The incurable syndrome of "chronic fatigue" (myalgic encephalomyelitis) affects 17 million people worldwide, including 240,000 in Germany. Chronic fatigue as a symptom of many diseases is not the same as this autonomic syndrome.
Contrary to the perception of foreigners, fatigue has nothing to do with exhaustion. Affected are not tired, but their body barely produces more energy. This has nothing to do with fatigue.
Often, only after years, the correct diagnosis: Myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME).
What are the symptoms?
Patients are very exhausted – all the time. They fall due to increased sensitivity to light and have difficulty concentrating. Fatigue, irritability and cognitive impairment are not among the main symptoms, as opposed to other fatigue-related disorders. Just like small patients suffer from mental disorders, accompanying symptoms include fatigue – for example, depression.
Pain and cramps
Many patients have severe pain in the head, muscles and joints. There are also twitching and muscle spasms, sleep disorders and neuro-cognitive symptoms. Sensitivity to light is sometimes so large that the affected people must remain in dimmed spaces.
The German Society for ME / CFS on its website warns: "In professional circles and institutions, the ME / CFS is often misunderstood as being psychologically conditioned and dealt with in the outdated results of research." Only a few doctors in Germany have been adequately informed of this condition, and the sufferers have outstanding difficulties in providing adequate health care. "
A regulated daily life is not possible
The University of Aalborg in 2015 found that the quality of life of the affected people is often even lower than in patients with lung cancer or people who have had a stroke. For example, up to a quarter of those affected would not be able to leave their homes, many would need care, and about 60% would be incapable of work.
(Dr. Utz Anhalt)