How severe is ME/CFS?

Dr. Nancy Klimas “My H.I.V. patients for the most part are hale and hearty thanks to three decades of intense and excellent research and billions of dollars invested. Many of my ME/C.F.S. patients, on the other hand, are terribly ill and unable to work or participate in the care of their families. I split my clinical time between the two illnesses [HIV and ME/CFS], and I can tell you if I had to choose between the two illnesses (in 2009) I would rather have H.I.V.”  Link here.


ME/CFS is much more than fatigue.

  • ME/CFS is a chronic, multisystemic disease. ME/CFS affects the central nervous system, autonomic nervous system, immune system, cardiovascular system, endocrine system and musculoskeletal systems.  Fatigue is often the primary symptom early in the disease process. However, as the disease progresses, other symptoms become more prominent and are disabling.
  • ME/CFS patients have a wide range of symptoms. Disability levels vary greatly from one patient to another. ME/CFS symptoms and symptom severity can shift without warning or explanation. This makes planning for work, school, and everyday activities impossible. 
  • ME/CFS has a distinctive characteristic. Post-exertional malaise is a worsening of symptoms following physical or mental exertion, occurring up to 48 hours post-exertion and requiring an extended recovery period.
  • ME/CFS affects more than one million Americans. ME/CFS affects all ages, races, ethnicities, education, and socioeconomic groups.
  • ME/CFS costs the United States more than $21 billion dollars annually in medical/disability costs and lost productivity.
  • Primary care physicians need up-to-date continuing education about ME/CFS.
  • Appropriate biomedical research is needed to solve and treat ME/CFS. This will finally enable people with ME/CFS to be productive again.
  • Increase government funding for biomedical research to solve and treat ME/CFS.
  • Increase funding for up-to-date physician education about ME/CFS.

Thank you for remembering ME!