A Patient Survey completed by the ME Association concluded activity pacing as the most helpful strategy to manage ME/CFS.
Most people may think pacing activity is common sense. However, managing activity with regard to ME/CFS is contradictory to the way we have lived prior to becoming unwell with ME/CFS.
We are generally taught to push through when times get hard, to not stop and keep going. This attitude does not work with ME/CFS. The patient needs to learn to rest frequently to allow the body to recover energy. If the patient pushes past their limit or Activity Baseline the body sends out inflammatory responses.
These inflammatory responses present the patient with episodes of PENE disabling the patient with dire symptoms for days, weeks or even months. This response can occur hours or days after the individual has pushed passed their limit.
Recent research found those diagnosed with ME/CFS have a large number of plasma cell free DNA within their circulatory blood. The amount of plasma cell free DNA was equivalent to other patients who were being treated for cancer with chemotherapy.
This indicates that cell death is occurring at alarming rates for some if not most ME/CFS affected individuals. Reasons for cell death may include the failure of the energy producing mitochondria to recycle the energy demands of individual cells resulting in Apoptosis programmed cell death. This premature cell death could occur for ME/CFS patients just to maintain homoeostasis not to mention activities of daily living, leisure pursuits or even exercise.
To allow the body to reside in a healing state Pacing Activity is paramount to recovery. It may take someone with ME/CFS many months or even years to learn to Pace effectively.
Please visit the ME/CFS Diary Support Page for further advice and additional links on pacing activity.
Checkout our article on Pacing and PENE