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Know all about Myalgic Encephalomyelitis

Myalgic Encephalomyelitis  (ME), also known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is a complex and debilitating medical condition. It is  characterised by severe fatigue that is not relieved by rest. It affects various systems in the body, including the immune, endocrine, and nervous systems.


1. Persistent fatigue that lasts for at least 6 months and is not alleviated by rest

2. Impaired cognitive function, including memory problems and difficulty concentrating

3. Unrefreshing sleep, leading to feeling exhausted upon waking

4. Muscle and joint pain without redness or swelling

5. Headaches, including migraines

6. Sore throat

7. Enlarged lymph nodes in the neck or armpits

8. Tenderness in multiple areas of the body


The exact cause of CFS is still unknown. But the following  factors may contribute to its development:

1. Viral infections: Some studies suggest that certain viral infections may trigger or contribute to the development of CFS.

2. Immune system dysfunction: Abnormalities in the immune system may play a role in CFS.

3. Hormonal imbalances: Some hormonal abnormalities, such as adrenal dysfunction, have been linked to CFS.

4. Genetic predisposition: There may be a genetic component to CFS, as it tends to occur more frequently in certain families.


There is currently no cure for CFS. Treatment focuses on managing symptoms and improving quality of life are available . Some common approaches include:

1. Medications:

Certain medications may be prescribed to manage pain, improve sleep quality, and alleviate other symptoms.

2. Cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT):

CBT can help individuals develop coping strategies and change negative thought patterns related to CFS.

3. Graded exercise therapy (GET):

A supervised exercise program can help improve physical function and reduce fatigue levels.

4. Sleep management:

Establishing good sleep hygiene practices and developing a regular sleep routine.

5. Energy conservation:

Learning to pace activities and avoid overexertion to prevent symptom flare-ups.

Also Read: International Yoga Day 2024:  Yoga asanas for better digestions and gut health 

Adopting a healthy lifestyle and managing stress levels may help minimise the risk. These tips may include:

1. Ensure you get adequate sleep each night and prioritise rest throughout the day. Establishing a regular sleep schedule and practicing good sleep hygiene can help promote quality sleep.

2. Find healthy ways to manage and cope with stress, such as practicing relaxation techniques, engaging in hobbies you enjoy, and seeking emotional support when needed.

3. Adopt a balanced and nutritious diet, engage in regular physical activity suitable for your fitness level, and avoid smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, and illicit drugs.

4. Avoid pushing yourself to exhaustion by maintaining a balanced workload and avoiding excessive physical or mental exertion. Listen to your body’s needs and rest when you feel fatigued.

5. While CFS is not caused by a specific pathogen, maintaining good hygiene can help reduce the risk of viral and bacterial infections that could potentially trigger or worsen symptoms.

It’s important to consult with a healthcare professional for a proper diagnosis, individualised treatment plan, and guidance on managing CFS symptoms.



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