Who is at risk of getting ME/CFS?
About 2-4 per thousand are affected with this illness worldwide.
It strikes all ages and socio-economic and ethnic groups.
There is nothing new about this illness. It has been described in the medical literature for years, but recent research has provided firmer guidelines for diagnosis and management. Genes have now been identified which make a person vulnerable to developing the illness. However having the genes does not mean a person will definitely develop the illness, it is just one of the risk factors. Those most susceptible are often busy "high-achievers" who probably find it hard to rest up during the onset of their illness. The initial illness maybe caused by any infection, but other events are often associated, such as surgery, childbirth, accident or life crisis. It seems to be slightly more common in females, and occurs in all age groups. Adolescents are often affected, perhaps because this is anyway a very stressful time of life, and much energy is channeled into growth and development. Stress is not the absolute cause of CFS, but increases the risk in an already vulnerable person, and may alter the immune system's response, so that it functions incorrectly.
Other risk factors include burnout, athletic overtraining, lack of sleep, (shift workers, new mums) depression and times of hormonal change.
How it is diagnosed?
There is no specific diagnostic test for CFS, but your doctor can arrange for certain tests to be done to confirm that you are not suffering from some other illness, such as anaemia, diabetes, thyroid imbalance, liver disease etc. Read more...
Management of CFS
As yet there is no specific treatment for CFS, but there are a number of measures that can be taken to alleviate the symptoms and to help your recovery. Read more...