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How can I fight the fatigue? HELP

  • By felicityparry

    Hi!!
    I’m 20 years old and I’ve recently been diagnosed with Crohns around 8 months ago, I’ve had stomach issues my whole life so getting the diagnosis wasn’t a shock or too much of a hit to my confidence (I’m very much used to and comfortable discussing everything ‘poo’). Luckily I have a high pain threshold and have been used to the multiple and urgent bathroom trips my whole life, prior to my diagnosis. The one thing that has really got me down recently is the intense fatigue, I’m sometimes sleeping 23 hours a time and I’m still exhausted when I wake up. I’ve always been a sleeper but never been so tired to the point where it’s seriously compromising my university work (studying law) and my positivity, something I have always upheld without conscious effort. I’m having to ask for a lot of excuses to be made for me with missed deadlines and missed classes and because I dont really see myself as having a condition or ill (having been this way most of my life) I feel embarrassed and annoying to have to be asking for exceptions and extensions due to my lack of ‘get up and go’, if you will. I’ve just finished a 6 week course of prednisolone which I’m not sure even worked as I had to take a break for a few days due to the azathioprine I take alongside making my very nauseous and physically sick unexpectedly after 3 weeks of taking it. I have now been moved onto mercaptopurine which I took for the first time last night, luckily I’m not feeling sick, YAY. If anyone has any tips with fatigue that would be amazing as it’s really affecting me mentally which has never been an issue for me, and any other little tips if you have any gems of wisdom you’d like to share with a ‘new’ crohnie…

    Many thanks
    Felicity ❤️ Xx

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  • By Kelly C (#purpleproject) Moderator

    Hi Felicity!

    Man do I hear you on the fatigue and just never knowing when it ends. I’m currently in year 14 of Crohn’s & I feel like some weeks/months are just bound to be full of change (sleep hygiene, etc).

    Here are a few articles I wrote about being “new” to IBD still. When I was diagnosed, I was sort of thrown into college at the same time. So I think you’ll find that some of these are appropriate!
    https://inflammatoryboweldisease.net/living/helpful-hints-newly-diagnosed-3/
    https://inflammatoryboweldisease.net/living/helpful-hints-newly-diagnosed-2/
    https://inflammatoryboweldisease.net/living/helpful-hints-newly-diagnosed-1/

    Best,
    Kelly

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  • By thedancingcrohnie Moderator

    Hi @felicityparry,

    So sorry you are dealing with this awful fatigue. I can so relate. There was a time, where getting out of bed was so so difficult. And just making it through the day was extremely hard.

    For me, whenever my fatigue was bad, it was due to anemia, or other deficiencies. I would suggest getting blood work done. Check your hemoglobin, iron, Vitamin B and D levels. If something is low, get the necessary supplements to help bring your levels up.

    Also, add a green supplement to your diet. Get on a good multivitamin and take probiotics.

    Hope this helps some!

    Always dancing,
    Elizabeth (team member)

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  • By Julie Marie Palumbo Moderator

    Thank you for your post, Felicity!

    I have struggled with fatigue due to my Crohn’s Disease, and you made a valid point in that it is not only physically taxing, but emotionally, as well.

    I agree with previous posts about checking your blood work to be sure your levels are in check, and in addition to that, always be sure to listen to your body. If you are fatigued, it is a sign that your body is communicating to you that it needs rest. Do your best not to fight it, and think of it as a gift that you are giving your body–to not abuse it and let it do it’s thing by relaxing and healing.

    Another trick that used to help me was setting a timer to get things done–whether it be 15 minutes or less–just so that I could exert energy for a short amount of time and be productive without overdoing it. Setting boundaries is extremely important when living with this disease!

    I hope this offers some guidance, and I hope you continue to gain strength and energy!

    Best,
    Julie (Team Member)

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  • By poonicorn

    Hi Felicity,
    I am sorry you are going through so much fatigue. I too am getting used to the feeling of constant exhaustion. I have only been dioagnosed for about a month but just let it slide for so long before going to the doctors and demanding that they figure out what was going on. I have missed so much time at work and with family due to Crohn’s disease. I often find myself feeling like a burden or pest to always ask for time or tell my niece and nephews that I can’t come play today because I’m either too tired or in too much pain. My s.o. has had Crohn’s for 17 years now and he has helped me a lot with the negative feelings. I have been sleeping with my warm rice bag lately and find that it helps me stay asleep through the night so I can actually rest without waking from pain or cramping. I also struggle with getting enough protein in my diet so I take supplements too.

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    • By Pam.Kingsland Keymaster

      Thanks so much for sharing, @poonicorn. I’m sure many people can relate to what you’re going through. Sharing these responses allows everyone to know they are not alone in this. I’m glad to hear that you have your S.O for support. Having that support system is so important, it’s just great to have someone who simply understands what you’re going through! Please know that we’re here for you as well. Reach out anytime! Warmly, Pam (team member)

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  • By felicityparry

    Thank you all for your lovely replies! You don’t know how much they mean to me. I am currently on humira and i would say I am in remission but the fatigue has stuck, as I have been informed it often does in many crohns patients.

    I think accepting the fatigue and trying to not get too frustrated about it is a big step on the way to feeling better and more positive, and actually less fatigued.

    It seems like most of us have a good support network around us, and that helps a lot. Their understanding and our acceptance of ourselves makes a big difference.

    I hope you are all keeping well ❤️

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    • By thedancingcrohnie Moderator

      @felicityparry,

      You are the sweetest! Keep in touch and never hesitate to reach out when you need to.

      I am doing well these days, thankfully!

      Always dancing,
      Elizabeth (team member)

      reply