New research re; fatigue and inflammatory diseases specifically

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Elite Member

Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 20577
   Posted 2/17/2009 11:09 PM (GMT -7)   

Disease linked to fatigue

Updated: Tue Feb. 17 2009 16:56:42

A research team at the University of Calgary believes they have discovered why diseases, like arthritis, make people so tired.

Dr. Mark Swain has found that inflammatory diseases like arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease and liver disease, allow so-called "immune" cells to infiltrate the brain and it's those cells that cause fatigue.

Dr. Swain says the fatigue can often be the worst part of a disease and that the next step is to reverse the process which in turn will stop the fatigue.

"I think when people have profound fatigue that's associated with inflammatory disease, they'll often say that it's the most incapacitating thing that they're experiencing from their disease and if they could only get over the fatigue, they could deal with the other aspects of their disease," says Dr. Mark Swain from the University of Calgary.


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

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 76
   Posted 2/18/2009 3:32 AM (GMT -7)   
oh my gosh, FINALLY something that has been looked into fatigue! It is my biggest problem and I did more than enough hours trying to research myself to find NOTHING!!! I felt crazy for so long because I thought it was a symptom I was making up. That has made my day. :-)
Tina 26yrs old Diagnosed in 2000 with Crohn's surgery for perianal abscess and fistulas
currently on Imuran 100mg used in the past Remcide, salofalc, pred.
Worst pain equal to child labor was after eating home made Granola...i can still hear the screams ha ha.

Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 457
   Posted 2/18/2009 4:13 AM (GMT -7)   

When I talked to my GI about being tired all the time his response was to start exercising everyday. I told him I could barely make it through my work day how was I supposed to exercise.To me it is the worse part of this disease. My mind wants to accomplish all these tasks and my body just won't cooperate. Sometimes I feel like a real loser.


dx'd with Crohns 1984, I was in remission for 12 years
Bowel Resection surgery 2006, Now weaning off  Predisone after another flare. Started taking my Asacol again.

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2004
Total Posts : 422
   Posted 2/18/2009 6:08 AM (GMT -7)   
Holy cow, AMEN! People who've never experienced fatigue/malaise just don't GET IT! My GI, too, said to get some excercise...but do they not understand how DIFFICULT it is to just go WALK when it took every bit of energy you had to get through the work day? Yesterday, I went to Wal-Mart. I was in there about 20 minutes and was in tears by the time I got to my car, because I was SO FATIGUED. I've been sick lately, and it's been tough getting out to do anything but work. And even this week I've gone home from work early and am out today due to massive fatigue.
Diagnosed in October, 2004 at age 32.
Current Rx's: Colazal (generic), Omeprazole, Ferrous Sulfate, Librax, One-A-Day multivitamin, Probiotic, Omega-3 Fish Oil, Vitamin D, Vitamin A, Calcium-Magnesium-Zinc, Cranberry pills
Secondary conditions: mouth ulcers, joint pain, swelling ankles, extreme fatigue
Previous/occasional Rx's: 20mg Prednisone taper, Flagyl, Levaquin
No surgeries to date

Regular Member

Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 69
   Posted 2/18/2009 9:14 AM (GMT -7)   
Pb4, Do you have any link to that article? One of my sons biggest handicaps with Crohns is the fatigue it causes him. Very little is written about this and although the physicians acknowledge it, the literature talks little about how debilitating it is. Thanks

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 1642
   Posted 2/18/2009 9:16 AM (GMT -7)   

that is great news, I also think the fatigue is terrible. Even when not flaring I still have it!



Karen (Karendee)

Diagnosed w/ Crohn’s Disease  March 2007 Started Humira June 2008 (have been on other cd meds)

Diagnosed w/  Fibromyalgia May 2007 on Soma and Lyrica



Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 544
   Posted 2/18/2009 9:47 AM (GMT -7)   

funny but I just saw almost the same concern voiced in one of the groups on Facebook


here are a couple of links...they add anything...but maybe someone else can or will dig deeper....


Tested BIOGEN TYSABRI (gave me 2 years of remission)
tried Naltrexone Jan. 19, 2007 Stopped the Naltrexone July 28th...started Humira Aug 31st, 2007...current dose one shot every week. Also nightly dose of mesalamine.
Surgery Nov 4th, 2008 removed 30 inches of small bowel.
 Crohns is currently active and has been since April of 2005
52 yrs old

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 529
   Posted 2/18/2009 11:14 AM (GMT -7)   
This is a major relief for me. The fatigue is DEFINITELY the worst part of the disease for me. I can't stay awake for more than 4 or 5 hours at a time. Yesterday at work, I couldn't even hold a pen because I was so tired/weak. It just completely consumes your life. I can deal with diarrhea, vomiting and pain much better than the total lack of energy I have. It makes it hard to function, and people just don't get it. My family tells me to just "suck it up" and force myself to stay awake and be active, but it just isn't possible when you're as fatigued as I am. I am also SEVERELY anemic, which obviously plays a huge role, but I have been more anemic than I am now (prior to diagnosis), and the fatigue came nowhere near what I am experiencing now.

Elite Member

Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 20577
   Posted 2/18/2009 12:09 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks hspense for posting the actual link that bowlies wanted :)

Actually, about the exercise that your docs have suggested, it really does help, I exercise regularly and it has improved my fatigue a lot, any form, pilates, or what ever so long as you do something, without exercise it does make the fatigue worse....and exercise is known to aid with normal bowel function, so it has helped in that department as well. Believe me I totally understand what you guys are thinking about the thought of exercising when you're already so tired but I pushed myself through it and it wasn't long before I noticed a big difference, well worth it. Since we are also prone to having joint/bone issues it helps ward that off some too. The longer you go without some kind of regular exercise routine, the older and crappy you will feel as you age becauses of this disease.

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

Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 457
   Posted 2/18/2009 12:19 PM (GMT -7)   
I have decided to start walking or using my elipitcal machine again. I love to do core exercises but now I have a hernia so that is off limits. I'll try to push through like you said and see if I can get the "old" me back. Thanks for the encouragement.

dx'd with Crohns 1984, I was in remission for 12 years
Bowel Resection surgery 2006, Now weaning off  Predisone after another flare. Started taking my Asacol again.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 1010
   Posted 2/18/2009 12:38 PM (GMT -7)   
I agree with PB4 but with a caution. Some of us are prone to "push through" too much. It can be a disease in itself. I had to learn to surrender to my disease first, instead of constantly pushing. All the while (20+ years) I was pushing my disease around, I experienced boom and bust cycles that constantly undermined efforts to stay physically fit. Only after I stopped trying to control my disease and "allowed"
myself to experience illness, did I begin to develop a sustainable fitness program that allows me the flexibility to be kind to myself when I'm really not well. It has been a long time since I have been as physically fit as I am right now, even though my disease is at times incapacitating.

30+ years living with Crohn's.

Elite Member

Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 20577
   Posted 2/18/2009 1:27 PM (GMT -7)   
Yes, that's why it's important you find something your body can initially handle and then increase, pilates is a great way to start any routine, same with yoga, there are so many forms of yoga out there...aquasizing, riding a stationary bike and doing light weights, starting out with mild exercise building to moderate and then whatever you can handle after that, your bones, joints, mind and likely even your bowels will thank you for it. 30 minutes/day at least 3 days a week is a great start.

Running to the can a hundred times a day unfortunately doesn't seem to count for some reason LOL!

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

Elite Member

Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 10404
   Posted 2/18/2009 2:40 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks, pb! Interesting!
Co-Moderator Crohn's Forum.

Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2006
Total Posts : 289
   Posted 2/18/2009 3:07 PM (GMT -7)   
Fatigue is definitely an issue that we're probably all dealing with. I'm trying to do yoga weekly, but recently have been unable to do so. I've had an upper respiratory infection since New Years that have taken 2 courses of antibiotics to finally get under control. I'm also trying to get to work every day, but that is a big struggle. I may be there physically, but mentally is another story. I try to get energy in the AM with a cup of coffee, but that really doesn't help. I think it helps to know that there is something related to our disease that makes us feel this way. Let's just try not to get overly pressured by our nutty society's go-go-go mentality. Take time to rest whey you can, and don't feel guilty about it.
Current Medications:

Pentssa, 1000 mg od
Vitamin D
Red Yeast Rice
Calcium/Magnesium Supplement
Nature's Way Primadophilus Bifidus Probiotic
Remicade infusion; every 8 weeks
Ambien, PRN
Seasilver Whole Food Liquid Nutrition

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