Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME) and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) are both names of a condition that affects thousands of people. All types of people of all ages are affected. Symptoms include severe and debilitating fatigue, painful muscles and joints, lack of concentration and disrupted sleep.
In many cases the onset is linked to a viral infection or accident or operation. ME can disrupt sufferers' lives to such an extent that they may have to give up work or education or take a considerable amount of time off sick. People suffering from ME may be housebound or confined to bed for several months or years.
Recovery varies from person to person; some people recover completely although it may take a number of months or years. The majority of people, however, only partially recover and typically follow a slow course of alternate improvement and relapse.
There is currently no accepted cure and no universally effective treatment. An early diagnosis, together with adequate rest during the acute phase and during any relapse, appears to bring about the most significant improvement.