MEDICAL MATTERS

  • Medical Matters features questions asked by Members of the ME Association on health-related topics.
  • Dr Charles Shepherd and the ME Association's other advisers answer these questions by sharing their expert knowledge.
  • Medical Matters is based on the popular ‘Ask the Doctor’ series in ME Essential magazine.
  • It is a free resource that supplements the detailed information contained in the full range of literature that can be found in the website shop.

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Questions in the Category: Vitamin Deficiency

Symptoms – Abnormal red blood cells

ME Essential Autumn 2023

After feeling more fatigued than usual, my GP arranged some blood tests – all of which were normal apart an abnormality with my red blood cells called macrocytosis. Can this can be caused by ME? I understand that there has been some research from New Zealand that found abnormally shaped red blood cells that impaired the blood flow in tiny capillaries.

Symptoms: Pins and Needles

ME Essential Spring 2023

I’m in my early forties and have had moderate ME/CFS for about 5 years. I have all the usual symptoms but I now have a new and rather distressing sensation in my arms and sometimes in my legs. It is very similar to the ‘pins and needles’ sensation you can get when your legs have been crossed for too long. These abnormal sensations come and go and don’t seem to be triggered by anything in particular. Is this yet another symptom of ME/CFS? Or do I need to go and see my doctor?

Treatment: High-dose Vitamin C

ME Essential Summer 2020

I have read about the use of high dose vitamin C injections being used to treat people with coronavirus infection. Could this also be used to treat ME?

Anaemia

ME Essential Summer 2018

A friend of mine with ME/CFS takes a daily iron supplement to help with her fatigue. She says I ought to do the same – even though I know I’m not anaemic. This has been confirmed by a recent GP blood test. So is there any evidence that taking iron tablets could help to boost energy levels in ME/CFS? And is it safe to do so if you are not anaemic?

Dr Charles Shepherd

Dr Shepherd has been Trustee and Hon. Medical Adviser to the ME Association for more than 40 years. He is integral to the charity's activities and provides information and support based on his professional knowledge, personal experience as a doctor with ME/CFS, and the understanding gained from helping many thousands of people with the condition. He was a member of the comittee responsible for the 2021 NICE Clinical Guideline and is a recognised expert on ME/CFS in the UK. His knowledge extends to Post-Viral Fatigue Syndromes (PVFS), Myalgic Encephalopathy/Encephalomyelitis (ME), Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), and Post-Acute Sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 infection (PASC) or Long Covid.

If you have questions about ME/CFS or Long Covid, you can: 

  • Review the free information in the What is ME/CFS? section of the website, and the free Covid-19 and Long Covid information in the website shop.
  • Review the largest range of literature covering all aspects of living with ME/CFS. Download detailed information about symptoms, diagnosis, management, co-mordities, employment, education, related health conditions, The 2021 NICE Clinical Guideline, welfare benefits etc.
  • Join the ME Association as a member and you'll receive the highly-rated ME Essential magazine, and you can ask questions of the charity’s expert advisers including Dr Shepherd.
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Medical Matters is based on the popular ‘Ask the Doctor‘ series featured in the highly-regarded member’s magazine, ME Essential, and in the healthcare professional magazine, ME Medical. Both are produced by the ME Association and published as hard-copy magazines every 3 months and sent to members and healthcare professionals by post to home or business addresses. 

If you are an HCP you can sign-up here to receive ME Medical magazine (people with ME/CFS can also nominate their HCP by completing the sign-up form). 

Please note: The answers comprising Medical Matters were accurate at the time of printing. A publication date accompanies all listed entries. We will endeavour to keep Medical Matters updated as information changes, but if you would like to comment, please email: meconnect@meassociation.org.uk

MEDICAL DISCLAIMER

Information provided by The ME Association should not be construed as medical advice. Don't assume any new or worsened symptoms are simply the result of having ME/CFS or Long Covid. We recommend that any information you deem relevant is discussed with your NHS GP as soon as possible. It is important that you seek personalised medical advice from the GP who is in charge of your care and who knows you well.

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