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.

Search all questions

Choose a letter to see our categories

  • Show all
  • A
  • B
  • C
  • D
  • E
  • F
  • G
  • H
  • I
  • J
  • K
  • L
  • M
  • N
  • O
  • P
  • Q
  • R
  • S
  • T
  • U
  • V
  • W
  • Y
  • 5

Questions in the Category: Stress

Management: Fitness

ME Essential Winter 2021

Can I ask what the advice is on heart health for people with ME? As most of us can’t exercise, how do we maintain a healthy cardiovascular system? Is a healthy diet enough?

Aetiology: Causation

ME Essential Autumn 2021

 Most people I know with ME say their illness started with or followed an infection - from which they never recovered. But there are a few who don’t recall a clear and sudden onset to their deterioration in health. So are we really sure that infections are always the cause of ME?

Symptom: Vivid Dreams

ME Essential Summer 2021

Are vivid dreams a recognised symptom of ME? Like most people with ME I have unrefreshing sleep and sometimes wake up in the night. But I’ve recently been waking in the middle of the night with very clear memories of rather bizarre vivid dreams. Fortunately, nothing frightening has happened so far!

Management: Swimming

ME Essential Autumn 2020

Like some people with ME/CFS I’ve made a significant degree of improvement over a number of years. I’m fairly stable, mobile, able go for longish walks, and manage to do some part-time work. A well-intentioned friend who goes wild water swimming has suggested that I ‘give it a try’. She claims it can have all kinds of health benefits, including “resetting body clocks that have gone wrong”. She even pointed me to some research about the benefits of cold water swimming for conditions such as arthritis. I’m very open-minded about trying anything that might work. But I’m concerned that this could actually make ME/CFS worse.

Mental Health: Anxiety and Panic Attacks

ME Essential Autumn 2018

I’ve always been a rather anxious person but this has become more noticeable since developing ME. I also have occasional panic attacks – which never happened before. Is this all part of having this illness? Or am I just being unlucky?

Prognosis: Progressive

ME Essential Summer 2018

I’m in my late forties and have had ME for over 10 years. For the past few years it has been fairly stable with occasional exacerbations, normally when I get an infection. But I’ve recently noticed a gradual deterioration in almost all of my ME symptoms. I don’t have any new or unusual symptoms and there are no obvious reasons for this deterioration in health – infection, stress etc. I’m reluctant to see my GP – who knows very little about ME – but I am starting to feel concerned.

Symptom: Tremor

ME Essential Spring 2018

I understand that a tremor, or shaking in the hands, sometimes occurs in ME/CFS. But it could also be a sign of Parkinson’s disease. I’m in my mid fifties and have had moderate ME/CFS for about five years. It is fairly stable but the tremor, which is in both hands and tends to be more noticeable when I’m fatigued, has only been present for a few weeks. Should I see my GP?

Stress and ME/CFS

ME Essential Summer 2017

When I first developed ME, this was triggered by an infection. But I was also under a lot of physical stress (at work) and mental stress (at home) at the time. I know that ME isn't just another type of stress disorder but stress does seem to play a role in both triggering and causing exacerbations in some people with ME. So what do we know about the role of stress in ME? And has there been any research into the role of stress?

Jaw pain and ME/ CFS – is there a link?

ME Essential Winter 2017

I’ve been having pain in and around my jaw for several months. My GP can’t find anything wrong but I’ve read that there is a condition called temperomandibular joint disorder which causes jaw pain and is said to be more common in ME. Is this true? And what can I do when I have a GP who doesn’t seem to know anything about how to diagnose or treat this condition?

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: contact@meassociation.org.uk

MEDICAL DISCLAIMER

Medical Matters is for information purposes only. The answers provided by Dr Shepherd and the ME Association’s other expert advisers should not be construed as medical advice. We recommend that any information you deem relevant is discussed with your GP as soon as possible. It is important to obtain advice from a GP who is in charge of your clinical care, who knows you well, and who can consider other likely causes for symptoms. Seek personalised medical advice whenever a new symptom arises, or an existing symptom worsens. Don't assume that new or worsened symptoms are a result of having ME/CFS.

Shopping Cart