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Members of the ME Association receive a quarterly magazine – ME Essential – delivered straight to their door. It features exclusive interviews, keeps them up-to-date with medical and scientific developments and includes stories about how people cope with the disease.

Our latest issue – Winter 2017 – is packed with things you’ll want to read!

It features the recent interview on BBC Breakfast with Dr Charles Shepherd, and Jennifer Brea, about the award-winning documentary film, Unrest.

We also include a review of the parliamentary reception for Unrest that was hosted by ME Association Patron, and Speaker of the House, the Rt. Hon. Sir John Bercow, MP, and we reveal some photographs of the event that haven’t been seen before!

We have an exclusive interview with Dr Keith Geraghty about his personal experience of M.E. and his research – funded by the ME Association – that is critically examining controversial treatments: CBT and GET.

We also look at the SMILE trial, which included another controversial treatment, the Lightning Process, and raised concerns throughout our community.

Dr Shepherd talks about thyroid disease, and how important it is to recognise that some of the symptoms of low thyroid function/hypothyroidism can overlap with the symptoms of ME/CFS and must be excluded before a diagnosis of ME/CFS is made.

One of our trustees, Nicki Strong, talks about her recent meeting with South Oxfordshire MP, John Howell, whom she met following a plea for help from a constituent and MEA member who was unable to attend because of M.E. Nicki is also featured in our ‘five minutes with’ series, that consists of interviews with MEA trustees.

It’s report and accounts time, and we’ve published our annual accounts for the year ended 31st December 2016. The magazine invites members to attend the AGM, which will be held at 2pm on Monday 18th December at our office in Gawcott, and provides a summary of the accounts and financial statement. The full accounts can be obtained from head office, or via The Charity Commission website.

Lady Mar, Dr Shepherd, Jennifer Brea, and Jessica Taylor-Bearman in Parliament.

We look at our new leaflet, ‘managing your emotions’ with Dr Lisa Dvorjetz, who not only wrote it, but also volunteers as an ME Connect helpline supervisor. And we feature our updated flu vaccine information, which will help you to make an informed choice about whether to have the flu jab this year.

Dr Shepherd is back with his popular ‘Ask the Doctor’ series and answers questions about, for example, ANA testing and what it means, if there is any point seeing a GP if there’s no effective treatment for ME/CFS, and what ‘active rehabilitation’ might mean in relation to income protection policies.

The recent CMRC research conference is reviewed and one of the recipients of our student bursaries, Charlotte Stephens – who also helps us with our popular research reviews – recounts her experience of the conference.

We include several stories from members: Donna Jeffries, talks about her 35 years of living with M.E. and how she finds herself, ‘stuck in the middle’ – not as severe as some, but not as well as others. Victoria Kay Rees, recounts her traumatic, but ultimately successful, experience with the personal independence payment (PIP) process. And, Anita Neilson talks about how difficult it was to truly accept M.E. but how she has now been able to find a new purpose in life… with her writing.

In our lifestyle section, we have Pippa Stacey with her tips for coping at university, our dietary advisers – Sue and Michelle – talking about how to manage a healthy diet, and we have some tasty-looking recipes that you – or whoever cooks in your family – might like to try as we enter the colder months of winter.

And, if you fancy – and can manage – watching a film or reading a book, then we have some recommendations for you here as well!

How to receive a copy of ME Essential

To receive a regular copy of our magazine you will need to be a member of the ME Association. To read more about the benefits of membership and to make an application, please visit our membership page.

You can join or renew membership online, or complete a Membership Application Form (especially if you would like to pay by annual standing order and receive £10 worth of free leaflets), and return it to our head office in the post.

ME Essential Frequently Asked Questions Index

In every issue of ME Essential magazine, Dr Shepherd answers questions from members on a whole variety of subjects relating to life with M.E. that together provide a useful source of reference. You can view or download our latest index and then find answers from your own back-copies of our magazine.