Royal College of Physicians blog: Doctors believe in ME, 15 July 2021
In a follow up to her 2019 blog post, Dr Nina Muirhead discusses a recent surge in clinical interest in myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS).
In 2019, I wrote to the RCP to share my experience of developing a neurological disease with multisystem symptoms following a virus. This is a disease characterised by symptom exacerbation following exertion, orthostatic hypotension, disturbed sleep, fatigue and cognitive impairment. We are now facing the next post-viral chronic disease challenge, post-acute sequelae SARS-CoV-2 infection (PASC) or ‘long COVID’. Averting the next potential ‘disaster’ is critically dependent on us, as healthcare providers, believing and providing supportive care to our post-viral patients. Doctors are now being urged to diagnose and systematically record cases in computerised medical record (CMR) systems.
This is especially important, as the REACT research numbers show that the illness burden is far higher than clinicians are currently recording. Long COVID patients are presenting to us, many with a long list of multisystem symptoms strikingly similar to the multisystem symptoms of ME/CFS, and we are on the steep learning curve to recognise this disease.
Continue reading for Dr Muirhead’s assessment of the four recent significant developments in ME/CFS.