UC and Fatigue...

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NiRo
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2009
Total Posts : 198
   Posted 8/12/2009 10:08 AM (GMT -6)   
As some of you may have read in previous posts, I was diagnosed with UC in late July. I have been on the 5-ASA meds (oral and rectal) now for about 3 weeks and so far so good. Everything appears to be normal so far (knock on wood) - no bleeding for the past 5 days, only going 2x a day (which is normal for me), no urgency, etc.

The only 2 symptoms I have left that are noticeable to me is alot of rumbling in my stomach or colon (usually always after the nightly enema) which I think is a side effect of the drug and still being pretty tired and worn out. I am also struggling with back pain (not always in the same area for the last couple days), but am not sure if this is related to the UC. Of the "3" symptoms left, my biggest concern is with the fatigue. I was iron deficient, but my hemoglobin levels were 13 (low end was 13.2) in late July. I couldn't really tolerate the iron pills, so I have been getting iron via IV weekly. I have done 2 out of 8 thus far (doctor said I will need 8 total to get me back to normal). I was curious, do folks think that the tiredness is due to the low iron levels or is it just a symptom of the UC itself?
Lialda 4x a day
Rowasa Enema 1x at night
Align (Probiotic) 1x a day
Fish Oil 4x a day
Multi-Vitamins (includes Vitamin D, Vitamin C) 1x a day


Lonie
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2005
Total Posts : 6448
   Posted 8/12/2009 10:40 AM (GMT -6)   
Hmmm, well I consider it a symptom of UC. I think it is because your body is fighting all the time and trying to heal -- but that is just my thoughts. Kind of like when you have the flu or cold, your a little tired right? Have you tried B-12 vitamins or shots? Some people opt for the shots (you'll have to check with your doc for this) but I just take a Trader Joe's version of B-12/Biotin. It does two things; the Biotin makes my hair thicker (I had hair loss from Pred) plus the B-12 helps with the fatigue. I'm not sure this will help, but you might want to give it a try. Take care, and keep us updated on how you are feeling.
Carol

Remicade - will have my 30th infusion on September 2 
Vitamin B-12/Biotin, Probiotics, Vitamin D-3 (2000 IU)
 
Co-Moderator for the UC Forum
 
 


thatfield
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 823
   Posted 8/12/2009 11:20 AM (GMT -6)   
My doctor told me that inflamation in the body causes fatigue symptoms. Your immune system is constantly in high gear too with UC. I am sure that a low iron count from blood loss also contributes...it seems to be a combination of the disease and the symptoms that causes fatigue to me. I second Lonie about looking into a B-12 shot! Seems to really help. Also, make sure you are listening to your body and resting when needed. Stress also makes you feel more tired so finding some good stress management and relaxation techniques has helped me as well (not easy working full-time and also having a precious and active 3 year old - but it can be done). The disease has forced me to learn to take better care of myself and to not feel guilty for needing "me time".
Dx 2006 right after the birth of my daughter
Lialda 3 pills a day!
Canasa daily
Probiotics Daily
 


Lonie
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2005
Total Posts : 6448
   Posted 8/12/2009 12:47 PM (GMT -6)   
Yes, I agree with thatfield; never feel guilty for taking time for yourself and resting. I too have learned to listen to my body, and take muc better care of myself.
Carol

Remicade - will have my 30th infusion on September 2 
Vitamin B-12/Biotin, Probiotics, Vitamin D-3 (2000 IU)
 
Co-Moderator for the UC Forum
 
 


NiRo
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2009
Total Posts : 198
   Posted 8/12/2009 12:51 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi guys,

Thanks for the responses. I actually have been taking B-12 before I was even diagnosed with UC and of course have continued it afterwards. My blood work showed I was normal on everything except for the Iron. Your responses have triggered me to ask another question, if it is the inflammation causing the fatigue, will that last forever? Is it something I will just have to deal with?

I am sure part of it is the disease, part of it is the iron, and probably the other part me being mentally out of it from being scared and coping with the fact that I have this disease.
Lialda 4x a day
Rowasa Enema 1x at night
Align (Probiotic) 1x a day
Fish Oil 4x a day
Multi-Vitamins (includes B-12, Vitamin D, Vitamin C) 1x a day


notsosicklygirl
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 16724
   Posted 8/12/2009 1:30 PM (GMT -6)   
I have the same problem. I was severely anemic a few months ago and while I have recovered and my bloodwork looks almost normal, I am still not 100%. When you get your iron levels back up, you will feel better. I am still not in 100% remission - that probably contributes to my fatigue, probably the same for you. At least we aren't losing blood anymore, that will help heal you and improve your blood. I take enzymatic therapy "ultimate iron" supplements. They seem to help me and don't cause bad side effects. I used to take the iron 3x a day but now I am down to 50mg. I also have back pain and aneck and shoulder pain.
Diagnosed with mild proctitis in March 2007: Treated with Canasa (as needed)
December 08: Began treating with Asacol 400mg (9/day) + Canasa 2x/day - Anemic
May 09: Off Canasa, taking Asacol (9/day)
Back on Canasa every other night + Asacol (9/day) + Probiotics + Iron
Reducing to 6 Asacol/day + Canasa + Probiotics + Iron - So far so good!!! -SPOKE TOO SOON! Back to 9/day...


AmyWaffle
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 173
   Posted 8/12/2009 1:54 PM (GMT -6)   
Fatigue is definitely the name of my game too. Espresso is my friend! (But not too much or the colon gets angrier.) I have had back pain in the past too but I don't think it is UC related either. Just normal wear and tear. :)
UC since 1996 (age 20)
Mommy of 2 sweet little girls.
My life is one big flare.

Asacol, Azathioprine, Prednisone, Rowasa
First Remicade 6/22/09


NiRo
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2009
Total Posts : 198
   Posted 8/12/2009 2:01 PM (GMT -6)   
Haha, luckily (or unluckily) I was never a big coffee/tea/espresso person. I am looking into drinking one of those nutritional drinks - Boost. I'm a vegetarian (and always have been) and have been staying away from the beans (primary source of protein) since I have been diagnosed. So hopefully the Boost helps to get my protein levels back up!
Lialda 4x a day
Rowasa Enema 1x at night
Align (Probiotic) 1x a day
Fish Oil 4x a day
Multi-Vitamins (includes B-12, Vitamin D, Vitamin C) 1x a day


AmyWaffle
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 173
   Posted 8/12/2009 2:23 PM (GMT -6)   
For protein I like "Naked" brand juice, the ones that say PROTEIN on them. There is 30 g of whey/soy protein per bottle. But don't drink it all at once, it is a lot of calories and can upset your digestion. I keep it in the fridge and sip on it for a couple of days. (Banana chocolate is my favorite flavor)
UC since 1996 (age 20)
Mommy of 2 sweet little girls.
My life is one big flare.

Asacol, Azathioprine, Prednisone, Rowasa
First Remicade 6/22/09


Blue220
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 191
   Posted 8/13/2009 6:51 PM (GMT -6)   
Wow, NiRo, your iron levels are high compared to mine which are stuck at 9. I was at 10 for a while one time...boy was that awesome! I've been taking iron everyday for as long as I can remember. I'm very tired. As I type this now, I would like to go to bed but it's not even 7:00 here. =/

I have B-12 pills that dissolve under my tongue. I carry those with me, but only have a couple a day. I don't feel as though they help a lot though.
22 years old

Diagnosed with moderate/severe UC June 2007, I've had it since December 2006.

Haven't been on here in a while (finally graduated college).
Update as of 5/26/09 - Now taking Imuran 100mg/day.
2 Lialda/day.
Vitamins - Caltrate+D, iron, A, B12,
Flintstone Complete+iron, and aloe vera pills/juice.
At least I'm off the Entocort. =]


NiRo
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2009
Total Posts : 198
   Posted 8/13/2009 6:58 PM (GMT -6)   
My B-12 levels are way higher than normal I just found out (from my last blood test), it must be from the B-12 pill plus some B-12 being in my vitamin! ;) The doctor said I can stop taking the pill if I want, but there is no harm in the excess since my body just will get rid of the excess when I go to the bathroom (#1). I just got home from my Iron IV and do feel a little better. I am 3/8th's the way there, so hopefully as the weeks progress I get stronger.
Lialda 4x a day
Rowasa Enema 1x at night
Align (Probiotic) 1x a day
Fish Oil 4x a day
Multi-Vitamins (includes B-12, Vitamin D, Vitamin C) 1x a day


Mike1212
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2009
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 8/13/2009 9:55 PM (GMT -6)   
Niro...
When u say u can tolerate the PO iron what do u mean? What kind of symptoms did u have?
 Everyone...
I spoke to a friend  (medical doctor ) last week and he told me that ppl with ulcerative colitis should stay away from vitamins and proteind... bc what they do is that they boost up ur immune system and you get the rest... whats ur thoughts on it?

NiRo
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2009
Total Posts : 198
   Posted 8/14/2009 8:54 AM (GMT -6)   
I can't tolerate the PO iron...I get stomach pain, crazy amounts of gas, etc. Doctor recommended Iron IV because he offers it in his office which I have been doing. Since the iron goes straight into your blood (and not through you stomach), it has given me no side effects. Only draw back is if you get a reaction to it (when given through IV), but so far so good and it's rare to be allergic to iron via IV.

I don't understand the logic behind staying away from vitamins or protein. My GI doctor actually told me to take vitamins.
Lialda 4x a day
Rowasa Enema 1x at night
Align (Probiotic) 1x a day
Fish Oil 4x a day
Multi-Vitamins (includes B-12, Vitamin D, Vitamin C) 1x a day


psychocolon
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 118
   Posted 8/14/2009 4:38 PM (GMT -6)   
UC causes fatigue plus a side effect of the 5ASA drugs is fatigue also so.............double whammy! And if you are anemic........triple whammy!
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