Fatigue - How do you handle it?

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Mormor Vicky
Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 684
   Posted 10/2/2007 2:37 PM (GMT -6)   
My fatigue has always been my worse symptom.  I can deal with "d" because it happens only once in awhile.  Pain is bareable and I have meds for that.  But the fatigue has been life altering.  I didn't realize how awful it was until after I had my resection and I was in remission.  I've just noticed in the last 3-4 weeks that I'm going back to the hell I was in.  I'm barely functioning. All I want to do is sleep at work.  Thank goodness I have my own little office in the corner so no one notices when my eyes are closed. I come home from work and just sleep.  I'm really afraid I'm coming out of remission.
Has anyone been able to get SSDI for Crohn's because of fatigue?  How do you deal with it on a daily basis?  I have enough service with my company to retire, just not enough money to.  I would love to work only part time but it's just not feasible right now.
Vicky / 47 years old
DX'd with Crohn's during a resection August 2006
DX'd with Steriod induced Diabetes November 2006
Considered in Clinical remission but have minor signs of disease activity
Daughter (26) also has Crohn's since she was 12.
Currently on 4000mg of Pentasa only for Crohn's
No longer able to take 6-MP because of Bone-Marrow Suppression
Cymbalta, Metformin, Lipitor

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 129
   Posted 10/2/2007 2:53 PM (GMT -6)   
Definitely talk to your doctor. He/she may be able to help, like for example are you anemic...sometimes there's other reasons that you're tired, not just the Crohn's.

I deal with remission by drinking a lot of water and gatorade. I also often go to sports stores and buy nutrition supplements used by marathon runners to keep me hydrated.

Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 89
   Posted 10/2/2007 5:56 PM (GMT -6)   
I agree. It seems like the fatigue is the worst thing. Some days I just can't get any work done. My head spins, I'm dizzy and my brain is fuzzy.
My fatigue is the most intense after lunch. So I've tried to cut back on the amount of lunch I eat and have small midmorning and midafternoon snacks.
Also, I make sure to take my multivitamin and calcium as I do think I feel worse when I forget to take them.
Dx'd CD in August 2007 - 42-yr-old wife and mom
Allergic to Entocort and Prednisone / Not sure what's next
Currently on Protonix, calcium and multi-vit; and Flovent (for asthma)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 900
   Posted 10/2/2007 6:04 PM (GMT -6)   
I am on disability, so don't have to worry about work obligations...but I still have family obligations. I have found that if I don't have a mid afternoon nap....sometimes just 30 minutes or one hour.....I go into a sort of daze. The kids will ask me what we need at the grocery store...and I couldn't tell them if my life depended on it.......I think sometimes I have a hard time remembering my own name. The girls have come to recognize that look on my face and know that I am "indisposed" until I can rest. Once I 've had a rest I can function again.
There are still days however, when I have to push myself to do absolutely everything. My inclination would be to stay in bed and sleep. I refuse to do that. .....so when the odd day comes when I can't get out of bed, my girls KNOW that I am really sick.

Good luck to you Ohana.....I know what you are feeling....I think most of us on this board understand very well......what to do about it is quite another matter.
Love and prayers to you

Tired old Mary
50 yr.old retired RN,Crohn's D for last35 yrs..severe esophagitis, migraines,strictures,urethral stricture,depression,probable MS.

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 67
   Posted 10/2/2007 7:57 PM (GMT -6)   
I agree, you should probably have your blood checked for anemia or low iron. I get iron infusions to help with low iron when I need it.
I also take a nap in my car at lunch time when I'm feeling exceptionally fatigued. That helps me get through the work day! Good health & Good Luck!

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 1488
   Posted 10/2/2007 9:50 PM (GMT -6)   
The fatigue is probably the worst symptom for me to address. I NEED a nap every afternoon and I work a job that generally lets me take one. I can't even stand myself if I don't take one. I have always been very active up until the CD diagnosis. When I do push myself, especially for family obligations/outings, it is usually out of guilt and I don't always fully enjoy the event as I know I would if I was my old self. I'm sure everyone around me picks up on this, however, I do try to be there and not complain. Then there are days, especially period weeks with migraines, the usual zap of energy and the major D, that I just have to say NO....I can't do this today.

I'm with everyone else though....get that iron checked! Also, since most of us eat a high carb, low fiber diet that can send your sugar levels spiking and crashing with every meal you eat. That was the nice thing about fiber.....it stretches out the energy level of the carbs so that the sugar level changes are not so severe...i.e.; after lunch slump. Hope you get some rest soon.
Dx'd Jan'06, 1st Resection 7/06, Predinsone, Humira, Imuran, B12 injections, Nexium. Secondary conditions: Psorasis, Acne, Fatigue, Joint Pain, Lactose Intolerant, gallstones, fibroid cysts, peri-menopausal.

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 4219
   Posted 10/2/2007 10:39 PM (GMT -6)   
I dont have an answer. I have been battling fatigue lately too but I cant tell if it is boring law school classes and readings and lack of sleep or TRUE fatigue. I fell asleep on the couch after dinner and I had NO intention of napping. Since us crohnie's normally don't drink caffeine sometimes just a little will be enough to give us a quick zap w/o aggravating the gut. I can have half a cup of caffenated tea or maybe a quarter of a cola. I know it is unhealthy but as you know there are times were taking a break is not an option. That is how I get through. Alternatively, some of the new vitamen drinks out there, although loaded w/ sugar, have guarena and ginsing which give me lots of energy. But, like the caffeine, too much can hurt the gut. I guess any stimulant can hurt our guts. And I second broom. If you are wiped and think you need sugar or carbs pair it with a protein for a longer effect. They sell pre-cut, pre-cooked chicken in the salad sections now that are great to nibble on for a quick protein fix. But, if in your search you find the magic cure, PLEASE, let us all know. Oh and last but not least, I find going for a walk wakes me up. It seems counterintuitive but I get more fatigued the longer I am in one place (such as school or my office). Even if I only have a 15 minute break, I get up, stretch, head outside, and walk around the block. A little sunshine and cool breeze can be very refreshing. It doesnt fix the problem but tricks the mind a little.
25 Year old married female.  Diagnosed w/ CD 2 years ago, IBS for over 10 years before that, which was probably the CD.
I started getting a ton of junkmail after putting my myspace profile link on here.  Im taking it off but if you want to contact me just email me and Ill give you a link to my myspace.  Sorry!

New Member

Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 10/3/2007 11:18 AM (GMT -6)   
I have exactly the same problem, and just want to fall into bed as soon as I get home. I have had to take Iron for 1.5 years and was also put on folic acid when I was first diagnosed. I was then told yesterday that my Vitamin B12 level was on the low side, apparently only 203, which apparently is just above the threshold. Before coming to this site I thought it was just me!!!!

Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 210
   Posted 10/3/2007 11:45 AM (GMT -6)   
My B 12 level is also on the low side, on 212, (I think 500 something is the high side), and I have considered asking my doctor to give me a few B 12 shots, just to see if they work. (All my blood works are nrmal).

I have so much fatique, am really tired and it often starts around 1-2 p.m. It's so hard working then, I often have to take a nap those days when I am working from my home office. Then it's ok for some hours, and so it starts again around 9 p.m. I can't wait to go to bed. Then I usually force myself to stay awake, but often I fall asleep while sitting in a chair looking at TV.

My GI ment that my B 12 was ok, but I have red some place that this rate COULD make you feel fatique, even though the doctors says the opposite. Some ppl. also gets shots when B 12 is just above the threshold. So next time I visit my doctor, I will beg him to give it a try.

I really hope you will find a solution, Mormor Vicky!
From Ingrid in Norway :-)
Diagnosed CD June 2007. Have been on a minor prednisone medication. Did make a difference while max dosed. Got my problems back when tapering.
Using Low Dose Naltrexone from sept. 2007. See yahoo.com. A member in the group "lowdosenaltrexone" at yahoo.
Use home made scd yoghurt containing a lot of probiotics - a benefit for the intestines. Don't use white sugar. No yeast in homemade breads.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 3129
   Posted 10/3/2007 11:49 AM (GMT -6)   
MV...fatigue hit me hard recently too. I found out my B12/Iron counts were VERY low. I have felt quite a bit better now that I am taking an OTC iron supplement and an OTC folic acid supplement and we increased my B12 injections to once wekk instead of once a month.

I agree that you should check those out. It really has made a difference for me and I hope you get answers too!
Dx'd '90 (emergency rupture), symptoms ignored long before that, '03 fistulas and bad flagyl reactions, B12 weekly, Pentasa [until I surrender to the bigger meds]
I'm riding on the escalator of life....

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 637
   Posted 10/3/2007 5:20 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello Vicky;

I am only trying to help answer you SSDI question(s)? :-)

Has anyone been able to get SSDI for Crohn's because of fatigue?

That is a hard question, but to take a wild guess I would say NO.

Med. side affects, CD related problems, bathroom trips, pain, spending all your spare time resting, falling asleep at work because you are pushing yourself past your limits, and you used the word hell in your post kinda tipped me off.

What I am trying to say is;
Give them the entire picture, and then you have a MUCH better chance of getting approved.

Only from what you have posted here in this one post, which I suspect is really just the tip of the iceberg, I think you have a great chance at getting approved.

Or contact an attorney, and they can put your case together for you.
In which case I would be really surprised if you DIDN'T get approved.

I have personally always thought, and still do think that with CD, it's up to the person to decide when they must focus on their health instead of work.

Check SSA.gov, or call 8007721213 for an application.

Please look into this.

P.S. You get medicare after 2 yrs, and knowing that you will always have health insurance takes that much more stress out of your life.
CD dx @ 13 (1987)
Prednisone 15mg every other day
Imuran 150mg day
Pain Meds

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