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: Genetic

Prevalence: Gender

ME Essential Winter 2023

Does anyone know why ME seems to affect more women than men?

I know quite a few people with ME and about 80% are women. This is the same sort of ratio that appears in comments on MEA Facebook – although I
accept that women may be better at communicating their feelings than men!

Has anyone done any research into this?

Research: DecodeME

ME Essential Summer 2023

I have developed ME after catching Covid-19 last year and have a few quick questions about the DecodeME study. Can I still sign up to participate? When will we know the results? Will I have access to information about my own DNA? Will the study also be including people with Long Covid?

 

Hypermobility & Ehlers Danlos Syndrome

ME Essential Spring 2023

My daughter, who is now in her early twenties, has had ME/CFS since being a teenager. We have always felt that her joints are more flexible than normal. She often has strains and sprains and has dislocated her knee in the past. Her doctor is now querying whether she may now have a hypermobile joint condition called Ehlers Danlos Syndrome. Are there any links between hypermobile joints and ME/CFS? Or is this just a coincidence?

Genetic Predisposition: Hereditary

ME Essential Autumn 2021

I am the only person in my family to have ME that I know of. But I’ve heard that people with ME quite often have another family member with the disease. Is this true? If so, can someone with ME transmit it to their children? And has any research been carried out into the genetics of ME?

Medical Research: Volunteering

ME Essential Summer 2021

I have a diagnosis of ME/CFS. I have it mildly compared to most (although it still significantly impacts my life) and no other physical or mental health problems. I would really like to get involved in research into the physiology of ME/CFS. In my experience it’s all to do with the reaction of my muscles. How do I go about this please?

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.
  • Contact us via the ME Connect Telephone Helpline (open 365 days a year) and speak to one of the national team of fully-trained volunteers who waiting to provide information and support. 
  • Contact us via email or social media: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn

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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