Mr. Speaker, May is ME/CFS Awareness Month, myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome.
Chronic fatigue syndrome refers to a severe, continued tiredness that is not relieved by rest and is not directly caused by other medical conditions. Four hundred thousand Canadians are bed-bound or house-bound with ME/CFS.
Often misdiagnosed and misunderstood, patients experience muscle aches, headaches and extreme fatigue. Although some patients completely recover after six months to a year, others never feel as they did before they developed CFS.
There is currently no cure for CFS, and so far treatment is focused on relieving the symptoms. As a physician, I know just how the strain of dealing with this disease often leads to depression and other psychological disorders, which make recovery that much more difficult.
Unfortunately, this condition still does not have the recognition it deserves. Increased awareness is the best way to defeat the stigma surrounding CFS.
We must also continue the fight to find a cure and give these Canadians back their lives.