Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS) or Chronic Fatigue and Immune Dysfunction
Syndrome (ME/CFS) is a serious, poorly-understood and often disabling condition. The cause(s) and cure
remain elusive, although research over the past two and half decades have shed much light on
triggers/causes of the mysterious illness.
Routine medical tests usually yield normal results, and there is an absence of a specific diagnostic
test that can distinguish between a sick patient from a normal person. This disorder can be diagnosed
by a physician based on established criteria from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). The cause of
illness should be ascertained by careful evaluation of the initial flu-like illness, if available.
ME/CFS follows an unpredictable cycle, often waxing and waning. Treatment is largely symptom-based
and individualized, since symptoms and responses to medications vary from person to person. Specific
therapy may be possible within the next decade since emerging evidences support the role of chronic
virus infection in this illness.
At least 800,000 American men and women have ME/CFS when estimated 20 years ago. The number has increased
to 7.5 million (2.5% of the U.S. population) according to CDC study published in 2007. Adolescents and
children are afflicted as well as older patients. Most of the patients are white female in the 3rd and 4th
decade of life. People of all racial and economic backgrounds get ME/CFS.