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Myalgic encephalomyelitis: Treatment, symptoms, advice and help

About myalgic encephalomyelitis

Myalgic encephalomyelitis is a complex and longstanding disorder characterised by presence of intense fatigue in affected individuals. It affects multiple systems in body resulting in varied spectrum of clinical features. The cause of this disorder has not been detected yet and unfortunately, it is a poorly understood condition.

Myalgic encephalomyelitis: Incidence, age and sex

Myalgic encephalitis is a common disorder in the general population. However, it may go unnoticed in many individuals due to vague complaints. Although it can occur in any age group, it is predominantly seen in women above 20 years.

Signs and symptoms of myalgic encephalomyelitis: Diagnosis

The clinical features of myalgic encephalitis are generalised and indistinct, resulting in late diagnosis or failure to diagnose the condition in some individuals. The most prominent symptoms include prolonged and tremendous fatigue following minimal exertion. This may be accompanied with muscle spasms and difficulty in coordination and maintaining balance. Some individuals may also experience lack of concentration, memory problems, sleep disturbances and mood changes. Moreover, serious clinical features like palpitations, breathlessness or gastric problems may also be encountered. Occasionally, visual problems like blurring of vision and increased photosensitivity may also be complained of, by some individuals.

Myalgic encephalomyelitis is a complicated disorder, which is very difficult to diagnose. The doctor may take a detailed history (including past viral infections) and conduct a thorough physical examination to detect any organ disorder. Certain blood tests may also be advised to rule out other diseases and finally arrive at the appropriate diagnosis.

Causes and prevention of myalgic encephalomyelitis

The cause of myalgic encephalomyelitis is not exactly clear, though some theories suggest that it results from an inappropriate immune response to a viral infection.

Myalgic Encephalomyelitis: Complications

This complex syndrome may result in tremendous distress to the affected individual and affect him/her not only physically but also emotionally and socially. Moreover, the disease may progress to cause severe neurological symptoms like memory loss, confusion and lack of comprehension.

Myalgic Encephalomyelitis: Treatment

It is very unfortunate that myalgic encephalomyelitis has no definitive cure, as of present. Its clinical progression is quite unpredictable and may play a variable course. Some individuals may be fortunate enough to be relieved by it, within a few years, but it may stay life-long in other individuals. Symptomatic relief may be provided with medications for sleep and muscle and pains. Individuals with mood changes may be prescribed anti-depressants. This disorder has a tendency of frequent recurrence. Thus, it is advisable to maintain a healthy and nutritional diet along with rest and relaxation techniques which may help in effective prevention of future recurrences.