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Relatively common (up to 40 patients/10,000 list). Variable between individuals and over time, but can be as physically disabling as multiple sclerosis (MS), systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) or rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Symptoms include fatigue, malaise, headaches, sleep disturbance, difficulties with concentration, muscle pain, and may be present for many years before diagnosis. The causes and disease processes of CFS/ME are not understood. Managing severe CFS/ME is difficult and complex, and specialist advice is needed.

NICE CG53 Chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis (or encephalopathy); diagnosis and management; 2007 (New guidance expected August 2021)
Severe ME/CFS: a guide to living by Emily Collingridge. Published by Association of Young People with ME (AYME), 2010.


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