C.F.S. can be a severely disabling and chronic condition which has a devastating impact on your daily life, work and personal independence – an impact often made worse by the prejudice and disbelief which surrounds this complex disorder.
People with C.F.S. have often enjoyed good health before coming down with a range of symptoms which suggest a change in brain function. C.F.S. can cause loss of concentration and short-term memory; dyslexia, nausea, clumsiness and disturbed balance. There may also be problems with vision and sensitivity to light, as well as sensitivity to noise and misjudgement of distance. People with ME are often depressed and may suffer from mood swings. They may also have be problems with bladder control and changes in their bowel function.
No one yet knows what causes C.F.S., but it often begins at the time of an acute infection and researchers are looking into the possibility of it being linked to certain common viruses. There is also speculation that certain neurotoxins such as pesticides could trigger C.F.S., while physicians recognize that psychological and emotional states may also have an influence.
Getting over C.F.S. can be a long, slow process taking several years and involving relapses, but it is possible to recover in time. However, some people merely show some improvement while a minority never get over their symptoms and become invalids.
C.F.S. can hit at anytime, whatever your age or background, and although it most commonly starts between the ages of 20 and 40, children as young as seven can be affected.