Managing Fatigue with IBD

Treating and managing fatigue can be challenging, but there are steps you and your healthcare provider can take to identify the source(s) of your fatigue and to determine the best approach for treating it. Some approaches to treating fatigue include:

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  • Managing iron and vitamin deficiencies: Have routine bloodwork to check for any vitamin or mineral deficiencies. Low iron can be treated with oral iron or iron infusions. Vitamin B12 and folate supplementation can help if you are low in those areas.
  • Review all medication: Review your medication with your doctor to determine if a certain treatment is associated with fatigue. Consider changing medication if necessary.
  • Reducing psychological/emotional stress: Low impact exercise can help improve energy levels to reduce fatigue. Cognitive behavioral therapy, meditation, and mindfulness can reduce emotional stress to help combat fatigue as well. Click here to learn more about these stress relieving techniques. 
  • Improving sleep routine: Evaluating your sleep habits can help if you are having trouble sleeping. These include limiting caffeine to before 3pm, not taking naps, not using screens such as smart phones or tablets prior to bed, waking up the same time every day, and making sure your bedroom is quiet and comfortable. If you are struggling with insomnia (difficulty falling or staying asleep), there are medical professionals who specialize in sleep and use cognitive behavioral therapy techniques specifically designed to help treat insomnia.