The Hummingbirds' Foundation for M.E.

The Hummingbirds' Foundation for M.E. (HFME) is fighting for the recognition of M.E.,
and for patients to be accorded the same basic human rights as those with similar
disabling and potentially fatal neurological diseases such as M.S.

M.E. overview (in brief)

There is a history of recorded outbreaks going back to 1934, a review of early outbreaks found that clinical symptoms were consistent in over 60 recorded epidemics of M.E. spread all over the world. M.E. is an acutely acquired neurological illness (with systemic effects) initiated by a virus infection with a 4-7 day incubation period. This point of view is supported by history, incidence, symptoms, similarities with other viral illnesses and a large body of research spanning many decades.

M.E.: A historical, medical and political overview

There is a history of recorded outbreaks going back to 1934, a review of early outbreaks found that clinical symptoms were consistent in over 60 recorded epidemics of M.E. spread all over the world. M.E. is an acutely acquired neurological illness (with systemic effects) initiated by a virus infection with a 4-7 day incubation period. This point of view is supported by history, incidence, symptoms, similarities with other viral illnesses and a large body of research spanning many decades.

 

So what do we know about Myalgic Encephalomyelitis so far?

There is an abundance of research which shows that M.E. is an organic illness which can have profound effects on many bodily systems. Many aspects of the pathophysiology of the disease have, indeed, been medically explained in volumes of research articles. More than a thousand good articles now support the basic premise of M.E. Whilst it is true that there is as yet no single laboratory test which can diagnose M.E., there are a specific series of tests which enable a M.E. diagnosis to be easily confirmed (MRI and SPECT scans of the brain for example).

Some of the abnormalities found in M.E. patients include: extremely low circulating blood volume (up to an astounding 50%), enzyme pathway disruptions, punctate lesions in M.E. brains resembling those of multiple sclerosis patients, sub-optimal cardiac function and abnormal cardiovascular responses, persistent viral infection in the heart, severe mitochondrial defects and significantly reduced lung functioning.

Strong evidence also exists to show that (even mild or moderate) exercise can have extremely harmful effects on M.E. patients; permanent damage may be caused, as well as disease progression and there have also been deaths. This is why the exercise programs being ‘recommended’ or sometimes forced on M.E. patients (including young children) to treat their supposed ‘chronic fatigue’ are so dangerous and harmful as to amount to legalised torture. Patient accounts of leaving exercise programs much more severely ill than when they began them (wheelchair-bound or bed-bound or needing intensive care) are common.

Sudden deaths have also been reported in M.E. patients following exercise.

 

How common is Myalgic Encephalomyelitis and who gets it?

M.E. has a similar strike rate to multiple sclerosis. M.E. affects more than a million children as young as five, teenagers and adults. It affects all ethnic and socio-economic groups, and has been diagnosed all over the world.

 

Recovery from and severity of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis

M.E. can be progressive, degenerative (change of tissue to a lower or less functioning form, as in heart failure), chronic, or relapsing and remitting. It can also be fatal. Patients who are given advice to rest in the early stages of the illness (and who avoid overexertion thereafter) have repeatedly been shown to have the most positive long-term prognosis.

M.E. is a life-long disability where relapse is always possible. Symptoms are extremely severe for around 30% of sufferers leaving many of them housebound, bedbound and severely disabled. One specialist found that M.E. patients experienced greater "functional severity" than the studied patients with heart disease, virtually all types of cancer, and all other chronic illnesses. An unrelated study compared the quality of life of people with various illnesses, including patients undergoing chemotherapy or haemodialysis, as well as those with HIV, liver transplants, coronary artery disease, and other ailments, and again found that M.E. patients scored the lowest.
 

Truly M.E. can be one of the most devastating and horrific illness there is, yet many with M.E. are subject to repeated medical abuse and neglect because of the way the illness has been dishonestly ‘marketed’ to the public as being psychological or ‘behavioural,’ or as being a problem of mere ‘fatigue’ or a ‘fatigue syndrome.’

Sub-grouping or refining or renaming ’CFS’ will only waste another 20 years. There is no such distinct disease/s as ‘CFS’ – that is the entire issue. For the benefit of all the patient groups involved; the bogus disease category of ‘CFS’ must be abandoned and patients with M.E. must again be diagnosed with M.E. and treated for M.E.

Due to an overwhelming amount of compelling scientific evidence, the World Health Organization correctly classified M.E. as a distinct organic neurological disease in 1969 – this classification/definition and name must be accepted and adhered to in all official documentations and government policy.

PLEASE help to spread the truth about Myalgic Encephalomyelitis.

This appalling abuse and neglect of so many severely ill and vulnerable people on such an industrial scale is inhuman and has already gone on for far too long. This will only change through education. People with M.E. desperately need your help.

Relevant video: What is ME? (1 page version)

More information

To read or download an extended and fully referenced version of the above text, please see the What is M.E.? page.


Additional relevant links:

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Live Support

Exciting book news!

Click here to purchase the first HFME book!


The book 'Caring For The M.E. Patient' by Jodi Bassett includes a Foreword by international M.E. expert Dr Byron Hyde.

He writes:

"There is so much false information that is picked up and disseminated it is near impossible to hold one’s head above the water and sift through this morass of misinformation. Any attempt to seek the truth is always a major difficulty. Somehow, Jodi Bassett and Hummingbird have managed to plow through this field of weeds."

"This is a book that deserves being read, not only by patients and physicians with an interest in M.E. but the bureaucrats in the USA Centers for Disease Control who have done so much damage to the understanding of M.E. I recommend her book to all and wish it every best success."

Paperback $18.95
Hardcover $22.95