This is an interesting study partly because it deals with CFS as a real disease, rather than a psychosis, and it says pediatricians are far more aware of it than general practitioners (something which would surprise me).
"Adolescent CFS is an uncommon illness compared with chronic fatigue."
"A recent study showed a prevalence rate of adolescent severe fatigue of 20.5% in girls and 6.5% in boys, of whom 80% and 61.5%, respectively, reported fatigue lasting >1month and 46.9% and 35.2% for >3 months. These data support the theory that CFS is a specific clinical entity in the spectrum of chronic and severe fatigue. The burden to society mainly consists of the associated extensive school absence and its long-lasting and disabling effects."
By focusing on "fatigue" (and without seeing the details of the study), I think generally that the study is ignoring the cluster of symptoms that make up CFS (or what we call CFS)... symptoms that can have a long-term impact and only culminating in serious fatigue at a later time.
I started having symptoms from the cluster at 5 (IBS) and other FM and CFS symptoms by age 8. Trouble with dizziness, shooting pains, pharyngitis, swollen glands, low BP, obsessive behaviors (that could have signaled neurological events), headaches. I could run the 50 yard dash the fastest in my year in school and yet came in last in the 300 yard walk/run, dragging myself in. And not because I wasn't a typical kid back then who wanted to be active all the time. Chemical sensitivities, food sensitivities, hives, allergies, etc. Bouts of illness where doctors told my mother that nothing was wrong with me, but left me out of commission and bedridden for 2 to 5 weeks at a time (though apparently not often enough to meet this study's requirements for CFS).
I don't I would have been included in their numbers if severe fatigue were the measure and yet, that is what I had. (Like having mild COPD instead of severe COPD while watching it get slowly worse.)
So I think there is a possibility that they've under counted.
Last edited on Mon Apr 18th, 2011 12:19 by eClaire
____________________ Dec 2006, Olmesartan break Feb - April 2007, ME/Fibro/PTSD/MCS/Hypermobility (since childhood; disabled 2003); 25D summer 2012 <4 (meaning unable to detect)
I'm thinking along the same lines you are. Many causes, with different symptoms coming before the overall fatigue symptom is clinically significant.
Your thoughts are consistent with mine. Focusing on the fatigue instead of all the other issues is what we would expect from doctors trained to focus on individual disease diagnosis instead of looking holistically at the patient.
Quality of life measures are used by those rare doctors treating the chronically ill because it helps to focus on the intersection between the physical issues and their impact on the patient's overall experience.
I may not have had one good diagnostic label (clinically dx with Lyme, but expensive testing yielded not a single positive result; symptoms meet CFS criteria, but that doesn't implicate a cause either), but by quantifying that intersection it is clear that I was ill with something and that non-MP treatments were not effective for lasting improvements.
It is interesting to me that just a little beyond 2 years after my 25D came into our protocol's therapeutic range (this February) is when I started seeing those quality of life markers start to really turn around in my own recovery.
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