Does your child have some exotic illness, a strange virus, or is it all in his head?
Mysterious SymptomsMysterious symptoms, especially when they occur by themselves or linger for long periods of time, can include:
- skin rashes
- myalgias (muscle aches)
- arthralgias (joint aches)
- weight loss
- swollen glands
Causes of Mysterious SymptomsAlthough parents and other family members usually jump to conclusions when a child has mysterious symptoms and think he has either cancer, such as leukemia or lymphoma, or Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis (JRA), it is much more common that the child has an atypical presentation of a much more common disorder, such as mono, cat scratch fever, Lyme disease, etc. or other viral and bacterial infections.
Symptoms may also seem mysterious when they are caused by less common conditions that some pediatricians simply don't see very often, such as Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Ehrlichiosis, Kawasaki disease, Henoch-Schonlein Purpura (HSP), Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (HUS), Rheumatic fever, or teen onset chronic fatigue syndrome.
Tests for Mysterious SymptomsThere is no single test to help you figure out what is causing these types of mysterious symptoms and it may take several visits to the doctor and multiple tests before your pediatrician figures out the cause, but initial testing might include a complete blood count, basic metabolic panel, thyroid function tests, ESR, and CRP. Other tests targeting specific infections, such as mono, cat scratch fever, and strep, etc., might also be done.
Additional testing will likely depend on how sick your child is, how long he has been sick, and any recent travel or exposures to other people who are sick.