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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    Why am I tired all the time?

    Hi some days I am so fatigued and tired that I just have to sleep all day to get my energy back.

    I am concerned something else is going on. I have a number of health problems such as Pan Ulcerative Colitis, Prednisoline diabetes, overactive thyroid (having thyroidectymy after inconslusive biopses) just to name a few.

    I am wondering if the fatigue etc can be caused by all these health issues and medications I am on or if I have another health issue. Any opinions?
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    Denise Burbidge

    Dietitian, Nutritionist

    Denise is an Accredited Practising Dietitian working in private practice in Melbourne, and consulting to aged care facilities throughout Victoria. Denise has a particular interest … View Profile

    Fatigue and tirednes can be caused by many things. Given that you have multiple health conditions first step I would recommend is a full assessment with your GP! This would include (but is not limited to) review of your medications, blood tests for checking sugar levels, iron, folate, B12, heamaglobin and review of current medical conditions.

    If there is nothing remarkable found in your health assessment that pin points the cause of your tiredness then it would also be worth considering a diet review with a dietitian. As a dietitian I would want to see that you are reveiving a balanced diet with sufficient total daily energy and nutrients. I would generally recommend small meals often (eg three meals, 3 snacks daily) to maximise the available energy acrross the day and help keep your metabolism firing. Light-moderate exercise  may also help boost energy levels by releasing natural endorphins.

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    For more than 25 years, Crohn’s & Colitis Australia™ (formerly the Australian Crohn’s and Colitis Association) has been making life more liveable for more than … View Profile

    Fatigue and general tiredness can be a feature of many illnesses and is certainly a common problem for people who have inflammatory bowel disease (both active and inactive), but particularly so when disease is active.  It’s not well understood why fatigue still seems to plague a lot of people in whom the disease is quiet, but it’s of increasing interest to researchers who are looking into the effects of IBD on other body systems.  In the immediate, short-term, try to work out some sort of energy management plan so that you can carry out the things you need to do or like to do when you are at your best, but pace yourself so that you don’t over-do-it.   It’s also essential that you discuss with your doctors about your blood chemistries, which provide information about nutritional status, general health, liver & kidney function and also on other checks for any signs of active inflammation and/or the presence of anaemia.    

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