Fatigue and Crohns

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softballfan
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 36
   Posted 9/16/2008 6:48 PM (GMT -7)   
My son was diagnosed with JRA about 4 years ago and most recently dianosed with Crohns 3 months ago.  The doctor switched his meds from enbrel to humira to deal with both the arthritis and crohns.  My son, 16 years old, is more fatigued than he was on the enbrel.  Do some of you suffer from fatigue with Crohns?  If so, do you take anything for it or just try to rest more often?  The fatigue can get pretty bad for him.
 
Thanks!

LMills
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 1753
   Posted 9/16/2008 7:14 PM (GMT -7)   
Fatigue is a very common symptom for Crohn's but for many different reasons depending on the case. It can be due to the anemia induced by blood loss, constant diarrhea and/or dehydration by itself or as a result of diarrhea, lack of appetite, malnutrition, and the general strain the disease puts on your body for a number of other reasons. Rest definitely helps, as well as making sure that the right vitamins are taken, lots of water(though it is hard to get it down sometimes), really careful watch over diet, and not overdoing it.
Just a few suggestions anyway. In any case, it's not uncommon for someone with Crohn's to be very tired. We just have to do our best to live with it and work around it without harming ourselves--like overexertion or eating the wrong thing.
20 years old, Diagnosed with severe Crohn's and colitis in May of 2008.
Currently taking:
Prednisone, pentasa, alinia, bentyl, prilosec, tandem plus, and the occasional ultracet
Surgery for ectopic pregnancy(very possibly due to Crohn's inflammation) in July of 2008.
Due to start Imuran September 17 depending on blood results.


softballfan
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 36
   Posted 9/16/2008 7:18 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks for the reply.  He is deficient in Vit D and is now taking a supplement.  We go to see the GI doctor on Thursday so I will ask more at that point.  What things in the diet help and what should be avoided? 


simonsays
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 9/16/2008 7:20 PM (GMT -7)   
Right now I am currently taking Lialda 6 grams a day, 6MP, Entocort, Lomotil, and Percocet 7.5/325. These medications are the best I have found so far, but still going to do remicade, I will let everyone know how that turns out also. And I think I should also clairify that when I said in an earlier post that sometimes I have to take 5-6 percocets a day, I do not do it to get high, or totally get rid of the pain, just my body has built up such a tolerance after taking them for 11 years that sometimes 3 just does not do it. If I do not have them, I do not go into withdraw, or anything like that, just the pain is much worse then it is with it.

simonsays
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 9/16/2008 7:23 PM (GMT -7)   
softballfan, I just left my GI an hour ago, he is one of the 2 in my area so they are open late, and I had asked him what foods I should avoid, because it seems that no certain foods seem to effect my crohn's.... except corn. But anyways he had told me there had been many studies done on this subject, and it all varies from person to person. If you have diarrhea, stay away from dairy is all he said, all the rest is trial and error. I hope that helps some. You can try to google crohn's diet and you will get all kinds of different answers, but as I have found, Trial and error is the only way to find out. Corn for me is terrible because your body don't digest it anyways, and that being said, my colon (large intestine) is so bad that if remicade does not work, they want to remove part of it.

sjkly
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 2113
   Posted 9/16/2008 7:27 PM (GMT -7)   
I also have RA and I have to tell you that both chron's and RA can cause fatigue. Try to think about the last time you had a major illness like the flu that involved fever. That is how people with AI disorders feel when they are hit with these bouts of fatigue. Add to that the fact that teen age boys have the energy of slugs when their freinds aren't around-unless they are doing boy stuff.
I would make sure the doc is following his blood work carefully.

bowlies
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 69
   Posted 9/16/2008 7:55 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Softballfan! My 19 year old son was diagnosed 2 years ago and one of his most major symptoms has been fatigue. Prior to his diagnosis he would regularly fall asleep in class (even in choir) and as soon as he would get in the car he would be out. The first year he was off and on Prednisone and Imuran. He then went on Remicade and that lasted almost a year and a half until he built up antibodies. He now started Humira about 5 weeks ago and throughout all these treatments he has battled fatigue. At times his energy level has increased but never to the point that he felt he could do what most 19 year olds can. It is probably the thing that bothers him the most about this disease. He has learned over time to take advantage of those times he is feeling more energetic and to just rest when he can't push himself anymore. He is on Ferrex, an iron supplement at all times and we are now trying B-12 injections to see if they may help. I hope this is of some help. The thing that is curious to me is that often physicians and literature about this disease fail to discuss the fatigue element and from this forum it is apparent that many Crohns patients suffer significantly from it's effects.

LMills
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 1753
   Posted 9/16/2008 8:02 PM (GMT -7)   
As far as diet is concerned, simonsays already said it. There is no specific diet for Crohn's unfortunately so it is all trial and error. One of the best things you can do is keep a food diary and write down which foods eaten cause problems.
I'm sorry there isn't anything better to recommend than that...It seems that a lot of us can tolerate really simple things like broth or water, but when you get into solid foods it's just so different..I generally will eat soup, unsalted saltines, and aged cheese like cheddar since the lactose is broken down enough that I don't react as if I am lactose intolerant--not sure if I am, but I have just come out of a really bad flare and am afraid to try new things. OR I am dumb enough sometimes like tonight and give in thinking "well, let's see if it makes me sick."
Maybe don't let your son do that too much..I have no one sitting on my shoulder at the moment telling me not to, but maybe you can do that for him. Goodness knows food is so tempting sometimes regardless of how threatening it is.
20 years old, Diagnosed with severe Crohn's and colitis in May of 2008.
Currently taking:
Prednisone, pentasa, alinia, bentyl, prilosec, tandem plus, and the occasional ultracet
Surgery for ectopic pregnancy(very possibly due to Crohn's inflammation) in July of 2008.
Due to start Imuran September 17 depending on blood results.


Keeper
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 1058
   Posted 9/16/2008 10:53 PM (GMT -7)   
Fatigue can be just from the immune system fighting gut bacteria. The bacteria that are killed release endotoxins. These are responsible for the fatigue - it is just like having a bacterial infection or flu without the fever/sore throat/congestion, just the malaise. Endotoxins deplete iron too, so a supplement might help a bit, but iron can be very irritating to a raw gut, so you should try a form that is more absorbable like ferrous ascorbate or citrate. B12 might be a problem too, since the factors for absorbing it can be lost if there is prolonged gut irritation.

Diet is another question - there is the possibility that avoiding gluten will help. Then there is the Specific Carbohydrate diet or The Maker's diet. It seems to me that there will be foods that will be trouble that are permitted by any given diet and forbidden foods that can be tolerated by some people, or in small amounts. Unfortunately, eating a food that is trouble does not cause the trouble for several hours after eating it. It can be hard to sort out who the culprit is. That is the reason for a food diary as suggested by LMills.

pb4
Elite Member


Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 20576
   Posted 9/16/2008 10:59 PM (GMT -7)   
Fatigue and IBD can go hand in hand just from the inflammation of the disease itself....inflammation stresses your body in naturally trying to fight the inflammation therefore causing fatigue, let alone many of the meds side effects that just add to it.

:)
My bum is broken....there's a big crack down the middle of it! LOL :)

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