ME is not just
fatigue; neurological symptoms may be worse. Memory, mood, concentration,
speech, counting, sensation, balance, vision, hearing, sleep, temperature,
appetite, hormone production and response to stress can all be affected. Don't
worry that you are going mad; this is part of the package.
diagnosis, ask early for routine laboratory tests.
Play safe prior
to official diagnosis. Many ME sufferers deteriorate through pushing themselves
If your doctor
diagnoses "Chronic Fatigue Syndrome" ask if he will call it "CFS/ME"
recommended by the National Task Force. CFS on its own covers numerous
Keep daily notes
of symptoms for medical consultations and as evidence for insurance or benefit
For pain or
headache avoid non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, e.g. aspirin or
ibuprofen, especially in children.
Move carefully to
avoid accidents due to lack of coordination.
Learn to manage
so-called panic attacks. If panic begins, distract yourself. Phone someone, make
a drink, talk.
Eat foods that
won't irritate the gut - well-cooked vegetables and easily-absorbed protein,
like white meat and fish. Carbohydrate is essential; potato is an excellent
source. You may develop food sensitivities, especially to grains (often wheat)
or dairy products. Avoid too much fibre or sugar.
having your digestive ability tested. Alternatives columnist Harald Gaier finds
that many ME victims have low or no stomach acid (possibly as an after-effect
of a gut virus or vaccine). After testing for this and, when necessary, sorting
out stomach acid problems, many patients improve.
Smoking is particularly bad, affecting heart, respiratory and immune systems.
persuaded into therapies your body protests against. Polio victims should have
been rested and helped to pace their lives; ME sufferers need similar treatment
to avoid further disability.
Be wary of
regimes, whether orthodox or alternative, promising a cure. There is no proven
cure for ME, just as there was none for polio. Nevertheless, certain treatments
may help symptoms and aid recovery.
ME can be a
relapsing condition. Avoid triggering factors, such as immunizations, or too
much mental or physical activity.
Children with ME
frequently need home tuition. Full-time schooling often provokes relapse.
Part-time attendance helps; restrict exam subjects and avoid PE.
Never assume that
your ME has totally gone, even if you are symptom-free. Evidence shows that
"Post-ME' occur many years after initial infection, like Post-Polio. Pace your
life; don't overwork a body that may have as yet unrecognized brain problems.
Republished with permission of What
Doctors Don't Tell You, a monthly newsletter which reviews conventional medicine
and provides proof of safer alternatives. For more information and free e-news,