Skip to Accessibility Tools Skip to Content Skip to Footer
Ask-the-Advocate: Strategies for IBD Fatigue.

Ask-the-Advocate: Strategies for IBD Fatigue

Many people don’t realize that IBD can cause extreme exhaustion! Results from our 2017 In America survey indicated that Fatigue was the most commonly experienced symptom for those with Crohn’s and UC. Being common is one thing, but it was also ranked as the most difficult symptom to manage! So we asked our advocates:

What’s your go-to strategy for managing IBD-related fatigue?

Read their thoughts and be sure to share your own!

Response from Courtney:

courtneyMy go to tip for managing IBD fatigue is: Don’t be afraid to say no. We live in a world where we may feel like we have to say yes to every person or event we have in our lives. Doing this would send anyone into burnout mode, but for those with IBD, it takes the fatigue to a whole new level. Creating boundaries for yourself and for those around you will not only help you stay rested and healthy, but will help people who love you better understand what your needs are and not push you to do more than you think you can handle.

Response from Marisa:

IMG_7630IBD fatigue appears differently for everyone but for me, I really need to lay down and take my mind off of anything serious. I like to lay with a heating pad, in my pajamas, and just BE.. trying as hard as possible not to worry about anything. If I am not able to lay down at that time, I drink Naked Juice to give me some sugar since I have a difficult time eating during the day.

Response from Paul:

1269302_10100189494783216_1336536505_oTo manage my fatigue I try to stay on my routine so that I don’t get over tired. Routine is key for me! I make sure that I get a good eight hours of sleep a night. I try to make sure I eat the same thing, and do the same daily rituals. It relaxes the mind, and doesn’t allow fatigue to be a huge issue in my life. Usually on the weekends, I am off my routine. I stay up later, and wake up earlier! As a result, I become very tired and can’t do much in terms of going out.

Response from Amber:

Blood TransfusionI would say time management and the “ability” to say “no” when you need to. Also, really knowing what you can handle, and that involves learning all you can about the disease and how it affects your body.

Response from Krystal:

I got your backWouldn’t it be nice if sleep actually helped managing fatigue?!! My go-to would be to find multivitamins that are considerate of those who don’t have absorption like gastric bypass patients. I also do try to rest without making myself feel too guilty. It’s not much and if someone has a better help, wouldn’t we all want it?!!

Fatigue can be one of the most underestimated symptoms of IBD, but that does not mean it isn’t real and extremely impactful. You are not alone and we are always here to listen!


  • thedancingcrohnie moderator
    10 months ago

    Fatigue is definitely the most frustrating because no matter how much sleep you get, you still wake up exhausted. I’ve found that if I can’t nap in the middle of the day, I definitely need to lay down somehow and just be. Walking around can take a lot out of me and so I find a way to sit or lay down in any way.

    Always dancing,
    Elizabeth (team member)

  • wrmhrtd714
    1 year ago

    I sometimes get to a point where I just stop right in my tracks . My body tells me to stop sit and relax everything. If I’m not at home to do it ,I get home or just make myself comfortable where I am. I still push myself to that limit when I’m feeling pretty good and can go out and do whatever I want to. Tomorrow I may have a bad day with my body or energy. I was diagnosed in 1976 March .I knew at 10 that something was wrong with the way I felt. Doctors could not find anything but that it may be mental. A gi dr played Shrink with me once a week. My parents said I was faking and just didn’t want to go to school. I was right I was ill and almost died a few times. I’m a survivor!! I have to be my own advocate to doctors and my family. I’m 61 now and I take one day at a time.

  • magsmom65
    2 years ago

    This is tough for me. I don’t sleep great anyway due to menopause, and sleep apnea but feeling “tired” all the time sucks. Not the kind of tired where if you sleep in on the weekends you feel refreshed, because I don’t. Just TIRED.. the kind that sleep will not fix. It’s horrible. I just lie down when I need to and I have my little dog lie next to me. Luckily she loves to nap with her mama, so it’s good. My son used to wonder why I was always tired, but I think now he gets it. The bad part is missing a lot of work because of the sheer exhaustion. I eat right most of the time, and take care of myself but this is a symptom I have run into in the last few years that is pretty depressing to me. I have even had people say, you look tired. UGH.

  • Sickforever
    2 years ago

    I feel the exact same way, no matter what I am always tired. I or my doctor’s can’t find anything that helps. My anxiety and depression is horrible ! I am so sick of missing out on happy times with my family, instead of joining them I am in bed trying to shut my mind off and sleep.

  • Poll