CFS poses many unique challenges according to “The American Journal of Medicine”- This particular illness is associated with strained relationships between children and their friends and or teachers. Many doctors find this illness challenging to diagnose since fatigue is such a common symptom. The major criteria for diagnosing CFS is first the new onset of fatigue that lasts longer than six months and reduces ones level of activity by half, also the exclusion of other medical of psychiatric conditions that could cause the same symptoms.
In order to be diagnosed with CFS the patient also must suffer either 8 of the 11 symptoms on the list of minor criteria, and of these symptoms there must be at least 2 or 3 from the list of physical criteria. Obviously in order for your child to fit this description they would have been extremely sick for a long period of time. The main concern on most parents minds is how dangerous is this illness. According to many doctors CFS patients are commonly depressed. Of course anyone would be depressed if they were tired almost 80% of the day.
According to a medical journal called “The Cortlandt Consultant”: the most compelling piece of evidence that CFS is an illness is the sudden rise in the percent of patients. Many of these patients state that their illness began with flu-like symptoms. However one doctor recently pointed out that the classic symptoms of depression is loss of interest in everything. These patients, however are just the opposite.
They are literally petrified to the point where they can not even function because they are so concerned about what these symptoms could mean. Several differences have been noted between many CFS patients and suffers of depression. For example patients with major depression disorder often have abnormalities in rapid-eye-movement sleep, whereas patients with CFS have abnormalities in inon-REM sleep.
Doctors are still very skeptical as to whether or not this is an actual disease. It is possible however that your child really is suffering from this type of syndrome and you may want to speak to your doctor about it. More than likely however you doctor will probably brush it off as just a typical tired teenager. But if your child shows any of the following symptoms you will definitely want to take the time and find a doctor in your area who has heard and dealt with this type of syndrome.
Two of the major diagnostic criteria for chronic fatigue syndrome is, a new onset of fatigue lasting longer than six months with 50 percent reduction in activity. And the second is that your child has no other medical or psychiatric conditions that could cause the symptoms. A few of the minor criteria are:
1. Low-grade fever
2. Sore Throat
3. Painful Lymph nodes
4. Generalized muscle weakness
5. Muscle pain
6. Prolonged fatigue after exercise
8. Joint pain
9. Sleep disturbance
10. Neuropsychologic complaints, such as forgetfulness, confusion, difficulty concentrating, depression
11. Acute onset (over a few hours to a few days)