ME Myalgic encephalomyelitis, CFS 1.78/5 (36)

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ME fatique 640px-Statue_of_the_Tired_Man

ME: "Statue of the Tired Man" By User: Burrows - Own work. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons -

CFS / ME, Chronic fatigue syndrome, Chronic fatigue syndrome ICD-10

Similar states: SFS / ME, Myalgic Encephalopathy (ME). Idiopathic Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), neurostasis.


ME is a disabling one exhaustion combined with a variety of other symptoms and duration for at least 4-6 months when other illness is excluded.

Disease Cause

Discussed and not proven. One assumes that several factors are important:


  • Often rapid onset, in some cases after upper respiratory infection
  • Disabeling fatigue
  • Duration of at least 46 months
  • Intense bothers at least half the time
  • Striking exhaustion (more than expected) after physical or mental effort
  • Sleep without being rested
  • Feeling of fever, but without measurable abnormal temperature
  • Impaired memory and concentration (Cognitive difficulty)
  • Sore throat and sore lymph nodes
  • Muscle- og joint pain
  • Increased sensitivity to light, smell and sound
  • Numbness


Diagnose based on symptoms and exclusion of other illnesses. Frequently, diagnostic criteria are used. There are several editions. Current (1994, Fukuda) criteria here

Proposals for medical examination


Prevalence: 0,2 - 0,4% among adults, which corresponds to 10-20.000 people in Norway. Most women. Less common in children. Incidence (new cases annually per 100.000 inhabitants) in Norway (The Norwegian Institute of Public Health) is estimated at 39,4 / 100.000 among women and 12,9 / 100.000 among men. The disease is most common in the age groups 10 -19 years and 30 -39 years.

Differential Diagnoses (a selection)

Other conditions that can explain a similar kind of exhaustion must be excluded.


Early mobilization with custom, graduated activity management / graduated rehabilitation without overstimulation

    • Resting all day is not recommended. Resting in bed for more than 4 weeks can cause immunological disorders
  • If accompanying depression is present, it should be treated
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy for mobilization and better quality of life is recommended
  • Learning of coping strategies can be important
  • Customized stretching for muscles and joints combined with careful exercise or activity program is useful
  • The immunosuppressive biological drug rituximab (Rixathon / MabThera) did not show definite effect in a Norwegian study (preliminary results, 2017)

Medical prognosis

Good study data is missing.

  • Among adults, it is stated that 20 - 50% get better within 1-3 years.
  • Among children, improvement is seen in 54 - 94% after 6 years (reference: Joyce J, 1997)

Pregnancy by ME

One study suggests that worsening, unchanged and improved condition are about as common during a pregnancy.

  • There do not appear to be any more pregnancy-related complications than expected from the population otherwise (reference: Typical RS, 2004)

Specialist in Health Region South East

  • Oslo University Hospital at the ME / CFS Center has an interdisciplinary offer for adults (over 18 years) with Myalgic Encephalopathy (ME) / Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS). The outpatient service covers the Health Region South-East in Norway. The admission to the ward is nationwide.


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