Welcome to this site on myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), postural orthostatic tachycardia (POTS)/dysautonomia, fibromyalgia (FM), chronic inflammatory response syndrome (CIRS), attachment and heart rate monitoring.
Myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME), which I have been diagnosed with, is an illness which affects 0.1-0.2% of the population. The main symptom of ME is post-exertional neuroimmune exhaustion (PENE), or postexertional malaise (PEM). Symptoms such as widespread pain, muscle weakness, sleep disturbances and autonomic instability occur when the body is unable to meet the energy requirements of physical, emotional or cognitive exertion. Recent research shows the body is likely using proteins for energy, has a low anaerobic threshold, produces excess lactate, and is in a state of hypometabolism. This may be linked to autoimmunity.
There is currently no biomarker or evidence-based treatment for ME. See the tests and treatments pages for more information. Recovery rates are low, worse with severity and longer duration. Patients often benefit from heart rate monitoring, (see HRM master page ) which helps harm minimisation and prevent exacerbation and relapse.
‘Chronic fatigue syndrome’, which is thought to affect 1-2% of the population, is more loosely defined than ME, and so may include other conditions. See here for a discussion of the ME Criteria and the differences between the two.
ME/CFS causes and is associated with disturbances in the central nervous system and autonomic nervous system, such as temperature instability and heart rate disturbances. Dysautonomia can include orthostatic intolerance and postural orthostatic tachycardia- essentially the body cannot regulate blood flow to the brain in an upright posture, possibly due to nerves. See POTS overview for more info. There are also significant gut abnormalities, as well as measurable changes in brain blow flow
In some people ME/CFS symptoms may be caused by or associated with mold, lyme, and coinfections such as mycoplasma bacteria. See CIRS for more information.
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