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What treatment approach is right for me?

We do 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.

When health professionals talk about treating M.E., they are referring to the management and care of a patient, not a cure – there is no pharmacological cure for M.E.

Because of the complexity of M.E., its fluctuating nature and the wide spectrum of symptoms, different treatments work for different people. Other people with M.E. may recommend a particular approach that has helped them. While this can be helpful in considering the options available to you, please remember that you should only take medical advice from an appropriately qualified medical practitioner.

To decide what treatment is right for you, you should look at the evidence, and make sure you fully understand what the treatment involves. Science journalist and M.E. advocate Julie Rehmeyer says:

"Above all: listen, but nurture your inner sceptic. Demanding scientific proof in a realm science has abandoned will go nowhere, so a kind of radical open-mindedness is essential. But because compelling personal stories can be dangerously seductive, especially when pain and emotion are part of the mix, scepticism is equally crucial."

You can read more from Julie on how best to weigh up evidence about treatment approaches in our 2017 InterAction article, A shot in the dark?

Information and evidence about the strategies that people with M.E. find most useful, which you can discuss with your GP, can be found on our pages about treatment and symptom management. With regards to alternative therapies, please note that we strongly advise people to view with caution any method which claims to offer a cure, has not been published in respected peer-reviewed journals and requires the payment of large sums of money.

Shared-decision making

The NICE guideline says, “Shared decision-making between the person with CFS/M.E. and healthcare professionals should take place during diagnosis and all phases of care.”

It also makes it clear that healthcare professionals should “should be aware that – like all people receiving care in the NHS – people with CFS/M.E. have the right to refuse or withdraw from any component of their care plan without this affecting other aspects of their care, or future choices about care.“

Unhelpful stereotypes and myths are sometimes perpetuated about the illness and this can, unfortunately, impact on the support that people with M.E. receive from friends, families and even professionals. If you feel that your care is being influenced by stereotypes or prejudices then it is right that you should challenge this - you can contact Action for M.E. to explore this. It’s important to remember that there are many good healthcare professionals who are not influenced in this way and provide excellent support and care.