Mild myalgic encephalomyelitis or chronic fatigue syndrome
Mild myalgic encephalomyelitis or mild chronic fatigue syndrome or mild ME/CFS is a serious neurological disease, and should not be confused with either a mild level of illness, or mild fatigue.
People with mild ME/CFS cannot carry on as normal and are forced to reduce their activities because of the hallmark symptom, post-exertional malaise, which prevents them from engaging in exertion beyond certain thresholds without a significant worsening of symptoms. While the term "mild" is used, mild ME/CFS still entails a substantial level of functional impairment compared to that of a healthy person.
Mild ME/CFS is the lowest level of severity of ME/CFS, which is a serious neurological disease affecting many different bodily systems.
Mild ME/CFS is not[edit | edit source]
- it is not another name for unexplained chronic fatigue
- a symptom caused by another illness
- similar to feeling "Tired all the time" (TATT)
- another name for burnout or exhaustion, or the result of doing too much
- a lack of fitness, or the result of doing too little
- persistent sleepiness, although some people need excessive amounts of sleep especially in the first 6 months of falling ill
- it cannot be cured by willpower, or a positive attitude
- a brief illness - it is a long term condition
- Medically unexplained symptoms - there is clear medical evidence of abnormalities not found in any other diseases
NHS definition[edit | edit source]
People with mild ME/CFS care for themselves and do some light domestic tasks (sometimes needing support) but may have difficulties with mobility. Most are still working or in education, but to do this they have probably stopped all leisure and social pursuits. They often have reduced hours, take days off and use the weekend to cope with the rest of the week.
International Consensus Criteria[edit | edit source]
Mild Myalgic Encephalomyelitis requires a minimum of a 50% reduction in activity as a direct result of the illness.
Comparison[edit | edit source]
Fluctuating level of symptoms[edit | edit source]
Invisible illness[edit | edit source]
ME/CFS is known as an invisible illness due to the lack of obvious physical signs of illness.
Impact[edit | edit source]
Work and education[edit | edit source]
Care needs[edit | edit source]
Mobility[edit | edit source]
Notable studies[edit | edit source]
- 2015, Fatigue in adults with post-infectious fatigue syndrome: a qualitative content analysis -(Full text)
See also[edit | edit source]
- Myalgic encephalomyelitis
- Chronic fatigue syndrome
- List of abnormal findings in chronic fatigue syndrome and myalgic encephalomyelitis
- Stigma and discrimination
Learn more[edit | edit source]
References[edit | edit source]
- NICE Guideline Development Group (October 29, 2021). "Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (or Encephalopathy)/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome:diagnosis and management. NICE guideline". National Institute for Health and Care Excellence.
- Carruthers, BM; van de Sande, MI; De Meirleir, KL; Klimas, NG; Broderick, G; Mitchell, T; Staines, D; Powles, ACP; Speight, N; Vallings, R; Bateman, L; Bell, DS; Carlo-Stella, N; Chia, J; Darragh, A; Gerken, A; Jo, D; Lewis, DP; Light, AR; Light, KC; Marshall-Gradisnik, S; McLaren-Howard, J; Mena, I; Miwa, K; Murovska, M; Stevens, SR (2012), Myalgic encephalomyelitis: Adult & Paediatric: International Consensus Primer for Medical Practitioners (PDF), ISBN 978-0-9739335-3-6
- Stormorken, Eva; Jason, Leonard A.; Kirkevold, Marit. "Fatigue in adults with post-infectious fatigue syndrome: a qualitative content analysis". BMC Nursing. p. 64. doi:10.1186/s12912-015-0115-5. PMC 4662830. PMID 26617466.
myalgic encephalomyelitis (M.E.) - A disease often marked by neurological symptoms, but fatigue is sometimes a symptom as well. Some diagnostic criteria distinguish it from chronic fatigue syndrome, while other diagnostic criteria consider it to be a synonym for chronic fatigue syndrome. A defining characteristic of ME is post-exertional malaise (PEM), or post-exertional neuroimmune exhaustion (PENE), which is a notable exacerbation of symptoms brought on by small exertions. PEM can last for days or weeks. Symptoms can include cognitive impairments, muscle pain (myalgia), trouble remaining upright (orthostatic intolerance), sleep abnormalities, and gastro-intestinal impairments, among others. An estimated 25% of those suffering from ME are housebound or bedbound. The World Health Organization (WHO) classifies ME as a neurological disease.