Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME), also known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is a clinical diagnosis. It means there is no objective diagnostic test to confirm it but more of a diagnosis through clinical examination.
3 out of 5 primary “core” symptoms must be present for a doctor to diagnose ME. They are:
- Big drop in activity levels from usual baseline before onset of symptoms and it must last more than 6 months. This “sensation of fatigue” is excessive and is usually not relieved even by sleeping.
- Worsening of fatigue after a physical or mental activity that was not present before the illness. My patients sometimes get so bad they have to lie in bed for a day or so, after doing some house chores.
- Patients may have difficulty sleeping or difficulty staying asleep. Even after achieving their required 7 to 8 hours of sleep, they still feel excessively tired.
- Patients may complain of thinking or memory issues, as though they are “spaced out” and cannot process their thoughts properly.
- Patients may complain that their symptoms worsen whenever they stand or sit upright. They prefer to lie down for them to feel better.