While there is currently no pharmaceutical cure for M.E. there are a number of conventional medical approaches and complementary therapies which may help to alleviate symptoms.
Because of the complexity of the illness, its fluctuating nature and the wide spectrum of symptoms, different things work for different people. Some, particularly those who are more severely affected, unfortunately find currently available therapies of little benefit.
Both stress that the following should not be offered to people with M.E.:
The British Association for CFS/M.E. (BACME) also publishes a therapy and symptom management guide. This practical clinical treatment summary incorporates existing tools and methodologies from specialists who work with adults and children who have M.E., and offers a consensus approach to broader treatment based on clinician expertise, patient experience and the best available evidence. It's free to download at BACME's website.
Surveys by Action for M.E. and other M.E. charities have consistently shown that the majority of people with M.E. find that pacing (ie. managing physical, mental and emotional activity and rest) helps them to manage their illness.
When pacing, patients organise their day into sustainable activity and regular rest, helping them to avoid setbacks. It gives stability and a sense of control, making things more predictable and enhancing confidence.
The key to pacing lies in understanding what is meant by available energy, types of activity, rest, finding a baseline, and planning and setting realistic goals.
Useful resources include Action for M.E.’s Pacing for people with M.E. booklet, widely used by M.E. patients and healthcare professionals, and the BACME guide highlighted above.
M.E. is one of the topics included in the Map of Medicine, a web-based tool that provides 350 evidence-based, best-practice clinical pathways as an interactive flowchart of detailed processes. These pathways can be localised to help plan, communicate and implement local services and priorities.
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