Living with CFS/ME is difficult. Extreme tiredness and other physical symptoms make it hard to carry out everyday activities and find enjoyment. You may have to make some major lifestyle changes. CFS/ME can also affect mental and emotional health, and have a negative effect on self-esteem. Asking family, community, and friends for support may help a person’s ME.

What is CFS/ME?

A disease characterized by profound fatigue, sleep abnormalities, pain, and other symptoms that are made worse by exertion.

What are the symptoms of ME/CFS?

  • Non-restoring sleep
  • Brain fog
  • Orthostatic intolerance
  • Sore throats
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Temperature, sound, and light sensitivity
  • Fast or irregular heartbeats
  • Occurs more commonly in women

How does ME/CFS start?

  • Problems with the immune system
  • Hormone imbalance
  • Viral infections, such as glandular fever
  • Bacterial infections, such as pneumonia
  • Mental health problems, such as stress & emotional trauma
  • Physical or environmental stressors

How is ME/CFS treated?

  • There are no FDA approved treatments available for ME/CFS
  • Treatment is focused on relieving symptoms & providing relief
    • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)  
    • Structured exercise program called graded exercise therapy (GET)
    • Medication to control pain, nausea and sleeping problems

Do people ever recover?

  • CFS gets better over time, although some people don’t make a full recovery
  • There will be periods when symptoms get better or worse
  • Most people, over time and with effort are able to return to normal lives.