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Living with M.E.

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Treatment and management

Treatment and management

Please be aware that given recent publications and emerging evidence, this page is currently under review.

While there might not be a proven pharmaceutical cure for M.E. yet, there are a number of treatment approaches that some people with M.E. find help them manage their symptoms. 

The most common of these is known as pacing, which is all about balancing the amount of activity you do with periods of rest, so that your body isn't pushed beyond its limits. GPs and the NHS may also prescribe Graded Exercise Therapy (GET) or Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). You can find information on these below, as well as alternative holistic approaches that some people with M.E. tell us help them to manage their symptoms.

Because of the complexity of the illness, its fluctuating nature and the wide spectrum of symptoms, a treatment approach that works for one person with M.E. may not work for someone else with the illness. Action for M.E. does not recommend any individual treatments or management approaches for people with M.E. Instead, we offer key information to allow people with M.E. to make informed decisions about what is right for them. Find out more about choosing the treatment you want.

We hope that the following information enables you to have an informed discussion with your healthcare professional about how to manage your symptoms. Any decision regarding treatment or care should be made in partnership with you.


Pacing 

Pacing is all about balancing activity and rest to bring about more stability in your symptoms and to help you manage the illness day-to-day without pushing yourself past your limits. Find out more about pacing.

GET and CBT

GET refers to a systematic programme of physical activity or exercise that aims to support you to gradually increase your overall activity levels, while CBT is a talking therapy that is used to help people come to terms with changes in their lives. Some people find these approaches help, while others find it makes their symptoms worse. They are not suitable for people who are severely affected. Find out more about GET and CBT.

Medication

There are several medications that can help alleviate individual symptoms, such as pain, sleep difficulties or nausea. Find out more about medication.

Alternative and holistic therapies

Some people with M.E. find that alternative and holistic therapies can help reduce the effect individual symptoms have on them, particularly muscle pain, migraines and fatigue. Find out about alternative and holistic therapies.

Diet and nutrition

Altering your diet and nutrition intake can help some people manage their energy levels and reduce the severity of symptoms that affect the gut such as stomach cramps and pains. Find out more about diet and nutrition.