Video: Fatigue Is Not Joy - Research
Chronic fatigue syndrome is more common in children and adolescents than previously thought, a new study from the University of Bristol in the UK confirms. Approximately 1 in 50 (that is, 2%) of 16-year-old respondents have a feeling of enduring fatigue for more than six months, which affects, among other things, their studies and overall school attendance.
Until last year, doctors did not treat CFS as a serious disease in children, and a couple of years ago, among young people it was classified as "not encountered", but practice shows that this could simply be due to the lack of large-scale research. Since 2015, the Institute of Medicine has included this syndrome in the list of official diseases, which triggered a wave of research.
The work of S. Collin, T. Norris, R. Nuevo and others uses data from 5,756 children of the generation of the nineties. CFS was found in girls about twice as often as in boys. Children from poor or disadvantaged families were significantly more susceptible to illness.
“This study is important because it indicates that the severity of adolescent CFS was clearly underestimated in the past,” says Dr. Esther Crowley, one of the study's authors and consulting pediatrician. “There is a solution to this problem, but the problem is that not everyone knows that this decision must be sought. Meanwhile, this is really a problem: among those with whom I personally work on the basis of the state Royal Hospital, the majority attend school only a couple of times a week. From this we conclude that only the most extreme cases are asked for help. Consequently, pediatricians themselves need to attend to methods of more effective diagnosis of CFS, since it has such a negative impact on the socialization, education and health of children and adolescents."
Experts are not yet ready to provide accurate data on the causes of CFS at an early age: it can be emotional stress, physical, and less obvious underlying factors, and even infections. Thus, so far we are only talking about eliminating symptoms (fatigue, depression, memory loss, muscle pain, migraines, etc.), not the root cause.
“The results of the study prepared us for the next step in working with children and their families,” says Mary-Jane Willows, executive director of the Association for Youth with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. - It is already obvious to us that the environment and living conditions influence the state of adolescents. But we have yet to figure out what becomes the original cause of the real suffering that children have to live with."