Management – A-Z of Symptom Management


Medical management of M.E. is aimed at trying to relieve symptoms and improve or sustain functional ability. This leaflet summarises how drugs, self-help strategies, and therapies can be used to manage some of the most common symptoms.


“With no effective drug treatment for the underlying causes of M.E., medical management is very much aimed at trying to relieve the various disabling symptoms and to improve or sustain functional ability.

“This can involve the use of prescription-only and over-the-counter drugs, self-help strategies, and alternative and complementary therapies (ACMs) – sometimes involving all three.

“The main purpose of this guidance is to summarise how these three approaches can be used to help manage some of the most common symptoms. It also includes symptoms that are not already covered in our  symptom specific information leaflets.

Key Symptoms of M.E.

  • Post-exertional malaise.
  • Activity-induced muscle fatigue.
  • Cognitive dysfunction.
  • Sleep problems including unrefreshing sleep.
  • Ongoing flu-like symptoms including sore throats and tender glands.
  • Orthostatic intolerance – dizziness, vertigo, when sitting upright or standing.

Other common symptoms include:

  • Pain – muscles, joints and nerves.
  • Problems with balance and temperature control.
  • Gastro-intestinal symptoms.
  • Sensitivity to light and sound.
  • Alcohol intolerance.
  • Headaches – often unusual or migrainous in nature

Telephone Helpline

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 leaflet 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.


0344 576 5326

Available every day of the week between these times: 10am - 12noon, 2pm - 4pm and 7pm - 9pm.

Calls cost the same as other standard landline numbers (starting 01 or 02). If you have a call package for your landline or mobile phone then calls will normally come out of your inclusive minutes.