Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS)
Myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) is a serious, long-term illness that affects many body systems. People with ME/CFS are often not able to do their usual activities. At times, ME/CFS may confine them to bed. People with ME/CFS have severe fatigue and sleep problems. ME/CFS may get worse after people with the illness try to do as much as they want or need to do. This symptom is known as post-exertional malaise (PEM). Other symptoms can include problems with thinking and concentrating, pain, and dizziness.
According to an Institute of Medicine (IOM) report published in 2015, an estimated 836,000 to 2.5 million Americans suffer from ME/CFS, but most of them have not been diagnosed.
Facts and possible causes
Information for patients and families
Managing symptoms and activities; coping
Overview of CDC's work
Learn how ME/CFS affects kids
PSA, Stories from patients and their families
CDC has partnered with Medscape to offer three continuing medical education (CME) activities for healthcare providers. All courses can be accessed by either a desktop computer or a mobile device.
- Diagnosing Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: The Experts Weigh Inexternal icon (Authors: Lucinda Bateman, MD; Natalie Azar, MD; Nancy Klimas, MD; José Montoya, MD)
- ME/CFS: Test Your Strengths and Gaps in Knowledgeexternal icon (Author: Nancy Klimas, MD)
- ME/CFS: A Case-Based Learning Moduleexternal icon (Author: Steven Gluckman, MD)
- NINDS/CDC Common Data Elements (CDEs) for Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS)external icon
- Disability and ME/CFS
- ME/CFS: Making strides to enhance the lives of those living with ME/CFS
- NIH Director’s Blog: Moving Toward Answers in ME/CFS, March 2017external icon
- NIH ME/CFS websiteexternal icon
- CFS Advisory Committee to HHSexternal icon
- FDA Voice of the Patient pdf icon[PDF – 267KB]external icon
- ME/CFS clinical trialsexternal icon
ME/CFS and Fibromyalgia International Awareness Day
In Beyond Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: Redefining an Illnessexternal icon, the committee proposes new diagnostic criteria that will facilitate timely diagnosis and care, and enhance understanding of this complex disease among health care providers and the public.