Re: Should I seek a diagnosis?
Atthis, hate to say that yes, your symptoms do sound like they could possibly be CFS. Some folks can have mild cases. All the symptoms you mention are included in much of the CFS literature. If the fatigue is from your vegan diet, you could easily tell by the test for anemia. If you're not anemic, it's probably not your diet (esp if you take supplements). Headaches can easily go with CFS.
Has anyone tested you for any of the infectious diseases - Epstein Barr Virus, Cytomegaly, Human Herpes Simplex 6 (NOT the same thing as genital herpes), Mycoplasmas? Or even Lyme disease (tick bites). This does not diagnose CFS, but elevated antibodies are often found in folks who have CFS.
I'm so sorry that you are so young and dealing with this. I've read that the earlier it gets identified and treated, the better chances you have of getting or feeling better. Get some books from your local store, or from online, and read them, then talk to your parents. Very few people (parents, siblings, spouses included) understand the extent of this problem and how awful it can make us feel. As them to look at some of the materials or online association webpages with you.
It's hard to say what kind of doc you should go to, because the docs can be specialists in many different things, but if they don't know the specifics about your particular problem (and MANY don't know very much about CFS), then they aren't of much use to you. What state are you in? There are some excellent docs who are specialists in CFIDS/FM in the states. Many are listed online or are discussed in the books I mentioned in Kiya's posting. If you have absolutely not choice but to go to someone local, I'd say probably go to a rheumatologist - but DO NOT let them tell you it's in your head. That is very old thinking but unfortunately still prevelent. You don't need a counselor (well, at least not to get your body well - though we all know that disease stresses us out in multiple ways - counseling often helps folks with CFIDS and FM because of all the stress we're under due to the condition). You can occasionally find a general practitioner who is understanding and knowledgeable. Ask around!! And stand up for yourself. Educate yourself. Unfortunately, for many of us, it's up to us to figure it out and treat ourselves.
Hang in there! Keep writing. Let us know how you're doing!
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IDET (single level) 10/30/02