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WHAT IS ME? WHAT IS CFS?

M.E. (myalgic encephalomyelitis) is a serious, disabling and long term disease. It is formally classified as a neurological disease by the World Health Organisation. M.E. can affect people of all ages and all social classes and its impact can be devastating. Symptoms are wide ranging as all systems of the body are affected. Especially characteristic is post exertional incapacity and malaise, which may be delayed. People who have M.E. are both ill and disabled, although they may look normal. Levels of disability vary, but may be severe, with an estimated 25% of sufferers being house– or bed–bound.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is a term that came into use after 1988 and has a broader definition than M.E. To make matters even more confusing, different definitions of CFS are used in the international literature. In the UK, CFS is an umbrella term that embraces many different medical conditions, in which fatigue is prominent including M.E.. Doctors in Britain generally favour this term rather than M.E. There is also a tendency to use the terms "chronic fatigue" and "fatigue syndromes" which do not equate with either M.E. or CFS.

Without getting too involved in the detail, this explains why we use both terms in publicising the classes. We welcome anyone who has M.E. or CFS, whether or not they have had a medical diagnosis. We would also welcome people with similar illnesses such as post viral fatigue (over 2 months duration), gulf war syndrome, post polio syndrome and Lyme disease (borreliosis) who could also benefit.

For more information about M.E. please refer to other M.E. websites on our links page. A good place to start would be the medical information page  of the 25% M.E. Group website or ME Research UK.

Sheffield Yoga for ME/CFS
March 2004



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