There is no diagnostic blood test for M.E. – but testing your blood is essential to rule out other illnesses that can cause similar symptoms. This leaflet takes an in-depth look at what blood tests should be taken to ensure your diagnosis is correct and what these tests can reveal about your state of health.
There is no diagnostic blood test for M.E. – but testing your blood is essential to rule out other illnesses that can cause similar symptoms. This leaflet takes an in-depth look at what blood tests should be taken to ensure your diagnosis is correct and what these tests can reveal.
“While minor blood test abnormalities can occur in ME/CFS, none of them are sufficiently consistent or robust enough to turn them into diagnostic markers in our current state of knowledge.
“So the simple answer here is ‘no’ and a diagnostic ‘ME blood test’ seems unlikely to be made available in the near future. Significant progress is however being made in the search for potential diagnostic biomarkers and a number of research groups have been reporting some interesting preliminary findings.
“The UK M.E. Biobank (which is funded by the ME Association’s Ramsay Research Fund) has found that some people with severe M.E. have a lower than normal level of a muscle enzyme called creatine kinase.
“They have also published results from a big study on the immunology of M.E. that was funded by the National Institutes of Health in America. This study found that some people with M.E. have an increased proportion of an immune system component called MAIT cells (mucosal associated invariant T cells).
“This is an interesting abnormality that is being linked to neurological and autoimmune conditions such as multiple sclerosis and inflammatory bowel disease, where these cells appear at sites of inflammation in the nervous system and gut lining…”
- What does a blood test measure?
- Is there a diagnostic blood test for M.E.?
- The search for a diagnostic marker
- What blood tests should be taken before a diagnosis is confirmed?
- The results, what do they mean?
- When should blood tests be repeated or extended?
- Specific blood tests (in detail) and what they can tell us about your state of health
The ME Association telephone helpline – ME Connect – is available every day of the year, during the hours of 10am-12noon, 2pm-4pm and 7pm-9pm. Please phone: 0344 576 5326 if you have any questions or would simply like to talk to someone who is there to listen.
Please note this is a download. You can read it on-screen and save to your computer, phone or other device and can attach it to any email you might need to send. But you will need access to a printer if you wish it printed.