Can Crohn's Disease and Chronic fatigue syndrome be linked?

Can Crohn's Disease be related to CFS?
yes - 62.5%
no - 37.5%

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New Member

Date Joined Feb 2011
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 2/19/2011 3:41 PM (GMT -7)   
So I am new to this forum and came upon it while researching more about my Crohn's Disease. Finally, I found people out there who feel the way I do !

I've been on 6mp for my Crohn's Disease for about 3 years. Over the past 3 years I've had a multitude of problems, from pancreatitis to appendicitis. I am always sick, and get bronchitis 2x a year. I never really told my parents or my doctor about the lower back pain and joint pain, because I didn't think it was related to the Crohn's but I've been doing some research recently and found out otherwise. But theres one symptom that I can't get rid of, and that is the drowsiness. I am always tired. I could sleep for 20 hours and still feel like I've gotten only 3 hours of sleep. I use to sleep for 14 hours or more two summers ago. But I've I feel like I am losing my mind. I can't concentrate like I use to, even though I am on ADD medicine & Anti-depressant medicine. Does anyone else get these symptoms ? Is it possible that Crohn's can cause Chronic fatigue syndrome? Ugh What do you do to get rid of this tiredness?!

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2010
Total Posts : 8384
   Posted 2/20/2011 7:47 AM (GMT -7)   
Welcome to the forum inyourhonor! I don't know much about chronic fatigue, but I do know that people with Crohn's are often fatigued.

It sounds like your disease is not well controlled on the 6mp. What else are you taking for it?
48 yrs old, IBD diagnosis in spring '01. Proctitis, gastritis, ileitis.
Currently taking Pentasa (3g/day), Sulfazine (1.5 g/day), Prevacid, folic acid, vit. D (2K iu), flax seed oil (2 tsp/day), mesalamine enema as needed.

Becoming undone
Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 927
   Posted 2/20/2011 11:35 AM (GMT -7)   
I don't know if you call it CFS, but in many autoimmune(AI) disorders fatigue is quite a common issue, and has been with me. You know, fatigue where it feels like if you are an electric device you've just been suddenly unplugged from the socket, where even lifting your eyelids takes more energy than you have...

Yes it could be something else...but it could also be AI fatigue...I know that one of the moderators had something that helped describe the fatigue...though I cannot recall where it was...but wanted you to know you are not alone...

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 3200
   Posted 2/20/2011 1:58 PM (GMT -7)   
Can I ask you why your doctors have kept you on 6mp when you've had pancreatitis? Please
be careful, this drug is known to cause serious pancreatic problems in some people ( me for one).
The pancreatitis attacks has left me with permanent damage. So now my pancreas issues are now
outweighing my crohns.
Sorry I don't mean to ruin your thread, but after reading your history I was concerned:(

Too many years with CD
Two bowel resections, several obstructions.
Fibromyalgia and recently diagnosed with chronic pancreatitis and lupus.
B12 Shots bi-weekly

Laughter is the brush that sweeps the cobwebs from our hearts...

New Member

Date Joined Feb 2011
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 2/20/2011 6:04 PM (GMT -7)   

Kazbern- currently I am not taking anything else for my Crohn's besides the 6mp. I've been okay since I've been on it. But there was some problems when I first started with it, such as pancreatitis. Also they think my appendicitis was linked with my Crohn's because of how bad my appendix was inflamed and how it was linked to my small intestine also causing the doctor to remove a small part and do a relink-age of some organs. But other than that and a minor ulcer, I am no where near as bad as I use to be. I've been on Asacol and Cypro. I was misdiagnosed at first.

Becoming undone - I've never heard of AI fatigue. I know that auto immune diseases can cause chronic fatigue, but I was never sure if my crohn's and my tiredness are linked. But the more research I do on my own, and become my own advocate, I am realizing more and more things about this disease than I've never known. Sometimes good doctors are hard to find. Some days I don't want to get up out of bed. Some days it feels like my bodies been run over by a truck. Thanks for letting me know Im not alone :)

New Member

Date Joined Feb 2011
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 2/20/2011 6:09 PM (GMT -7)   

That is a good question. I think it's because when I just started the drug I got pancreatitis. My doctor decided to keep me on it because it was keeping me stable with my Crohn's. To be honest, I don't think that I paid to much attention to the side effects because I was too young, and I didn't really understand. How has the 6mp affected you and pancreatitis? How long were you on it for? What did they put you on instead of the 6mp?

- Lisa !

New Member

Date Joined Apr 2011
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 4/27/2011 5:27 AM (GMT -7)   
I know this is kinda old but just wanted to tell you I am also a Crohn's sufferer and I also have terrible fatigue issues. My GI doc won't accept that it's related, he keeps giving me new blood tests but they never find anything directly responsible for the fatigue.
But being very in tune with my body I have noticed that the fatigue is definitely related to eating. Some people with Crohn's get nausea and reflux, I mostly get fatigue, blurry vision and extremely painful gas. I've noticed of that fatigue goes away after passing a lot of gas or a particularly large bowel movement, at least until about an hour after my next meal.
I've had a small bit of success with altering my diet. For instance I eat a lot more greens which helps a bit, and eating smaller portions at a time. Like several tiny meals instead of one big one, and I chew my food much more thoroughly before swallowing.
Unfortunately those things haven't been by themselves enough, and the only thing that has consistently gotten rid of my fatigue (and other symptoms) for a few days at a time is fasting. For some reason water fasting for 24 hours or so completely relieves all my symptoms for a few days, I don't know why and the GI doesn't believe it but it works for me.
I'm not recommending it personally because fasting can be dangerous if done wrong, so if you or anyone else reading this decides to try it you should do it under the supervision of a naturopath or at least do a lot of self-education first. But again this is not medical advice, just my own experience with fasting and Crohn's.

artist guy
Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 1373
   Posted 4/27/2011 5:47 AM (GMT -7)   
I had a gi tell me to fast once amonth for 48hr's let my gut rest. made alot of sense to me. It's hard to do when you're very undereweight. but it is for our gut to take a break from food.JMHO


Elite Member

Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 20577
   Posted 4/28/2011 12:41 PM (GMT -7)   
Yes, having CD is linked to chronic fatigue syndrome most's because your body is fighting off inflammation due to CD and thus can cause fatigue, researhcers have already proven this....quite common for many IBDers.

I've gotten my energy back since I started working out on a regular basis...also diet can impact chronic fatigue as well, if you eat a diet high in sugar it can be particularly detrimental for chronic fatigue as well as for your CD.

Feel better soon, I know what it's like to suffer being constantly tired, so glad those days are long behind me.
bee propolis caps 500mg one cap twice/day
omegas 369 caps one cap twice/day
probiotics 10 billion cfu once/day
vitamins C-calcium ascorbate (easy on the gut) and vitamin A each once/day
Prodiem fibre supplement one cap before bed
I've also altered my diet (no junky stuff at all, processed, fast-foods, refined sugars, ect) and exercise regularly.
I went from 30+ bloody BM's/day with lots of lower back pain to an average of 5/day no bleeding no back pain and completely formed stools, still have severe urgency issues.
~~~~~~~~My bum is broken....there's a big crack down the middle of it! LOL :)~~~~~~~~
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