Resources for Medical Providers

Myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) is a chronic, complex, neuroimmune disease that profoundly limits the health and productivity of patients and is often triggered by an infection. The main symptoms are extreme exhaustion (exacerbated by activity), cognitive dysfunction and unrefreshing sleep. Other symptoms may vary.

Long Covid describes a collection of lingering symptoms devastating the lives of many infected by COVID-19. Long Covid affects an estimated 10-30% of people infected with COVID-19, including those who were asymptomatic. The most frequent prolonged symptoms are persistent fatigue, brain fog, and depleted energy after even a minimal effort.

Because post-infection diseases are not yet fully understood, there is no cure for ME/CFS or Long Covid, nor are there any FDA-approved drugs or treatments. However, there are interventions and symptom-reduction strategies that you can use to significantly improve patients’ quality of life. Providing compassionate and effective care for patients with ME/CFS and Long Covid can be challenging, like many other multisystemic chronic conditions. Patients and their providers must be partners with open lines of communication in order to effectively manage this illness. Below you will find education based on current research.

Learn more about current ME/CFS and Long Covid research through the Solve M.E. Webinar Series, and sign up for our newsletter. You can also find a list of experts and thought leaders here. If you have any questions or need additional information, please contact us.

Diagnosis and Management: ME/CFS


Important Disease Context

In 2015, the National Academy of Medicine (NAM) — formerly called the Institute of Medicine (IOM) — published a report summarizing the evidence base and redefining the diagnostic criteria. Key findings of the report included:

  • It is estimated that between 5 – 9 million Americans suffer from ME/CFS
  • ME/CFS is not psychiatric or psychological in nature
  • ME/CFS is characterized by profound fatigue, cognitive dysfunction, sleep abnormalities, autonomic manifestations, pain, and other symptoms that are made worse by exertion
  • Many people with ME/CFS report difficulty completing everyday tasks, and at least one quarter have been home- or bed-bound at some point as a result of their illness
  • The total economic costs of ME/CFS are estimated at $17 to $24 billion annually
  • ME/CFS can severely impair patients’ ability to conduct their normal lives

Diagnosis and Management: Long Covid

Resources and Guidance for Coding:

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