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Constantly tired? You might have *this* scary sickness.

 
Between coffee fueled all-nighters and BFF sleepovers that result in very little actual sleep, many of us think we know what it feels like to be crazy tired, but for those suffering from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, the exhaustion is real.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, known as CFS, is a disorder of extreme fatigue and cognitive difficulty that doesn’t get better just by making sure you clock your nightly eight hours—and it gets worse through physical and mental activity. While typically CFS is normally seen in adults, a recent study in the U.K. shows that it’s also becoming increasingly common among children and teens.

Even worse? Girls are twice as likely as boys to struggle with this disease.

According to ScienceDaily, the study, done at the University of Bristol, showed that 2% of 16 year olds have CFS for at least 6 months, and 3% for at least 3 months. Those numbers might not seem high, but when you hear that CFS sufferers typically miss up over half a day of school every single week, it's clear how the problem can be a serious one.

The study also showed that CFS, traditionally believed to be a “middle-class” illness (meaning that only those more well-off deal with chronic fatigue), actually primarily affects teens from families facing greater adversity (like poor housing, lack of support, or financial problems).

Luckily, the results of this study mean that more doctors are becoming aware of the problem in children and teens. Dr. Esther Crawley, a consultant pediatrician specializing in CFS, explains, “This is an important study because it shows that CFS is much more common in teenagers than previously recognized."

By being able to more clearly identify CFS in teens, U.K. researchers are hoping that this will encourage further research into better treatments.

Have you ever heard of CFS or someone who struggles with it?

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by Alexa Matthews | 2/1/2016
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