
I have had a mild to moderate form of ME/CFS since 2006. When I have a relapse, however, it is severe; I am not very functional and rely on everyone around me to help get me through the very difficult moments. Most of the dreaded symptoms return: severe fatigue, ear and head aches, nausea, lymph node pain, abdominal pain, cognitive impairment, muscle pain, sensitivity to light and noise, dizziness, and more.
I decided to write about raising awareness for ME/CFS because it affects more people than AIDS, breast cancer and lung cancer combined. It is a real illness and deserves as much attention as other diseases.
The only way we’ll ever get the mainstream medical and research community to give ME/CFS the attention it deserves is through education. In other words, medical students need to be better informed about it since doctors are the first defense in the war against ignorance. Some medical schools, such as Stanford University in the U.S. and the University of Ottawa in Canada, are already educating their medical students about ME/CFS.
We need to find out what causes ME/CFS and we also need to use that information to develop tests to diagnose, treat and prevent it.
Thanks for visiting!
Fatima, in Montreal, Canada
You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org