What is ME?

M.E stands for Myalgic Encephalomyelitis.

Myalgic means pain and encephalomyelitis means … on its own I am not sure, but Acute Disseminated Encephalomyelitis means: Inflammation of brain and/or spinal cord myelin sheath.
One Doctor has been heard to say on National TV that the term ME is meaningless.

ME is also called Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) and in America they tend to just call it that.

But what is it? The World Health Organisation says it is a disease of the nervous system. All I can tell you are my symptoms because if anyone really knew what it was there would be a cure for it. Or at least specific medication to treat all the symptoms.

My symptoms are: muscle aches and pains, neck pain, stiff joints, pain in the spine, shooting pains in specific muscles, painful head (like my brain feels swollen), foggy thinking (What is 2 and 2? No I mean what is a 2?), mental exhaustion (please don’t speak to me anymore because my brain cannot work out what you are saying), complete muscle exhaustion after lifting, carrying, walking upstairs, walking a few metres, sitting on a chair, having a conversation, heart palpitations, very, very low breathing so much so that my body will suddenly take in a huge breath for me, sweating with the slightest effort.

Basically what is happening to me is when I expend just the smallest amount of energy, my body cannot replace the expenditure without complete rest. The result to me of not being able to replace the energy is the muscle pain, joint pain and brain pain that I feel.

That is ME or Chronic Fatigue to me.

However my GP first diagnosed an auto-immune disease and so those with ME or CFS also think they have a poor immune system. Now I am not sure about this as far as I am concerned. I have food allergies and they challenge the immune system hugely. When you eliminate the offending foods, you feel better, I know I did until ME struck me. My first indication that something was wrong werre the muscle aches and pains. You can get muscle aches and pains if you have a food allergy. So was my first indication that something was wrong the food allergies/intolerances or the muscle aches and pains? Chicken and egg isn’t it? And confusing. This is why ME/CFS is so difficult to understand and treat.

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