What is ME/CFS
Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME)/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is a severe, complex, acquired illness with numerous symptoms related mainly to the dysfunction of the brain, gastro-intestinal, immune, endocrine and cardiac systems.
Symptoms of ME/CFS include fatigue; post-exertional malaise; sleep dysfunction; pain; neurological-cognitive manifestations; autonomic manifestations; neuro-endocrine manifestations; immune manifestations. Symptoms must persist for at least six months.
Treatment and Management
There is, as yet, no universally successful treatment or cure for ME/CFS. At this stage, the major focus is on managing the illness.
ME/CFS frequently develops after an acute infection (e.g. flu-like illnesses, upper respiratory infections, glandular fever) but it may also be triggered by events such as toxic exposure, physical trauma, immunisation and anaesthetics.
Given the great variation in the severity and duration of symptoms it is not possible to accurately predict recovery for individuals. Most people with ME/CFS will improve over time.
The Consensus Document (popularly known as the "Canadian Guidelines") was compiled under Terms of Reference devised by Health Canada and drawn up by an international team of ME/CFS practitioners and researchers from Canada, US and Belgium with the combined experience of treating over 20,000 people with ME/CFS.
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Did you know?
As many as 180,000 Australians are directly affected by ME/CFS
Research into ME/CFS is occuring across the globe. Follow the links below for research resources.