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All You Need to Know About Juvenile Chronic Fatigue Syndrome


Young people typically have more mental and physical energy to go out and do things, as doing so is a crucial part of their growth. Juvenile Chronic Fatigue Syndrom (JCFS) is a condition that takes away that energy, which makes the individual feel tired, discouraged, and unengaged all the time. This is a devastating illness that can have a drastic and long-lasting impact on the life of the patient as they grow up. Each patient experiences it differently, as some have reported that the fatigue comes in episodes while others say that it remains consistent throughout. Regardless of the onset, it’s still a condition that can reduce the quality of life of an individual significantly. Therefore, it’s important that we learn more about the condition so that we can prevent and treat it more effectively.


What are the symptoms of JCFS?

 

The symptoms of JCFS vary from person to person, so it’s difficult to pinpoint exactly what each patient will experience. One thing that seems to be consistent is that JCFS tends to be less prevalent in physically healthy individuals, but it is possible. Another common symptom of JCFS is post-exertional malaise -- a state of extreme lack of energy after physical activity. This is the reason why suggestions such as “just exercise” or “go out and meet people” won’t work for patients with JCFS.

Listed below is a more detailed overview of the symptoms of JCFS:

  • Unrefreshing sleep

  • The episodic or general state of anxiety

  • Chronic depression

  • Dizziness upon standing (called orthostatic intolerance or postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome)

  • Constant joint pains and muscle aches

  • Sore throat

  • Headaches

  • Tender lymph nodes

  • Chronic cough

  • Numbness, tingling, or burning (Nerve-related condition called paresthesia)

Patients who are diagnosed with JCFS have a varying combination of these symptoms on top of the general state of fatigue. For example, a patient may show signs of depression and joint pains while another has paresthesia and struggles to get out of bed in the morning. Both will be diagnosed with JCFS all the same.


How common is JCFS?

 

JCFS is not a common condition, as only around 0.6% of young people (11 to 15 years old) have it. There is evidence to suggest that the disease is hereditary, meaning children whose parents had it have a higher chance of developing the condition as well.

How is JCFS diagnosed?

 

While JCFS may be a unique condition, as it stands out from CFS in the CDC guidelines, there’s currently no distinction between JCFS and regular CFS. Therefore, doctors need to use the same criteria for generalised CFS to diagnose a patient with JCFS. The diagnosing doctor will also need to eliminate other conditions that may share some symptoms such as chronic stress disorder or PTSD, as these conditions may have some overlapping symptoms. As these conditions are caused by different factors, they are treated differently. This is why it’s imperative that the doctor is able to differentiate between them.


To be diagnosed with JCFS, a patient must display a sign of unexplained, persistent fatigue that has no cause in either mental or physical exertion. Additionally, four or more symptoms mentioned above need to be present for at least six months.


How do you treat JCFS?

 

Unfortunately, there’s no definitive cure for JCFS that can permanently treat the condition. Doctors can only alleviate the severity of each symptom as it comes, which means that it’s a life-long condition. While modern treatments make it possible for the patient to have more energy, they are still vulnerable to episodes of extreme fatigue. One strategy that has been shown to have some promise is energy management by having a set schedule every day. This will help the body to be more accustomed to a daily routine, which will help to make the fatigue more manageable.


Additionally, doctors may prescribe medications and supplements to help with patients’ daily energy levels. They may also suggest dietary changes along with physical therapy sessions to stimulate the brain. Psychological treatments such as counselling and CBT may also be included in the treatment plan as well.


If you’re looking for a medical office to treat JCFS in Brisbane, QLD, Transformation Health is your best option. Get in touch with us today to see how we can help.




Transformation Health are experts in natural medicine and holistic therapy. If you're looking for a naturopath in Brisbane then why not contact us, we're here to help!

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