What's the treatment for ME/CFS?
Treatment for ME often includes symptom management through medication, life-style changes, and strategies such as 'pacing'. As the condition is so diverse, any individual treatments may work for one person, yet not another, and it may take some time to find out what works.
Medications can be prescribed for sleep disturbance, joint pain, digestive problems, balance problems, anxiety and depression, although some people with ME are particularly sensitive to these.
'Pacing' is a strategy that helps people stabilise their symptoms, and then work towards increasing what they can do, and ultimately what they enjoy doing. It includes planned periods of activity and rest, and support from others is vital in this.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is often used to help someone with ME adjust to being unwell, including identifying, understanding and modifying any views and behaviours that may have an impact on the condition. However, other forms of counselling can be helpful too.
Many people with ME find that nutritional advice and complementary therapies are helpful in managing or even improving the condition. Hampshire Friends with M.E. recommends seeking advice from a GP before using alternative treatments or therapies.
Treating severe ME is extremely complex, and specialist expertise is needed for planning and providing care for those who have it. Whilst many people with ME do not require hospital admission, people with severe ME may need to, along with respite care and community support from nurses, occupational therapists, dietetics and physiotherapists.