More teens today suffer chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) than ever before, according to Dutch survey of 900 teens who were diagnosed with chronic fatigue symptoms.
Does your teen often complain that she’s too tired to finish her homework, clean her room or clear off the dinner table? She might not be faking it.
A survey conducted by Dutch doctors concluded that 1 out of 900 teenagers suffer from chronic fatigue symptoms, which include fatigue to the point of exhaustion, memory loss, difficulty concentrating, joint soreness, insomnia and muscular pain.
The report, which was published in the Pediatrics journal, states that 90 percent of the teenagers surveyed who suffered from chronic fatigue syndrome confessed to missing large time slots of school time; some admitted that they stopped going to school altogether when fatigue symptoms were high.
Compared to adults, teens are less likely to be diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome.
- 354 general practitioners in the Netherlands participated in this national survey on chronic fatigue syndrome.
- Dutch doctors estimated that roughly .012 percent of teens are diagnosed with CFS every year, while for adults the rate is 1 percent.
- The actual percentage of chronic fatigue sufferers is probably much higher. In previous scientific studies on chronic fatigue syndrome, 80 percent of adults who participated suffered from CFS, but were never diagnosed.
- The average age for teen chronic fatigue is 15 years.
- Half of the teenage survey participants suffered chronic fatigue syndrome for approximately 1 1/2 years before receiving diagnosis or treatment.
- Girls are 5 times more likely to suffer chronic fatigue than boys.
- Because of the rarity of chronic fatigue syndrome in the teenage years, sufferers are often misdiagnosed.
- According to Livestrong, chronic fatigue syndrome is caused by depression, anemia, hypothyroidism, sleep deprivation and mononucleosis (“mono”).
Says Dr. S.L. Nijhof, co-author of the Dutch survey, “Fatigue is a common complaint among adolescents, with a good prognosis. Chronic fatigue syndrome is much less common, but with serious consequences.”
Chronic fatigue is one of many symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency. If you or your teen is suffering any of the symptoms described for chronic fatigue, see a doctor immediately and request blood screenings for low B12.