Recently a new was done at the University of Bristol in the UK that sheds new light on the prevalence of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome or CFS in children and teens. In the study which is the largest one done to this date, concluded that Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is a more common diagnosis than expected with at least two percent of 16 year olds suffering from CFS bouts that last more that six months and at least three percent suffering bouts lasting at least three months. Because of this, the study shows that children and teens suffering from CFS miss on average more than half a day of school every week. The study consisted of 5,756 participants with more girls than boys (at least twice as many) suffering from the condition and more common in girls between the ages of 13 and 16 years.
If you don’t what Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is, CFS is a debilitating chronic disorder that is characterized by a profound fatigue that attacks the body and produces a cognitive difficulty that does not improve with bed rest and is known to get worse with physical or mental activity. According to world renowned CFS researcher and clinician, Dr. Jacob Teitelbaum, MD, ‘Sadly, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and fibromyalgia in children is not a new phenomenon. What is new is that perhaps it is finally starting to be recognized by their physicians. In the interim, these children are being neglected and left untreated, with the implication given to their parents that they are simply lazy, ‘faking it,’ and have psychological disorders. This is simply unacceptable. Hopefully it is changing. Fortunately, effective treatment is now available using our research-proven S.H.I.N.E. protocol, which was published in the peer-reviewed Journal of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (8:2,2001). However in children it can be a very different process than what we see in adults. With kids, it’s especially important to address the associated autonomic problems such as POTS (Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome).’
What exactly is the S.H.I.N.E protocol? S.H.I.N.E stands for Sleep, Hormones, Immunity, Nutrition and Exercise. By identifying the five key areas that are related to the body design for optimal energy, S.H.I.N.E helps to maintain healthy levels of energy that allow the body to reheal itself when suffering from a bout of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. To learn more about S.H.I.N.E visit End Fatigue with Dr. T by clicking here.
At a conference where Dr. Teitelbaum was lecturing at about 20 years ago, he remembers the time a desperate mom reached out to him in regards to her eight year old daughter who was all but bedbound with symptoms of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. He informed the mother that although he was not a pediatrician he would work with her pediatrician to come up with a treatment plan. Effectively, the daughter responded well to the S.H.I.N.E protocol and recovered well. So well in fact that 15 years later, she visited Dr. Teitelbaum while he was lecturing in England to personally thank him for all his help.
So although the S.H.I.N.E protocol is effective in symptomatically treating the ailments of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome it’s not something that may be readily available or known to pediatricians. Pediatricians need to learn how to recognize the symptoms of the illness, how the illness affects children and teens and what steps are needed to treat CFS effectively. For this to happen, the first step begins with parents informing and arming themselves with the right information and finding a knowledgeable practitioner which you can find by clicking here. Also looking into a support group is a great way to get assistance and information from others who are in the same position as yourself. Just click here for support groups in your area. To learn more about Dr. Teitelbaum and the S.H.I.N.E protocol visit Vitality 101 with Dr. Jacob Teitelbaum.