From Better Health Channel.
Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), also known as myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME), is an illness that affects a person’s nervous system (commonly called a ‘neurological illness’). It can occur at any age and can affect children as well as adults. At least 35,000 Victorians have ME/CFS.
The term ‘myalgic encephalomyelitis’ means pain in the muscles, and inflammation in the brain and spinal cord. ME/CFS is a complex illness and we do not know the cause. For some people, the condition may be triggered suddenly by a viral infection, toxic exposure, anaesthetic, immunisation, gastroenteritis or trauma. In other people, ME/CFS may develop slowly over months or years.
There are many subtypes within the spectrum of ME/CFS, which means that a management plan must be developed for each person with the condition. Applying a particular treatment for one subtype can be very damaging to another subtype. An individual management plan must be developed for each person with ME/CFS.
Around 25 per cent of people with ME/CFS will have a mild form and be able to get to school or work either part-time or full time, while reducing other activities. About 50 per cent will have a moderate to severe form of ME/CFS and not be able to get to school or work. Another 25 per cent will experience severe ME/CFS and have to stay at home or in bed.
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