Treatment approach

Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS) is a complex, multi-symptom illness that currently has no cure, and no FDA approved drug treatments. The main treatment approach is to ameliorate symptoms as much as possible, through Western medicine (e.g., drugs) and/or nontraditional approaches (e.g., diet, supplements, acupuncture). Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Diagnosis and Management in Young People: A Primer has a discussion of management and treatment approaches based on the limited published literature and on the clinical experience of the co-authors. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has a short summary of management and treatment approaches.

Important points are that medications should be introduced slowly, since many pediatric patients with ME/CFS respond to lower than standard doses, and that patient self-management is very important for quality of life. Good sleep hygiene, learning to pace oneself in order to avoid post-exertional malaise and relapses, and developing coping skills can all be helpful.

The publications in More resources below have additional information about management and treatments.