Is there a “cure”?

Within western medicine, there is no known cure or approved treatment for ME/CFS, in part because there is no definitively known cause. Typically, patients diagnosed are told there is less than a 5% chance of recovery, but that some symptoms may be partially managed, depending on the individual’s presentation, and whether a cause for the symptom can be deduced. (For example, some ME/CFS patients develop a deficiency of vitamin B12, and supplementing B12 orally or intravenously can improve some symptoms.) Similarly, some individuals may find that certain diets help manage symptoms. Energy management, or pacing, is a common method of attempting to maintain status quo, i.e; avoid triggering a worsening of symptoms.

However, given that ME/CFS is likely a catch-all name for a plethora of causes of unwellness, it seems highly inaccurate to say there is no cure. Furthermore, there are an untold number of individuals who may qualify for a diagnosis of ME/CFS, but never receive it, who find their own ways to heal. Many individuals who have been told they have chronic Lyme, Mold Toxicity, Limbic System Impairment, Dysautonomia, Multiple Chemical Sensitivity, autoimmune diseases, thyroid and hypothalamic diseases, traumatic brain injuries, and others could qualify for the diagnosis of ME/CFS, and heal using similar mechanisms. For this reason, I have come to believe ME/CFS is a catch-all name for similar dysregulation prompted by varying causes.

I began healing when I stepped outside the western medicine way of looking at things, i.e; that there must be one specific mechanism behind ME, and that because it is not known there is no available treatment. When I made this shift, I found a passionate community of individuals sharing their experience of healing from ME. In these circles, individuals are often thinking about the “illness” as a collection of symptoms caused when their body’s natural self-protection mechanisms went a little over-the-top, and began producing a maladaptive effect (read more here.)

There are doctors and healers and other thought leaders who view ME/CFS in this way: as a collection of various ailments and normal bodily processes gone awry. Many are presenting research and experimental techniques for healing, some clearly outside mainstream western medicine, others with more appeal to that model. There are even theories that could explain ME/CFS in all of its diverse presentation.