We are calling on you, the lovely wild swimming community to do what you love, taking the plunge and going for a swim, all in aid of this debilitating and life-changing chronic illness.
Myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) is a complex multisystem neurological disease that affects more than 250,000 people in the UK.
Tam from The Wild Swim Store lives with ME so this is a cause close to our hearts.
How to get involved:
1. Go for a wild swim
3. Tag 3 friends in the post to do the same challenge
4. Donate £5 to the ME Association - click here to go to the fundraising page.
What is ME?
Myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) is a complex multisystem neurological disease. It includes the dysregulation of the nervous, immune and endocrine system, with impaired cellular energy metabolism and ion transport.
It is estimated to affect around 0.2-0.4% of the population in the UK, around 250,000 people.
There is a wide range of severity, with around 25% of people being housebound or bedbound.
It is a fluctuating condition, so that symptoms can not only vary from day to day but hour to hour which makes it very hard to plan a life around with never knowing how you are going to feel.
Despite the name of the disease, Myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome, is not just about having severe fatigue, there are a wide range of symptoms which vary in severity from person to person, but some common ones are:
- Post-exertional malaise (PEM) which is when you get a worsening of symptoms after even minimal physical or mental exertion, which can be delayed for 24-72 hours or more. Meaning it is often hard to figure out what has caused a relapse in symptoms as they can occur the next day or even three days later.
- Flu-like symptoms including sore throats, swollen glands, headaches, fever-like sweats, lethargy
- Sleep problems - unrefreshing sleep, sleeping too much or too little, vivid-dreams
- Cognitive dysfunction or brain fog - problems with short-term memory, concentration, finding words.
- Orthostatic intolerance - problems with pulse and blood pressure control leading to feeling faint/dizzy when upright.
- Pain - which can involve muscle, joint and nerve pain
- Temperature control - not being able to regulate your body temperature so not being able to cool down in hot climates and the inability to get warm when cold
- Sensitivity to light and sound
- Gastrointestinal symptoms