Myalgic encephalomyelitis is a neuroimmune disease (with an infectious component and/or etiology) appearing in epidemic and sporadic forms. ME affects multiple systems of the body: neurological, immune, cardiovascular, endocrine and energy systems. The illness typically has an acute onset of a viral or bacterial infection or toxin or chemical exposure.
The symptoms of ME are numerous and include but are not limited to the following: post-exertional collapse, muscle and joint pain, enlarged lymph nodes, chills, low-grade fever, vertigo, extreme fatigue and weakness, cognitive impairment (delayed processing, aphasia, short term memory loss, etc.), orthostatic intolerance, sleep dysfunction, headaches, allergies, mold and chemical intolerance, frequent reactivated infections and co-infections. The symptoms of ME leave patients severely sick and disabled for decades and many die prematurely from complications of the disease. Currently, there is no cure for the illness.
About one million American men, women and children suffer from ME and about 17 million worldwide. Most patients are disabled and cannot work and about 25% are bedbound and cannot care for themselves. Studies show that the quality of life for patients with ME is one of the poorest compared to other chronic diseases.
“In my experience, it [ME] is one of the most disabling diseases that I care for, far exceeding HIV disease except for the terminal stages.”—Dr. Daniel Peterson
For three decades, HHS has harmed ME patients by using their degrading name – chronic fatigue syndrome – for the disease and their erroneous criteria – causing the following damaging results: paltry federal funding, choking consequential medical advances, erroneous medical education, a scarcity of expert researchers and clinicians, recommendations of harmful treatments, no FDA-approved drugs, proliferation of psychiatric bias, obstacles getting approval for disability insurance and health insurance reimbursements, and stigmatization of patients by the media, the public, family and friends.
ME Criteria developed by ME expert researchers and clinicians:
The Canadian Consensus Criteria (2003) Guideline
The International Consensus Criteria (2011) Primer