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Coping With Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Feb 27, 2008
Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is a condition wherein people experience a great deal of fatigue and weakness, making it difficult to perform even the simplest tasks, such as eating, dressing or walking. Although this disease has been around since 1700 with a different medical name, many doctors doubted its existence and regarded it as a psychological condition.

However, medical studies have confirmed that chronic fatigue syndrome is indeed a physical illness, which is not yet fully understood. Since the two most common symptoms of this condition are severe fatigue and extreme weakness, many doctors find it difficult to diagnoses if the illness is associated with CFS.

Chronic fatigue syndrome tends to occur in women than in men, affecting all ethnic and racial groups. Although many patients with CFS are between the ages of twenty and forty, teenagers can also experience this syndrome.

Symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome may vary from one patient to the next. However, doctors diagnose people with CFS only if they experience severe and chronic fatigue for more than six months, which cannot be alleviated by rest or medicines. Patients are also diagnose when patients display four or more symptoms including sore throat, temporary memory loss, muscle and joint pains, difficulty of concentrating, recurring headaches and weakness that lasts longer than one day.

Children With CFS

There are no known treatments for CFS. However, certain lifestyle changes can help reduce the symptoms associated with the condition. If your child was diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome, you should be aware that leaving his or her condition untreated could lead to various emotional and physical difficulties, such as depression, anxiety, frustration, helplessness or becoming homebound.

As parents, you should help a child cope with his or her symptoms by encouraging them to keep a notebook that records their energy levels and daily activities. Exercise is an important part of therapies, so you should make sure that your child has a carefully planned exercise program to maintain strength and toughen muscles.

Memory loss and lack of concentration can affect your child's education. For this reason, you should help him or her keep track of assignments, projects and other important things for school. Make sure that the entire family supports your child's therapies for this condition. Having emotional support for many people could greatly help the child's recovery.

Since this condition is still being studied to understand the causes and symptoms better for proper diagnosis and treatment, it is good to support your child in any way you can, in the meantime.
About the Author
Roland Jefferson is an online researcher based out of Los Angeles, California. For free resources covering Fibromyalgia Diet, please visit our Fibromyalgia Diet Resource.
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