tired from UC, Imuran or life?

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Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 528
   Posted 1/14/2008 12:02 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi friends. I am pretty fatigued these days, trying to figure out why. Spoke to my GI about it, as he is really into quality-of-life, so he wants me to have energy. I said I was exhausted every day by end of the day, and he asked me to describe my day. I told him I work full time, and usually run or swim about 45 minutes 4 days a week, and sometimes see a friend in the evening. he said that if I can exercise like that, I am doing pretty well in terms of fatigue and that at that level, he doesn't see my quality of life really suffering. in other words, my life sounds pretty normal to him. I can see his point, but I was wondering if you guys often feel tired? I mean, I get through my day, but I need like 9 hours of sleep every night to feel good, and even then I am exhausted, really exhausted, by the end of the day.

In fairness, I have had a stressful time over the spring/summer. In 11 weeks, literally, I got diagnosed with pancolitis (and two rounds of pred), graduated from grad school, started a new job, and got engaged. Then, 3 weeks later, was started on Imuran. so, maybe life is just stressful??? I don't know. just would be curious for your thoughts, especially those of you on an immune-suppresant of some sort. (and, of course, my BMs are always exhausting.... LOL....) are you always tired? sometimes I actually like going to the bathroom when I am at work because it gives me a chance to close my eyes for a few minutes. is that nuts???

thanks, all. I hope your weeks are off to good starts.
Pancolitis dx 3/07
12 Asacol/day
150mg Imuran/day (steroid dependent, reached this dose 9/07)
Various vitamins, a probiotic.

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 402
   Posted 1/14/2008 12:05 PM (GMT -6)   
Have you had your iron levels checked? Iron-deficient anemia can cause fatigue. It is always a risk for us IBDers and women.
Current Medications:
- Asacol (4 pills, 3x per day)
- Rowasa (1 enema daily, as needed)
- Folic Acid (1 mg, 1x per day)
- Calcium (600 mg, 2x per day)
- Prenatal Vitamin (1x per day)
- Iron (2x per day)

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 135
   Posted 1/14/2008 12:20 PM (GMT -6)   


I know what you're saying.  I too am on Imuran as well as Prednisone.  By the end of the day I'm completely exhausted and in bed most nights by 7 pm.  Also, I feel very fatigued throughout the day.  It has to be from the meds because I never use to be this way until I started Imuran.

Asacol 4 pills 3x's daily
Imuran 125mg.
Prednisone 15mg.
Calcium with Vit. D Tablets

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 528
   Posted 1/14/2008 12:36 PM (GMT -6)   
thanks you two for the responses. Expecting - good call. I see him in 2 weeks and will ask about iron testing then. never even thought of that. I don't eat much red meat at all (barely ever) and jog, so it is possible that all of that combined is hitting my iron stores. thanks for that thought.
Pancolitis dx 3/07
12 Asacol/day
150mg Imuran/day (steroid dependent, reached this dose 9/07)
Various vitamins, a probiotic.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 2148
   Posted 1/14/2008 12:45 PM (GMT -6)   
I am wiped out too from azathioprine and pred. I used to work out but am so exhausted, mentally and physically all I do is read and go to bed and still wake up tired.

I need to just do it, like nike says!
Beth, 32
Major Flare Sept/Oct 07 ~ working on remission almost there
UC Diagnosed March 2000 (30 cenitmeters)
Azathioprine 200mg 1xday nightly; Calcium and Vit D 500mg 3xday, Multi Vit, Folic Acid 400mg 2xday, Probiotics.
Minimal Change Disease (Kidney Disorder) Diagnosed Sept 2007
Prednisone 60/40mg alt days 1xday, Simvastatin 20mg 1xday, Diovan 160mg 2xday. Potassium 600mg 2xday, Fosomax 70mg 1xweek. MCD may be from hypersensitivty to 5ASA drugs.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 714
   Posted 1/14/2008 12:51 PM (GMT -6)   
I was very fatigued even in remission these last few months. During that time I couldn't take iron as my stomach and intestines would kick up a stink. I re-tried iron about 2 months ago and since then for some reason I have no problem at all with it. My doctor doubled the normal dose to get my hameoglobin up to normal as quick as I can. I didn't notice anything for the first 2 weeks but in the last 6 weeks my energy levels have soared. A very quick turn-around. I seem to have boundless energy for most of the day now. All of a sudden I can get very tired for a few hours. Really tired. So I'm assuming my iron levels are still not at 100%. But for the most part I have energy to burn.

Also I've noticed that my bowel has healed more quickly since I've been on iron. I'm not suggesting iron plays any role in UC other than to say you need energy to heal and repair. If the oxygen isn't getting to all parts of your body then you simply won't operate and heal efficiently. For me iron therapy has helped the healing process.

Finally while my iron levels were low my appetite was really poor. I thought my poor appetite might have been a direct result of UC but I'm thinking it has more to do with low iron-levels. Now that my iron levels are getting close to normal my appetite is going thru the roof.

Also I guess if you are in a flare there is a battle going on in the bowels. Like all battles this takes energy so it does make sense that if you are flaring then energy is being used up on the assualt on the colon. If this is going on for awhile it may rob your body of its stores of energy.

It's not just about having high HG values (ie close to 12,13,14). More importantly you need to have your iron stored close to (i think its) 17 in whatever units they measure it. Your iron stores are the key since these are the things called on when things go wrong in your body.
800 mg Asacol + 250mg suppositories daily...
...but more importantly a Healthy Diet, low levels of Stress and a steadfast belief that "I am a healthy person".

Veteran Member

Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 698
   Posted 1/14/2008 12:56 PM (GMT -6)   
I am always tired, but just so used to doing things while exhausted I just keep pushing. 9 hours of sleep doesn't sound too bad to me given your activity level. You have a lot going on. :)
35 year old Male, Husband, Father of the best three kids in the universe.
First Flare was February 2005. Diagnosed June 2005-left-sided Colitis, suspect it has since spread. Started 4000 mg Oral Salofalk June 2005-stopped January 2007. Remission until November 2006. Been in a flare to various degrees since November 2006 to February 2007. Currently in remission.
Presently on 0 mg Prednisone-down from 60 mg!
Weekly 4000 mg Salofalk enemas.
Daily 4000 mg Salofalk oral.
Started Omeprazole 20 mg February 2007.
Co-Moderator-UC Forum

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 733
   Posted 1/14/2008 1:12 PM (GMT -6)   
That is interesting.  I get fatigued easily, I always blamed it on UC but have been on Remicade for 3 years.  Sometimes I am ready for a nap after being awake just a few hours, even when I am having a "good" bathroom day.  I usually do not have the energy to do any exercise, although once I get back into the routine, it seems the exercise seems to help me have more energy.  So, I'd say stick with what you're doing, but know your limits and don't over-do it. When you get your anemia checked, ask them to check your B12 too (they won't check it unless you test positive for anemia, but some people are B12 deficient and not anemic). 
Diagnosed with Left-sided Ulcerative Colitis 1995 at 15
Tried: Prednisone, Rowasa & Hydrocortisone Enemas, Proctofoam, Sulfasalazine, Asacol, Probiotics, Fish Oil, Canasa, Enotcort, Colazol, Proctocort, Anamantle, etc...
Diagnosed with Ulcerative Proctitis with almost rectovaginal fistula in 2004, put on Remicade, August 2007:Increased Remicade dosage-700mg every 6 weeks,diagnosed with Psoriatic Arthritis & Fibromyalgia Current meds: Remicade 700mgs every 6 wks (had reaction, will start Humira Jan 29) Clorazepate, Proctofoam HC, Glucosamine 500, Vitamin B, Lomotil as needed, Darvocet, Tylenol pm

Mamas Boys
Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 1460
   Posted 1/14/2008 5:05 PM (GMT -6)   
I work out most days for about an hour to 1 1/2 hours.  I too am completely exhausted by the end of the day.  Bedttime in my house is the same for me and my kids!  They go to bed, I pretty much do the same.  I find I need at least 9 if not 10 hours a night to wake up rested.


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