An Introduction to Myalgic Encephalomyelitis / Chronic Fatigue Syndrome


Dr Eleanor Stein is a psychiatrist in private practice in Calgary, Alberta, Canada and a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Calgary. She lives with ME/CFS and works exclusively with patients with ME/CFS, Fibromyalgia and Environmental Sensitivities. Her website provides education and resources for those with these ‘difficult-to-navigate illnesses’.


Dr Stein says:
These three educational videos introduce what ME/CFS is, how to diagnose it and how to manage the most common symptoms.

The videos are adapted from recordings I created for the 1st year medical students at the University of Calgary. They are suitable for anyone relatively new to the disease: patients, loved ones, carers and health care practitioners.

The recordings on diagnosis and management include audio clips from real patients sharing their experience. Thank you to all of the contributors ranging from people who are significantly recovered and people who remain severely ill.

At the end of each video are resource slide/s with links to reputable websites with more information.

Part 1:  What is ME/CFS? [14 mins]
In this video I describe what ME/CFS is. It includes a 5 minute video of the same name from the Bateman Horne Centre (used with permission). Each of the  criteria for Systemic Exertion Intolerance Disease is explained. The Bateman Horne video is a cartoon and easily accessible to all viewers.

Part 2:  Diagnosis [22 mins]
In this recording I describe the questions a health care practitioner could ask a patient to confirm whether they meet criteria for ME/CFS or not. I also describe some of the conditions that frequently accompany ME/CFS. If you are a patient, consider what your answers are to these questions. I have included audio clips from real patients answering these questions to give a feel of the lived experience of ME/CFS.

14-minute introductory video that was initially part of a presentation to medical students; also useful for other healthcare profs, family & friends

Part 3:  Management [20 mins]
In this recording I introduce the most helpful management strategies for each of the common symptoms of ME/CFS, those included in the SEID criteria, the Canadian Consensus Criteria and the conditions that often accompany ME/CFS. I include audio clips from real patients to help give you an idea what these symptoms are like and how people have improved over time. There is hope.

Watch the videos

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