Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is a puzzling disorder that affects about a million people in the U.S. Women more than men and usually in their 40s and 50s, but for some reason now chronic fatigue syndrome is showing up as an increasing problem in children.
"I went to numerous doctors and at first I was told I was lactose intolerant," said Ellen Nadeau, a patient.
"I mean it could be one of a variety of things. We're not sure. We're certainly looking at different types of causes. It could be some type of bacterial or viral infection that a child gets like flu or mono and they basically just don't recover from it,"said Dr. Leonard Jason, of Depaul University.
For the first time, a pediatric definition for CFS is being presented at an International Conference in Fort Lauderdale. Dr. Jason says in kids, there can be a wide variety of problems that persist aside from fatigue like abdominal pains, rashes or sleep cognitive memory trouble.
CFS in children usually strikes between the age of 10 and 17 and about 80 percent of the kids do recover which is better than the average in adults with CFS. But the real concern in kids is that for one in five children, the problems of chronic fatigue may linger. The good news from this gathering of pediatricians is that there is promising evidence that antiviral therapy might help some patients.