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Newbie saying hi

Hello :) My names Sarah, 19 and with crohns. My story is quite long so I'll do my best to shorten it!
I was diagnosed with crohns a few months ago but we suspect I've actually been suffering from it for a few years. I got very very sick in year 12 which then was associated with anxiety, but looking back was probably crohns. I ended up dropping out of school because I was in so much pain, going to the toilet all the time, missed so many days and ended up with severe anxiety problems as a result (which I still deal with today).

Nowadays I'm at uni studying Bachelor of behaviour sciences and I work with animals. I mostly work with dogs as an assistant trainer and a handler at a doggie daycare facility. I also volunteer at the zoo as a tour guide and also with the animals in the kids zoo.

I find the hardest thing about having crohns is battling fatigue. My work is very physically demanding and I get so tired by the end of the day. I find myself relying way too much on sugary drinks like juice or vitamin water (when really bad) to give me that lift that I just can't get by myself. I also do a lot of lifting/raking/mopping and that sort of movement which I find can really hurt if I'm having a flare up or a bad week.

I'm currently on pred, aza, and nexium. I'm almost off the pred (thank god as I've had almost all of the side affects) but my body is not liking that so I'm taking it slow!

So yah that's me :) If anyone has any tips on how to combat fatigue I'd really appreciate it! My sugary drink quick fix helps but isn't the healthiest!


Staff member
Hello Sarah, welcome to the forum :).

Im sorry to hear you've had to deal with this but so glad you're now managing to go to university and do the work you love :). I'm also glad you've found this forum, its full of friendly, helpful people who have lots of hints, tips, advice and support to offer you :).

Fatigue is a big part of crohns unfortunately, sometimes as a direct result of the illness and symptoms as a side effect of all the strong medications we have to take to keep ourselves feeling well. Sugary drinks are good for an energy kick but not so good for bloating and sometimes they dont provide sufficiant hydration. You might find drinks like lucozade sport better (not the fizzy one), which are designed to keep you hydrated and balance your electrolytes. If you haven't had your vitamin levels tested in a while, you might want to get your potassium, iron and vit. D and vit. B checked as these can all have an impact on energy levels if you aren't getting enough of them.

If you can tolerate them, complex carbs like pasta are good for slow, steady energy release through the day rather than quick, instant sugar rushes which later make you crash and feel even more tired. If you can tolerate fruit, you could juice that to make a fresh fruit juice which will contain plenty of fresh, natural sugar and will be far healthier than shop bought sugary drinks. Ceral bars are also a good alternative for some people but they can aggrivate some sufferer's symptoms so be careful if trying those .Also make sure your getting enough rest, I know thats easier said than done with a hectic schedule but rest is very important for your body when its healing so not getting enough can limit your ability to get better.

How are your other symptoms at the moment?
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Hiya :) I'm in the middle of a flare actually so I've been better! I'm almost fully weaned off of prednisone, but my body is really not liking only being down to 5mg!


Staff member
Im sorry to hear your flaring, if youre having joint aches or cramping, heat can be very helpful for a lot of people, so try hot baths or heat packs. If you suffer from nausea then ginger or peppermint can be really good for this.

It might be a good idea to contact your IBD nurse and let them know whats happening so they can give you some advice, or put a call in to your GIs office. Its not uncommon for symptoms to resurface once steroids are reduced but it is important that your doctor is aware so they can adjust your treatment accordingly. Make sure your getting plenty of rest at the moment, if you are struggling with attending work let them know, and when the uni term starts dont be afraid to talk to your lecturers if you are still having difficulties. They are normally very helpful and understanding in these situations. I know its tough when its what you love but your health is most important so take it easy if you need to.
Thanks for the advice :) all the appropriate work/uni people know and are really nice and understanding! That was the first thing I had to get over: the embarrassment! Wasn't as hard as I thought though. It was worse when I was having all of the symptoms but hasn't yet been diagnosed! That was an embarrassing conversation haha
Hi Sarahk,

The only thing I can think of is B12 injections your Dr. can prescribe for you. I get them once a month. I don't know if they really help though. When I'm flaring, I feel exhausted alot. Good luck at Uni and hope you feel better soon.:)


Staff member
So glad you could talk to them, I found it pretty hard at first going to my course leader but she's been so nice to me, helped me make some tough choices and gave me a new place for this year, no questions asked. It can make such a big difference having support from your colleagues and lecturers.