Chronic fatigue syndrome is characterized by weakness and fatigue that just does go away and may last up to 6 months or longer. While it continues to be reported more often in adults between the ages of 40-50, small children are also plagued with CFS, as well. Chronic fatigue syndrome affects 0.2-2.3% of children or adolescents, but it is more common in adolescents (CDC).
What is CFS
Chronic fatigue syndrome symptoms do not go fade, after a brief or long rest, unlike acute fatigue. While there is no factual origin of CFS, but many medical experts believe that it may be followed by influenza virus or mononucleosis (mono, which is caused by Epstein-Barr) illnesses.
Children that experience severe or chronic fatigue after 3 months should be evaluated for CFS. While many medical experts believe that a child should not reach the threshold, 6 months of chronic fatigue, instead they should be evaluated as soon as possible to rule out hypothyroidism, myocarditis, allergic rhinitis, celiac disease, and rheumatoid arthritis.
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Causes
While there has been no genuine identified causes linked to chronic fatigue syndrome, many experts feel that symptoms are brought on by immune disorders, trauma, bacterial infections, toxins, and stress. Epstein-Barr virus, human herpesvirus 6 (HIV, XMRV), enterovirus, rubella, candida albicans (yeast), and mycoplasma (atypical pneumonia) infections.
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Test
There is no laboratory testing or biomarkers for chronic fatigue syndrome, which makes it very difficult to diagnose. Diagnostic and laboratory testing is used to rule out the above diseases and disorders, along with these findings and the duration of the chronic fatigue symptoms are utilized to diagnose this syndrome.
During the physical exam, the children will have difficulty making a genuine description of their symptoms, which only makes it more difficult to obtain a genuine diagnosis. Nutritional deficiency has not been linked to CFS either.
CFS Remission and Relapse
Many children and adults alike, will experience remission and relapse phases. During the remission period, the individual will not exhibit symptoms, but during the relapse phase, the symptoms will be reappear with a vengeance. These patterns are very unpredictable and may last from several weeks, months, or even years. The relapse period can be triggered by the above disorders, infections, and viruses.
There are some that have experienced CFS only to go into remission, with any type of relapse, but this is very rare.
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Treatment
As of now, there is not treatment or medication that is effective in treating chronic fatigue syndrome.
- Mental and physical condition is continuously monitored
- Keeping trigger factors at bay
- Physical therapy
- Defining coping techniques
- Daily activity management
- Treating and managing symptoms
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Symptoms
- Musculoskeletal aches and pains (no inflammation or edema noted)
- Swollen and tender lymph nodes
- Decreased focus factor
- Abnormal sleep pattern
- Alterations in memory functions
- Sore throat
- Irritable bowel symptoms
- Night sweats
- Visual disturbances (light sensitivity, blurred vision)
- Mental disturbances (depression, anxiety, mood swings)
CFS can lead to disability, just as lupus, end-stage renal disease,, and COPD. Food, odor, prescription drugs, and chemical allergies may also develop over time. Children will experience difficulties in physical activities and educational performances in school, as well as adults with work performances.
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Diet
Antioxidants can boost the immune system, so it is important to include a lot of high antioxidant in your diet. Avoid foods and beverages that contain a high intake of trans fat, cholesterol, sugars, alcohol, and sodium, because these can trigger or worsen CFS symptoms.
- Protein are required for growth and maintaining healthy body functions
- Vegetables and fruits that contain a high content of antioxidants, nutrients, and vitamins
- Low-fat dairy products (vitamin D and calcium