Keeping Up With Schoolwork
Due to missing school and problems concentrating, young people with CFS/ME may fall behind with their schoolwork. They may also experience stress and anxiety as a result of falling behind. It may be helpful to help them prioritise their schoolwork and the skills, tasks and homework that is most important to complete.
I Don’t Have Insurance How Can The Affordable Care Act Help Me
If you’re uninsured or have been denied coverage in the past for ME/CFS, the Health Insurance Marketplace may be able to provide you with access to affordable coverage. With health insurance plans in the Marketplace, you can no longer be refused coverage just because you have a pre-existing health condition. Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program also can’t refuse to cover you or charge you more because of a health condition. They also can’t charge women more than men. Learn more about the Affordable Care Act and the Health Insurance Marketplace at Healthcare.gov.
How Is Me/cfs Diagnosed
There is no single test to diagnose ME/CFS. Your doctor will diagnose ME/CFS based on your symptoms and how long you have had them. Your doctor may do some tests to rule out other possible causes of your symptoms.
Patients can be diagnosed with ME/CFS only after they have had symptoms for 6 months or more.
Check your symptoms with the healthdirect Symptom Checker to get advice on when to seek medical attention.
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Identify Treatments Youve Tried
In addition to tracking the symptoms you have experienced, keep a list of treatments you have tried. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides a medications and supplements list you can use to track your medications, their dosage, how well they help, and if you experienced side effects. Write a separate list of other treatments you have tried beyond medications and supplements, such as cognitive behavioral therapy, exercise, acupuncture, or meditation.
Being Fatigued Frequently Doesnt Mean You Have Cfs
This condition presents with multiple symptoms. If you are just fatigue frequently, you may just be overworked or not getting enough sleep. Since there is no one test that can determine if a person has CFS, it takes a long time to receive an official diagnosis as conditions with similar symptoms need to be ruled out.
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Beyond Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Myalgic encephalomyelitis and chronic fatigue syndrome are serious, debilitating conditions that affect millions of people in the United States and around the world. ME/CFS can cause significant impairment and disability. Despite substantial efforts by researchers to better understand ME/CFS, there is no known cause or effective treatment. Diagnosing the disease remains a challenge, and patients often struggle with their illness for years before an identification is made. Some health care providers have been skeptical about the serious physiological – rather than psychological – nature of the illness. Once diagnosed, patients often complain of receiving hostility from their health care provider as well as being subjected to treatment strategies that exacerbate their symptoms.
Beyond Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome will be a valuable resource to promote the prompt diagnosis of patients with this complex, multisystem, and often devastating disorder enhance public understanding and provide a firm foundation for future improvements in diagnosis and treatment.
Diagnosis Of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Laboratory evaluation to exclude non-CFS disorders
The diagnosis of CFS is made by the characteristic history combined with a normal physical examination and normal laboratory test results. Any abnormal physical findings or laboratory tests must be evaluated and alternative diagnoses that cause those findings and/or the patient’s symptoms excluded before the diagnosis of CFS can be made. The case definition is often useful but should be considered an epidemiologic and research tool and in some circumstances should not be strictly applied to individual patients.
In February 2015, the Institute of Medicine published an extensive review of this disease called Beyond Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: Redefining an Illness. In this review, they proposed a new name, systemic exertion intolerance disease , and new diagnostic criteria that simplified the diagnosis and emphasized the most consistent features. In addition, the review clearly emphasized the validity of this debilitating disease.
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How Can I Help My Child
To help your child cope with the emotional symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome:
- Encourage your child to keep a daily diary to identify times when he or she has the most energy and help plan activities for these times.
- Have your doctor plan an exercise program to maintain strength at whatever level is possible. This can help your child feel better physically and emotionally.
- Help your child to recognize and express feelings, such as sadness, anger, and frustration. It’s OK to grieve the loss of energy.
- Get support from family and friends because emotional health is important when coping with a chronic health problem.
- Allow more time for your child to do things, especially activities that take concentration or physical exertion.
How Can I Care For Myself With Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
In addition to the treatments above, there are things you can do to help manage this condition, such as:
- reducing your stress
- getting plenty of rest
- making sleep a priority if you are having trouble sleeping, check out these tips to improve your sleeping habits
- eating a healthy diet to make sure your body is getting the nutrients it needs
- having plenty of salt if you have low blood pressure and a tendency to feel dizzy or even faint on standing
- learning to prioritise the things you need to get done, and then pacing yourself by dividing them into short times of activity with rest breaks in between
- learning mindfulness, meditation or creative visualisation
- getting out into nature regularly, listening to music and enjoying your pets
- developing a support network of understanding friends and family/whnau for when you need help
- joining a support group if there is one in your area
- talking to your doctor about whether there are any medications or supplements that may help you.
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Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Is A Treatment
The author of an article in Elle explains her own struggle with CFS, and how she went through 29-different diagnoses over years before she met a doctor that could tackle the problem head-on. This doctor put her into Cognitive Behavior Therapy treatment, which is often reserved for anxiety and depression recovery.
The treatment helped the author to recover a bit at a time by setting goals, and she went from hopeless to attending university and I havent had the pain nor the fatigue since. The author started her journey at 15 battling post-viral fatigue syndrome , which is sometimes put in the same medical bracket as chronic fatigue syndrome, she notes.
How Is Me/cfs Treated
There is no cure for ME/CFS, but there is still a lot your doctor can do to help you relieve symptoms and improve quality of life.
Any commercially available product or treatment promoted as a cure for ME/CFS should be treated with caution.
Current treatments have 2 key aspects:
- Pacing and rest: pacing is a strategy designed to help people with ME/CFS live within their energy envelope this is the amount of energy they can safely use without triggering PEM. It breaks down activity into short bursts, interspersed with rest, and aims to leave some energy in the tank at the end of the day. For more information about pacing, see the Emerge Australia fact sheet.
- Stepwise symptom management: this involves ranking symptoms and exploring ways to reduce symptoms, starting with the most problematic.
You may want to talk to your doctor about how to manage work or school commitments while you are sick and when you feel you might be ready to return.
It may also help if you:
- keep a diary to see whether certain activities or levels of exercise tend to trigger PEM
- relax as much as possible
- try to go to bed at the same time each night and limit daytime napping
- avoid caffeine, alcohol, nicotine and anything else that could affect your sleep
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Long Covid/ Long Haulers
Following the outbreak of COVID-19 in late 2019 in Wuhan Province, China, and its rapid spread into other parts of the world, researchers, scientists, and patients familiar with post-viral syndromes began to become concerned not only about the acute danger of this particular virus but the potential long-term sequelae. Following SARS-1, West Nile Virus, H1N1 influenza virus, and other reports claim, that up to 11% of patients who had severe infections from Epstein-Barr virus , Q fever , or Ross River virus , and others, develop ME/CFS. Other studies following SARS and MERS suggest an even higher proportion develop ME/CFS or Fibromyalgia.”
Given that some estimates suggest as much as 75% of all ME/CFS patients developed their illness following a post-viral or post-bacterial illness, there has been considerable frustration in the ME/CFS community-researchers and patients alike-that had ME/CFS patients been taken more seriously all along, then research into what causes this debilitating outcome in some patients and not in others would have been identified and potentially remedied by now.
Additionally, there is great frustration in the ME/CFS community as they watch these new cases as they are now being officially diagnosed as they pass the six-month mark required for official ME/CFS diagnosis.
Essential Facts About Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Chronic fatigue syndrome is often difficult to diagnose and has no clearly defined cause. Heres what you need to know about the disorder.
For years, chronic fatigue syndrome has baffled both experts and patients alike. Although up to 2.5 million Americans may live with the disorder, researchers are only now starting to better understand it and to realize that we still have a lot to learn.
In fact, even the name itself might be inaccurate. A recent report commissioned by the Institute of Medicine concluded that because the illness can cause much more than, say, drowsiness, a better name may be systemic exertion intolerance disease . Keep reading to find out 10 more need-to-know facts:
1. CFS is a very real disorder. A major problem with CFS is that people who have the condition sometimes feel like no one believes them. Theyre often told its all in their heads, says Jacob Teitelbaum, MD, author of From Fatigued to Fantastic and an expert who specializes in the treatment of chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia. Thats also another reason behind the IOMs proposed name change: According to the organizations report, the term CFS can cause patients to trivialize the seriousness of the condition and promote misunderstanding of the illness.
This name change acknowledges that this is a very real and very significant illness that can no longer be pushed aside, says Dr. Teitelbaum.
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Treatments For Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Since researchers do not yet fully understand the cause of chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis and people with the illness can experience a wide variety of symptoms, multiple treatments exist. Treatments are aimed at managing and reducing the severity of CFS/ME symptoms, rather than at curing the illness.
Cfs And Its Risk Factors
Like every other ailment, CFS has specific risk factors. Knowing these can help you somehow manage your risks or perhaps find an ideal way to manage your episodes. It can also help you assess whether options like a chiropractic atlas adjustment or other remedies can help you experience better relief.
Generally speaking, CFS mainly occurs more among individuals who fit the following criteria:
- Have family members diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome
- Frequent exposure to stressors like abuse, family problems, or trauma
- Have mental health problems
- Aged 40 to 60 years old
- Previously suffered from an infection like stomach flu or colds
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Rest Breaks During School Time
Some children/young people with CFS/ME benefit from regular rest breaks. These breaks should be in a quiet place, ideally away from the classroom. It would be helpful if breaks could be scheduled, especially for younger children. Other students prefer a medical timeout card which they can use in lessons if they feel they need a break. They should be allowed to leave the classroom without having to explain why. In a quiet space, e.g. the library, they should spend the time reading or listening to music or doing a downtime activity. They can be expected to return to the lesson after 10-15 minutes.
Risk Factors Include Age And Gender
As much as 85% of chronic fatigue syndrome patients are female. Also, the onset of the condition is far more likely to occur once someone is over the age of 40. Stress and hormone imbalances are both factors in the onset of CFS, so this may explain why more patients are middle age females. However, some researchers posit that there may be more men with the condition who have not sought a diagnosis.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Symptoms of CFS often mimic the flu. The following are the most common symptoms of CFS. However, each person may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include:
- Sensitivity to light
- Low-grade fever
The symptoms of CFS may look like other medical conditions. Always talk with your healthcare provider for a diagnosis.
What Are The Treatments For Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
There is no cure or approved treatment for CFS, but you may be able to treat or manage some of your symptoms. You, your family, and your health care provider should work together to decide on a plan. You should figure out which symptom causes the most problems and try to treat that first. For example, if sleep problems affect you the most, you might first try using good sleep habits. If those do not help, you may need to take medicines or see a sleep specialist.
Strategies such as learning new ways to manage activity can also be helpful. You need to make sure that you do not “push and crash.” This can happen when you feel better, do too much, and then get worse again.
Since the process of developing a treatment plan and attending to self-care can be hard if you have CFS, it is important to have support from family members and friends.
Don’t try any new treatments without talking to your health care provider. Some treatments that are promoted as cures for CFS are unproven, often costly, and could be dangerous.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
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Cdc Fact Sheets For Parents/guardians Education And Healthcare Professionals
- Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973
- Find Your States Parent Center: Get help finding the appropriate support and resources in your area to meet your childs needs.
Patients with ME/CFS often talk about how different patients can appear to others, including school staff and doctors, on good days versus bad days. On bad days, patients sometimes feel so ill that they cant go to doctor appointments, for example, and thus doctors dont see or appreciate how sick their patients are. This occurs in school settings as well. The photos below are of the same young woman. They demonstrate how different a patient might feel or appear on either a good or bad day. The third photo also demonstrates that patients with ME/CFS can achieve academic milestones that are important for lifelong success. Academic support and accommodations can be critical to achieving these milestones.
ME/CFS is often called an invisible disease because usually the only thing noticeable is the pallor. This young man is shown on both a good day and a bad day. Most teachers would tell a parent that he needs more sleep and would ask the student: What time did you go to bed last night? or make some comment such as: Dont you think you should have gone to bed a bit earlier last night?
Talking With Your Doctor About Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
If you are experiencing fatigue on an ongoing basis despite getting adequate sleep, talk to your doctor. While you could be facing chronic fatigue syndrome, many illnesses ranging from obstructive sleep apnea to iron-deficiency anemia can cause fatigue. Your doctor will need to ask questions and order tests to determine what is causing fatigue in your personal situation. Preparing for your appointment can help it go more smoothly.
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Assessment And Treatment Of Me/cfs Patients: