ME/CFS – What do we know about the causes of ME?

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The underlying cause of M.E. is subject to much uncertainty and medical debate. This is one of the reasons why doctors have very differing views on how the condition should be managed. In this leaflet we review the evidence supporting various theories about causation and consider the physical abnormalities that reinforce our view that this is a physical disease.

Description

“The underlying cause of M.E. is subject to much uncertainty and medical debate. This is one of the reasons why doctors have very differing views on how the condition should be
managed.

“At the one end of the spectrum of medical opinion are those – including the ME Association – who believe that M.E. is caused by a physical disease process that results in a number of symptoms affecting different parts of the body. This has now been shown to involve the brain, muscle, immune and endocrine (hormone-producing) systems.

“Mental health symptoms, where they occur, are a result of and not a cause of M.E. They are a very understandable result of the practical difficulties and emotional stresses of living with a long-term and very disabling illness…”

Topics discussed in this leaflet, include:

  • Background, historical, and recent developments.
  • Defining ME/CFS for clinical and research purposes.
  • Is ME/CFS a three-stage illness?
    • Predisposing factors
    • Precipitating factors
    • Perpetuating factors
  • Brain abnormalities.
  • Muscle abnormalities.
  • Immune system abnormalities.
  • The role of infections.
  • Endocrine (hormone) abnormalities.
  • Conclusions.
  • Further information.

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.

ME CONNECT HELPLINE

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.