If you have never heard of myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) before, it is probably because you are more familiar with this condition’s common name – chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). Today, we are going to discuss the prevalence of this difficult to diagnose conditions as well as the effects it can have on a patient. We will consider the most common symptoms as well as the prospects for chronic fatigue syndrome treatment. Finally, we will consider a natural therapy that is bringing hope to ME sufferers.
Myalgic Encephalomyelitis Prevalence
First of all, when a person is afflicted with a chronic health disorder, it is important to realize you are not alone. With that in mind, just how common is ME? Because diagnosis is such a long and difficult process, many people give up before ever getting an official diagnosis. This results in the necessity of using estimates instead of exact figures. On a global scale, the site ME Action estimates that there are anywhere between 15 million and 30 million people suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome globally.
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Symptoms
Most people are aware of the primary symptom of chronic fatigue which is the debilitating lack of energy that grows worse with exertion. However, this is far from being the only symptom of this condition. Here are 7 of the most common chronic fatigue syndrome symptoms:
- Physical and mental fatigue – What many people do not realize is that the fatigue is not limited to the body but is also felt by the mind. In fact, not just physical exertion but also mental exertion can lead to a flare-up of symptoms.
- Post-exertional malaise – Again, even minimal exertion can lead to a reduction in a person’s ability to function normally both physically and mentally. As a result, some patients become bedridden for days at a time.
- Pain – While most people associate pain throughout the body with conditions like fibromyalgia, it is also common with chronic fatigue syndrome. In fact, some doctors confuse the two conditions when providing a diagnosis.
- Sleep disturbances – When a person is fatigued, you would expect sleep to come easily. However, the pain and other symptoms may cause sleep to be even more difficult. While getting a good night’s rest won’t cure the fatigue, not getting one can make it worse.
- Brain fog – ME patients also experience issues with cognitive function. This can present itself as difficulty concentrating, issues with short-term memory, or even as problems with normal thinking processes.
- Immune system deficiency – Some researchers believe that this is actually a part of what causes ME rather than a symptom. However, there is also the school of thought that the immune issues are a part of the condition. It has become a sort of “chicken or the egg” debate among scientists trying to determine whether the immune issues or the fatigue condition comes first.
- Sensory sensitivity – Lights may become blinding. A normal sound, such as a loved one chewing, may suddenly be deafening. The smell of even an all-natural cleaning product may drive you from a room. Sensory sensitivities during an ME flare-up can make even normal sensory experiences miserable.
When you see the symptoms laid out in this manner, it becomes easier to understand why quality of life is affected for patients. In fact, the condition leaves about 1 in 4 patients completely homebound. Up to 75% of chronic fatigue syndrome patients cannot hold down a job successfully. This makes the search for effective treatment a vital one. How are things going on that front?
The Search for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Treatment
So far there is no FDA approved treatment for ME. The difficulty with treating the condition springs from the fact that there is no single cause that is presently understood. As a result, much of the research is going into looking for how chronic fatigue syndrome is caused in the hopes that this will lead to treatment options. In the meantime, is there a natural way to get some relief and recover a little quality of life? Fortunately, there is a field of care that is seeing some success in helping chronic fatigue syndrome patients.
Natural Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Relief – How?
Upper cervical chiropractors have been able to help restore quality of life significantly for chronic fatigue syndrome sufferers in case studies where the patients also had an upper cervical misalignment. This is a common misalignment that occurs in many types of accidents and injuries such as a concussion or whiplash-type injury. It is important to note that the accident did not have to be serious or result in medical treatment and immediate symptoms to have caused this underlying misalignment in the top bones of the neck.
The C1 and C2 vertebrae are located at the base of the skull. They play an important role in facilitating blood flow to the brain as well as in allowing for proper cerebrospinal fluid drainage. Since they protect the brainstem and spinal cord right where the two meet, signals between the brain and body can be affected by even the slightest of misalignments.
Upper cervical chiropractors are specially trained to detect and precisely measure misalignments of the C1 and C2 down to hundredths of a degree. Gentle adjustments are used to provide long-term relief and give the body the time it needs to heal. This has led to significant health benefits for many patients.
If you are suffering from ME, especially if you have a history of head or neck trauma, why not contact an upper cervical practitioner today to schedule a consultation. It may be your first step on the road to better health and quality of life.