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Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is a long-term illness with several varying symptoms that can affect anyone, including children and young people. CFS is also well known as Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME) and is sometimes referred to as ME/CFS.


What are the Symptoms of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome in Children? 

As well as feeling extremely tired and unwell, which is the most commonly associated effect, symptoms can include:

  • Sleep problems such as difficulty falling asleep, a lack of energy or vivid dreaming
  • Muscle or joint pain
  • Headaches
  • Stomach pain 
  • A sore throat
  • Memory problems 
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • A feeling of dizziness or sickness
  • A fast or irregular heartbeat

Things such as over-exercising can make symptoms worse and the severity of symptoms can vary daily, or change within the course of a single day. It is also common to experience relapses when symptoms suddenly become much worse before improving once again. 

Symptoms of CFS/ME have many similarities to other common illnesses, though a diagnosis of CFS/ME is more likely when these symptoms persist after they would usually be expected to have got better on their own.



Diagnosing ME/CFS

With many unknowns about the condition, it can often take a long time to reach a diagnosis, with many debates as to whether the condition exists and is physical, or psychological. Whilst doctors have specific guidelines to help them diagnose the illness, no test can provide a positive result for ME/CFS and it can take months of ruling out other illnesses before ME/CFS is considered. 

As the trigger factors that cause the onset of CFS/ME can be as varied as the symptoms, this illness has and continues to be an area in need of further research, and is often a topic of debate within many clinical and research institutions.


Treatment for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Unfortunately, at the present time, there is no simple cure for ME/CFS and the treatment for the condition typically focuses on managing and relieving symptoms. 

Over time there have been different approaches to treating the illness with approaches as varied as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) with a psychological approach, through to diet, nutrition and structured exercise programmes where a more physical diagnosis and approach is taken.

A recent development with the condition is that the symptoms can sometimes be due to craniocervical obstructions and instability. There is groundbreaking research to support this and various treatments involving spinal fusion are being trialled with positive results.

For further information, please visit Action for M.E.


How Can Tree of Hope Help You and Your Child?

Tree of Hope supports families with children and young people that are living with CFS/ME through campaigns and fundraising for those treatments and therapies that are niche, more difficult to access and often costly. This includes things such as nutrition, or alternatives to traditional physical therapies. Our fundraising campaigns can also help you access the services that might support health improvement. 

If your child or a child that you know has received a diagnosis of CFS/ME, then please do get in touch to see if a Tree of Hope campaign could be right for you.

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