Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Symptoms
The appearance of fatigue. Physical intolerance to complete daily activities, reducing their overall activity to less than 50%.
Difficulty to remember recent events. Difficulty concentrating and delayed processing of information.
The least overexertion causes a very intense feeling with flu-like symptoms that is very difficult to overcome; this is characteristic of CFS.
Along with the fatigue, some other symptoms also occasionally appear:
Generalised bone and muscle pain, predominantly in the legs
Sleep disorders. Insomnia, unrefreshing sleep and daytime sleepiness.
Headaches of recent onset, which are more severe or differ from those experienced before, and with a pattern of migraines.
Mood disorders. Despondency, melancholy and irritability.
A fluctuating mild fever, normally appearing at sundown and with no apparent cause.
Persistent pharyngitis (sore throat) with localised pain in the throat (odynophagia).
Enlarged lymph nodes (adenopathy), which are mobile and swell to different sizes, may be observed in the neck, upper clavicle or armpits.
Dry skin and mucous membranes (dry mouth, dry eye, vaginal dryness).
Frequent need to urinate.
Changes to normal bowel function, alternating between diarrhoea and constipation (irritable bowel).
Unsteadiness and frequent falls.
The body loses its ability to maintain a stable condition (homeostatic control), which can be identified by changes in body temperature, sensory perception, blood pressure (hypotension) or sweating. /span>
Increased sensitivity to exposure to physical or chemical environmental factors.
All these symptoms bring about a very uncomfortable situation for the patient who is unsure what is wrong. They may also fluctuate over time.
Does it affect children?
Yes, chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) also affects children and adolescents, predominantly girls. However, it is estimated to be 10 times less common than in adults.
It usually presents with symptoms of fatigue, migraine, a fluctuating mild fever and muscle pain. Paediatric CFS is defined according to some specific criteria (Jason LA, Working Group).
CFS is a contributing factor in academic failure as it severely decreases the child’s physical and intellectual performance. Paediatricians have to be able to detect this fatigue symptom and take action early on.
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