Myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) is a serious, long-term illness that affects many body systems, according to the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention.
People with ME/CFS are often unable to do their usual activities. At times, the condition may confine them to bed. They suffer from a range of symptoms including severe fatigue, pain, and sleep problems and symptoms normally get worse after activity; post-exertional malaise (PEM).
Other symptoms can include impaired cognitive function (brain fog), skin rashes, tender lymph nodes, muscle cramps, dizziness, sensitivities to light, temperature changes, noise, touch, and some chemicals or foods.
Anyone can get ME/CFS however, it's most common in people between 40 and 60 years old. It also affects children, adolescents, and adults of all ages. Among adults, women are affected more often than men.
The Open Medicine Foundation® and Dr. Komaroff, an Internal Medicine physician and a foremost expert in myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome strongly believe that for people with ME/CFS there may be a silver lining to the COVID-19 pandemic.
There's no understanding of why some people experience some recovery while others can remain bed-bound. Most people will experience flares or recurring episodes which vary from person to person, in terms of the intensity of symptoms.
Interestingly Long Covid is looking remarkably similar to ME/CFS with the convergence of many symptoms. According to Dr. Liisa Selin, a viral immunologist, and professor at Umass Chan Medical School, “they are the same disease - or very, very similar”.
Long Covid researchers have the opportunity to study COVID-19’s potential progression to ME/CFS, which may provide incredible insights into the disease. These long covid insights, if transferrable to ME/CFS, may present drug targets and prevention strategies at an accelerated pace for ME/CFS.
Dr. Jonas Bergquist, Director of the Uppsala Collaborative Research Center is one researcher currently working in this space. What benefits long covid sufferers will hopefully help those living with ME/CFS. If you're suffering from either condition, I hope you'll consider supporting coppered® by buying your signature piece today, so that together we may FUND a cure.