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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have recently been diagnosed with IBS (well the specialist thought it was the most likely cause of my problems). Most of my symptoms seem to confirm this - diarrhoea, nausea, wind, trapped wind and depression. But one symptom that's been there from the start is fatigue, which, as far as I can tell, doesn't seem to be a common IBS symptom. I've gone from someone who was fairly active and who exercised regularly, with a positive outlook, to someone who feels extremely tired most of the time and feels like doing very little. Even communicating with friends and family can be so difficult at times purely because I'm so short on energy. I've lost all of my get up and go.

Does anyone out there suffer with fatigue as a symptom of their IBS? And, if so, have they managed to combat it?

Any help will be much appreciated.
 

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Severe fatigue is usually not a part of IBS.

However it is very common to have fibromyalgia and IBS in the same person, and FM causes a lot of fatigue.

Depression can also cause a lot of fatigue.

If this is more than just tired from being in pain make sure the usual fatigue causers are ruled out. You aren't anemic, hypothyroid, etc. And make sure you are eating enough and aren't low on any nutrients. A lot of people with IBS tend to limit eating in various ways and that can tire people out if they don't get enough fuel and nutrition.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Severe fatigue is usually not a part of IBS.

However it is very common to have fibromyalgia and IBS in the same person, and FM causes a lot of fatigue.

Depression can also cause a lot of fatigue.

If this is more than just tired from being in pain make sure the usual fatigue causers are ruled out. You aren't anemic, hypothyroid, etc. And make sure you are eating enough and aren't low on any nutrients. A lot of people with IBS tend to limit eating in various ways and that can tire people out if they don't get enough fuel and nutrition.
Thanks. Fibromyalgia is not something my GP has mentioned but I will look into it. I don't generally suffer with much pain but I see that pain isn't always necessarily a symptom. The fatigue seemed to start as soon as the IBS did. The depression came on gradually and a bit later on as my stomach problems and fatigue seemed to eat away at my positivity, slowly grinding me down. I've had blood tests in regards to my stomach problems and fatigue which have come back negative, but, if I'm honest, I'm not sure of everything they've tested for. They did test for my thyroid though and that was ok. I will check with my GP. I have a pretty balanced and healthy diet so I shouldn't be lacking in nutrients. I checked for B12 deficiency which came back negative.

Thanks for your help!
 

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Hi there

I am also new to this forum - and wanted to empathise - I too have incredible fatigue. In my case I think its because nutrients simply aren't being absorbed when I eat - and this has been going on for months now. I manage (just) by forcing myself to still do a bit of exercise daily if I can (it does usually get easier once I start) - and always in the morning - otherwise it doesn't happen. I also have a rest, (and often a sleep) early afternoon. Admittedly this is hard on the household. I would be interested to also hear suggestions from others affected too

Bye
 

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I have recently been diagnosed with IBS (well the specialist thought it was the most likely cause of my problems). Most of my symptoms seem to confirm this - diarrhoea, nausea, wind, trapped wind and depression. But one symptom that's been there from the start is fatigue, which, as far as I can tell, doesn't seem to be a common IBS symptom. I've gone from someone who was fairly active and who exercised regularly, with a positive outlook, to someone who feels extremely tired most of the time and feels like doing very little. Even communicating with friends and family can be so difficult at times purely because I'm so short on energy. I've lost all of my get up and go.

Does anyone out there suffer with fatigue as a symptom of their IBS? And, if so, have they managed to combat it?

Any help will be much appreciated.
I was in the same boat (IBS-C). I am getting a bit better, but who knows when the next relapse comes. I relapsed today. Could not eat, sleep or work. It sucks man. It really sucks.
 

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I have IBS with fatigue and have recently learned that I suffer from both hypothyroidism and Small intestine bacterial overgrowth. I wouldn't advice you to think too much about fibromyalgia since it's just another label who says nothing.

Have you been tested for iron deficiency? My iron was in the lower range though not deficient but it still gave me bruises that appeared without cause, restless legs and depression. Since bacteria use iron my theory is that the overgrowth of bacteria stole the nutrients and especially the iron for they own good and left nothing for me. Now that I've managed to lower the numbers of bad bacteria my iron levels has raised and I no longer get bruises or restless legs.

Was your thyroid test perfectly in range or slightly above or under?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hi there

I am also new to this forum - and wanted to empathise - I too have incredible fatigue. In my case I think its because nutrients simply aren't being absorbed when I eat - and this has been going on for months now. I manage (just) by forcing myself to still do a bit of exercise daily if I can (it does usually get easier once I start) - and always in the morning - otherwise it doesn't happen. I also have a rest, (and often a sleep) early afternoon. Admittedly this is hard on the household. I would be interested to also hear suggestions from others affected too

Bye
I'm the same, if I do exercise, and it's much rarer these days, I tend to go in the morning as I usually get more tired as the day goes on. When I'm at my worst, it's not uncommon for me to go back to bed 2 times throughout the day.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I have IBS with fatigue and have recently learned that I suffer from both hypothyroidism and Small intestine bacterial overgrowth. I wouldn't advice you to think too much about fibromyalgia since it's just another label who says nothing.

Have you been tested for iron deficiency? My iron was in the lower range though not deficient but it still gave me bruises that appeared without cause, restless legs and depression. Since bacteria use iron my theory is that the overgrowth of bacteria stole the nutrients and especially the iron for they own good and left nothing for me. Now that I've managed to lower the numbers of bad bacteria my iron levels has raised and I no longer get bruises or restless legs.

Was your thyroid test perfectly in range or slightly above or under?
In regards to my thyroid, my doctor just told me it's fine. I've managed to get an appointment this Thursday with my doctor, I will ask for details on everything I've been tested for, including exact results. I will check for iron deficiency.

With regards to your small intestine bacterial overgrowth, how did they test for that?

When I was last on holiday I picked up a stomach bug which I was prescribed antibiotics for. For up to about 10 days after the antibiotics started working my stomach felt great, better than it had for years. I felt good all round. I wonder if I have some sort of bacteria problem which the antibiotics started to kill off but didn't kill off properly.
 

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In regards to my thyroid, my doctor just told me it's fine. I've managed to get an appointment this Thursday with my doctor, I will ask for details on everything I've been tested for, including exact results. I will check for iron deficiency.

With regards to your small intestine bacterial overgrowth, how did they test for that?

When I was last on holiday I picked up a stomach bug which I was prescribed antibiotics for. For up to about 10 days after the antibiotics started working my stomach felt great, better than it had for years. I felt good all round. I wonder if I have some sort of bacteria problem which the antibiotics started to kill off but didn't kill off properly.
Count on it, really. It's my strong belief that IBS is in 90% of the cases bad bugs, parasites or in some cases fungus. Very many illnesses are bacterial. I haven't tested for SIBO but I have selfmedicated for SIBO/bad bacteria/parasites the last year and managed to change my symptoms drastically. Also I've been suffering from the unfamous herxheimer rection when bacteria die so I am 100% sure my issue is due to bacteria or parasites. I don't know which since most doctors have no real education in this matter. They have been of no help what so ever. My guess is that there's only a very few doctors out there who would actually do something at all that would make an IBS patient better. And to find those doctors would be like finding a needle in a haystack. The problem is no one knows for sure what causes IBS. A bacterial owergrowth is one theory but I figure it's more too it. All I know for certain is that in my case (and probably many other) the issue is due to bacterias or parasites.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Count on it, really. It's my strong belief that IBS is in 90% of the cases bad bugs, parasites or in some cases fungus. Very many illnesses are bacterial. I haven't tested for SIBO but I have selfmedicated for SIBO/bad bacteria/parasites the last year and managed to change my symptoms drastically. Also I've been suffering from the unfamous herxheimer rection when bacteria die so I am 100% sure my issue is due to bacteria or parasites. I don't know which since most doctors have no real education in this matter. They have been of no help what so ever. My guess is that there's only a very few doctors out there who would actually do something at all that would make an IBS patient better. And to find those doctors would be like finding a needle in a haystack. The problem is no one knows for sure what causes IBS. A bacterial owergrowth is one theory but I figure it's more too it. All I know for certain is that in my case (and probably many other) the issue is due to bacterias or parasites.
Can I ask what you used to treat SIBO/bad bacteria/parasites?
 

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Can I ask what you used to treat SIBO/bad bacteria/parasites?
Mosty this: http://www.holistic.se/produkter/kokosolja/bild.jpg

It is organic extra virgin coconut oil. A very potent bacteria and fungal killer. It works for parasites too but not as well. I don't think that brand is avaliable in other countries though the most important thing is that it's organic extra virgin. The oil can not be treated in any way, it can not be taste or odourless.

I have gone from going to the bathroom 4-10 times a day to 1-2 or sometimes not at all since I actually sometimes get a little constipated these days. But I'll say this. It's NOT easy. If you decide to do it, it will be the hardest thing you have ever done. It takes a year or longer, it hurts as he**. You have to alter your diet completely to nearly zero carbs. Oh, and also I don't consider myself cured, but much better and sosososo happy about that
biggrin.png
If I knew what bacteria or parasite that was bothering me it would make it all a whole lot of easier. Sorry if my post is scaring you off, but I don't want to go around making "false advertising" and saying "just take this and all will be fine". It probably won't, but you'll learn so much about your body and illness.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Mosty this: http://www.holistic.se/produkter/kokosolja/bild.jpg

It is organic extra virgin coconut oil. A very potent bacteria and fungal killer. It works for parasites too but not as well. I don't think that brand is avaliable in other countries than Sweden though the most important thing is that it's organic extra virgin. The oil can not be treated in any way, it can not be taste or odourless.

I have gone from going to the bathroom 4-10 times a day to 1-2 or sometimes not at all since I actually sometimes get a little constipated these days. But I'll say this. It's NOT easy. If you decide to do it, it will be the hardest thing you have ever done. It takes a year or longer, it hurts as he**. You have to alter your diet completely to nearly zero carbs. Oh, and also I don't consider myself cured, but much better and sosososo happy about that
biggrin.png
If I knew what bacteria or parasite that was bothering me it would make it all a whole lot of easier. Sorry if my post is scaring you off, but I don't want to go around making "false advertising" and saying "just take this and all will be fine". It probably won't, but you'll learn so much about your body and illness.
Thanks, I'll look into it. I'm willing to try most things. My IBS is fairly severe and is keeping me off work, so I'm pretty desperate to get it sorted. The doctors I've seen seem to have very little to say about testing and any possible treatment. I see they do treat SIBO with antibiotics too so might look into that. Thanks for the help
 

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Hey ibsnewbie21

Very sorry to hear of your recent diagnosis. Fatigue is awful, I would probably go as far as saying it's one of the worst symptoms out there, but I'm sure the other forum users would shoot me for that
tongue.png
If you haven't already done so, I would make sure your GI consultant tests for everything, Crohns, SIBO etc.

I suffer from severe fatigue, and have been for a while now. It absolutely sucks, there are days when I can barely get up and down the stairs. My mental energy is nonexistant, and my memory is ridiculously poor, so I really feel for you! *MASSIVE HUG* It is a massive life changer and you really have to adjust your work/social/love life around conserving your energy.

I'm told the best remedy for fatigue is to do graded excersise therapy, but I found this pretty useless since I'm out dog walking every day and probably do more excersise than the average joe. My GP tells me there are 0 medications for fatigue, which is annoying as I'm pretty sure some recreational drugs would do the trick.

I've also had amazing results with antibiotics, especially when you hit the probiotics hard after taking antibiotics. But be careful with this, my appendix got badly infected after a course of antibiotics and had to be removed (apparently this is quite common as the good bacteria in your gut are integral to your immune system). Even though they work amazingly well, antibiotics aren't a long term solution and recent studies suggest they may do more harm than good.

Another thing I would suggest, which is on a slightly more spiritual level, is to maybe see if there is something going on in your life that may be affecting your energy. As a scientist I always thought this was nonsense, but the more I think about it the more it makes sense. If there is something troubling you or something you are unhappy with in your life, it is possibly that your normal energy flow is disrupted and a lot of that energy is being redirected elsewhere (i.e. your intestines!). It's worth looking into if all other options fail.

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Hey ibsnewbie21

Very sorry to hear of your recent diagnosis. Fatigue is awful, I would probably go as far as saying it's one of the worst symptoms out there, but I'm sure the other forum users would shoot me for that
tongue.png
If you haven't already done so, I would make sure your GI consultant tests for everything, Crohns, SIBO etc.

I suffer from severe fatigue, and have been for a while now. It absolutely sucks, there are days when I can barely get up and down the stairs. My mental energy is nonexistant, and my memory is ridiculously poor, so I really feel for you! *MASSIVE HUG* It is a massive life changer and you really have to adjust your work/social/love life around conserving your energy.

I'm told the best remedy for fatigue is to do graded excersise therapy, but I found this pretty useless since I'm out dog walking every day and probably do more excersise than the average joe. My GP tells me there are 0 medications for fatigue, which is annoying as I'm pretty sure some recreational drugs would do the trick.

I've also had amazing results with antibiotics, especially when you hit the probiotics hard after taking antibiotics. But be careful with this, my appendix got badly infected after a course of antibiotics and had to be removed (apparently this is quite common as the good bacteria in your gut are integral to your immune system). Even though they work amazingly well, antibiotics aren't a long term solution and recent studies suggest they may do more harm than good.

Another thing I would suggest, which is on a slightly more spiritual level, is to maybe see if there is something going on in your life that may be affecting your energy. As a scientist I always thought this was nonsense, but the more I think about it the more it makes sense. If there is something troubling you or something you are unhappy with in your life, it is possibly that your normal energy flow is disrupted and a lot of that energy is being redirected elsewhere (i.e. your intestines!). It's worth looking into if all other options fail.

Good luck!
Thanks for the advice. I went to my GP a couple of weeks back and asked to be tested for SIBO, he's now written off to the gastroenterologist so I'm waiting to hear back.. I've been tested for lots of other things, including Crohns. If it does turn out to be SIBO and I'm prescribed antibiotics I was planning on taking probiotics at the same time.

Like you my fatigue affects me mentally, why brain sometimes seems to tick over really slowly, and my memory is definitely worse.

I've found that my GP and specialist know very little about IBS and IBS type illnesses. They didn't even suggest SIBO, even though my symptoms seem to fit. I even told them of how I once took antibiotics for a nasty stomach bug I picked up abroad which, after a few days of taking, vastly improved my stomach overall for about 2 weeks or so. This, together with my symptoms, makes me think testing for SIBO is a good idea.

Would you be able to recommend any probiotics? So many out there. What did you take the antibiotics for, did you have SIBO?

Again, thanks
 

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The probiotic I've been using is VSL#3. It's not available on the NHS and not every pharmacy will have it, but you can order it online from a few places (a simple google shopping search should bring up a few). You can buy it in pill form or sachets, I think they are both exactly the same so it's down to your preference. I also use it to make some home-made yoghurt - no idea if it is better or worse than just taking the VSL, but in my head it should be better as the yoghurt has a live culture whereas the VSL is freeze dried so it has to become live inside your gut. My antibiotic of choice was cipro. I've heard somewhere that you should take probiotics while taking antibiotics, it probably is a good idea.

My GP hadn't even heard of SIBO before I mentioned it! And I had to plead with my GI consultant to give me the test, although it came back negative. I got the feeling that SIBO only affects those with problems with their immune system, but it is still worth getting tested, the test is simple and easy. You just drink a sickly sweet drink and then breath into a tube for about 1-2 hours. They can usually tell within the first 30 mins if you have SIBO.

You should also check out the FODMAP diet, it's all about reducing the foods that bacteria feed on, which should also reduce the numbers of bacteria in your gut. I'd recommend a nutritionist for that to make sure it's done properly, and it's probably a good idea to give up alcohol/coffee/sugar as well.

And if you are taking any prescription drugs or supplements, I would try removing them completely (unless they are obviously vital!). A lot of drugs can affect your bowels, and supplements can be tough on the stomach and intestine lining.

Although in saying this, none of what I just suggested has worked for me! But it is still worth a try
tongue.png
I have managed to get rid of some of the diarrhoea with probiotics but I find this just makes the fatigue worse.

Good luck! And give me a shout if you have more questions.
 

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Have you been tested for iron deficiency? My iron was in the lower range though not deficient but it still gave me bruises that appeared without cause, restless legs and depression. Since bacteria use iron my theory is that the overgrowth of bacteria stole the nutrients and especially the iron for they own good and left nothing for me. Now that I've managed to lower the numbers of bad bacteria my iron levels has raised and I no longer get bruises or restless legs.
Where did you learn that iron/bacteria could be the cause of restless legs and bruises ?
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
The probiotic I've been using is VSL#3. It's not available on the NHS and not every pharmacy will have it, but you can order it online from a few places (a simple google shopping search should bring up a few). You can buy it in pill form or sachets, I think they are both exactly the same so it's down to your preference. I also use it to make some home-made yoghurt - no idea if it is better or worse than just taking the VSL, but in my head it should be better as the yoghurt has a live culture whereas the VSL is freeze dried so it has to become live inside your gut. My antibiotic of choice was cipro. I've heard somewhere that you should take probiotics while taking antibiotics, it probably is a good idea.

My GP hadn't even heard of SIBO before I mentioned it! And I had to plead with my GI consultant to give me the test, although it came back negative. I got the feeling that SIBO only affects those with problems with their immune system, but it is still worth getting tested, the test is simple and easy. You just drink a sickly sweet drink and then breath into a tube for about 1-2 hours. They can usually tell within the first 30 mins if you have SIBO.

You should also check out the FODMAP diet, it's all about reducing the foods that bacteria feed on, which should also reduce the numbers of bacteria in your gut. I'd recommend a nutritionist for that to make sure it's done properly, and it's probably a good idea to give up alcohol/coffee/sugar as well.

And if you are taking any prescription drugs or supplements, I would try removing them completely (unless they are obviously vital!). A lot of drugs can affect your bowels, and supplements can be tough on the stomach and intestine lining.

Although in saying this, none of what I just suggested has worked for me! But it is still worth a try
tongue.png
I have managed to get rid of some of the diarrhoea with probiotics but I find this just makes the fatigue worse.

Good luck! And give me a shout if you have more questions.
Thanks a lot!
 

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re thryroid.... when a doctor tells you 'it's fine' ...watch out! I have had Hashimkotos for 14yrs and fine means being almost supressed on the range level. Example...the lab range might be 0.5-5.5. FOR ME..anything over 1.0 and I am fatigued and bloated and fat! So fine for one person might not be fine for YOU.
 
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