GS Paper - 3 (Health and Diseases)

A woman from Bengaluru has filed a petition in the Delhi High Court to stop her Noida-based friend, who has been suffering from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome since 2014, from travelling to Europe to undergo a physician-assisted euthanasia.

What is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?

  1. Also known as myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME/CFS), Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, is a serious and debilitating disease that affects the nervous system, the immune system and the body’s production of energy, according to the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
  2. Experts have suggested that the term can trivialize the severity of the illness. In a 2015 report, the US Institute of Medicine proposed the term systemic exertion intolerance disease (SEID).
  3. Its causes are still unknown. However, the potential triggers would include viral or bacterial infection, hormonal imbalances and genetic predispositions.
  4. There is no specific test for the disease, and doctors have to rely on medical examinations, blood and urine tests.
  5. ME/CFS can affect anyone, from children to adults of all ages. According to the CDC, it’s more common in women and people between 40 and 60 years old.
  6. The biggest telltale symptom is a significantly lowered ability to do activities that were performed before the illness. This is accompanied by at least 6 months (or longer) of debilitating fatigue that is more severe than everyday feelings of tiredness.
  7. This fatigue is not relieved by sleep or rest and exercising usually makes the symptoms worse, according to the UK’s National Health Services (NHS).
  8. Other symptoms include trouble sleeping, difficulty in thinking, memory retention and concentration, dizziness/lightheadedness, headaches, muscle pain, joint ache, flu-like symptoms, tender lymph nodes and digestive issues.