Extreme tiredness/fatigue

I know this has not got a lot to do with IBS, but I've seen it on NHS website that IBS can lead to fatigue. I've been feeling extremely tired recently (past 4/5 months it seems to have got worse), got no energy most of the time and just feel lousy in general. Could this be to do with my IBS, or perhaps a side effect of my mebeverine tablets (I take 3 of these a day 135mg). Any advice/insight would be good. Thanks in advance.

23 Replies

  • Have you talked about this with your dr? If it is a new thing since taking the tablets then there could be a connection and you might need a different tablet or dose.

    A blood test with b12, folate and vit d are a good primary indicator to see if you are lacking nutrients causing the tiredness.

  • I've had lots of blood tests done when I was being tested for IBD and they've came back with nothing.

  • I think it is the ibs, as i often feel tired and lethargic and i dont take mebervine regularly. I put it down to not being able to eat much on the bad days, and sometimes not getting enough nutrients. Also with diarrhoea, it depletes your energy and dehydrates. I get headaches as well. Make sure you take enough water and salt and sugar when u have had diarrhoea.

  • Thanks for the advice. I often get headaches too and past 4 days had awful diarrhoea, been feeling very very lethargic/tired/lack of energy.

  • I have had IBS for some years now, and for me the symptoms began as recurring episodes of fatigue and mild stomach discomfort for a couple days at a time, so I thought I was experiencing frequent virus attacks and what I initially complained to the doctors about was frequent illness with fatigue. Do get the blood tests done - they found me to have low B12 at one point, and recently I've been taking a fairly high-dose vitamin B complex and think it may be helping some (not positive but I don't think they do blood tests for all the B vitamins, and more than one of them can affect energy). None of this has totally fixed my fatigue, and my energy levels are almost always somewhat below what I believe they should be for my age now. I've put in a lot of work on my diet, eliminating FODMAPS &c, and have reduced but not eliminated digestive problems. When I experiment with eating something that disagrees with me and sets the IBS off badly, it also leaves me significantly more tired than before for a few days. I am convinced that for me the digestive problems and the fatigue have the same cause, whatever it is, because they've always gone hand in hand. The doctor did say at one point we could consider looking into a referral for chronic fatigue, but I haven't pursued it so far, and she ended up diagnosing me with IBS. More recently, my daughter has been experiencing chronic fatigue for 9 months now, with nothing showing on blood tests and the doctors haven't given her an official diagnosis but we are assuming ME/CFS and they've referred her to the Chronic Fatigue specialist. As a result I have had to read up about Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and it is interesting how many similarities there are between it and IBS. Both are very poorly understood by the medical profession, and both can involve fatigue and digestive symptoms. CFS can also cause sore throats, headaches and insomnia. My daughter has identified a couple of specific foods she thinks she has problems digesting since the fatigue began - tinned tomatoes and cucumbers - but stopping eating them hasn't affected her energy levels. With both conditions being so poorly understood, I have very little confidence that the two of us are definitely not suffering from variations on the same condition.

    For me, fatigue is now the primary symptom of my IBS. If I eat carelessly, then digestive pain also becomes a significant problem. The other IBS symptoms which are such a problem for many people - diarrhoea, constipation, bloating - have never been significant issues for me - I do make a lot of excess gas sometimes but my body's good at expelling the excess gas it makes. So yes, your fatigue could be the IBS. Before I started the vitamin B supplements, I started eating a lot of sprouted buckwheat flour pancakes, and noticed they helped my energy levels - I'm not sure if they contain anything else beneficial or just high levels of B vitamins as well. Good luck finding solutions that work for you, and do let us know if you figure anything out that might help others on here!

  • My fatigue is down to low iron / folate levels - and boy doesn't it take it out of you when your in pain let alone the runs too!!

  • I really feel for you and totally agree with what you are saying as both IBS and ME are so misunderstood and those that don't suffer with either do not understand, not even medics!!

  • I was wondering about chronic fatigue syndrome myself. I do try and eat as carefully as I can (avoiding known triggers, sticking to low fat foods, limiting dairy/gluten/wheat intake) and exercising regularly. I tend to be very gassy, fluctuate between diarrhoea and normal (although 4 days worth of diarrhoea ATM), and bloating can be an awful problem for me. Sometimes something as small as a biscuit/glass of water can make me look 4 months pregnant lol. Like you my main symptom/problem seems to be the fatigue ATM. And it is so draining. Finding it hard to get through each day. I did have glandular fever when I was 18 (now 23), which I know can lead to chronic fatigue according to NHS website. I've had all blood tests done when they looked into possible IBD, that was around 3/4 months ago and nothing was found 😕

  • I didnt think there was a test that could be taken for ME and CFS but just glandularfever? I was diagnosed years back with ME but it seems when i moved lots of my history wasnt passed on so now it isnt on my record and i dont think my new gos really unserstand or believe in it :(

  • I had fatigue and tiredness after eating a very big plate of salad and it disagreed with my IBS, who would think that healthy food could be so bad. I have also though suffered with low iron a lot of my life and I have had my iron levels checked in a while but on saying that the doctor may have checked my iron levels in a blood test I had last year, they don't always say what they are testing for.

    I hope you feel better very soon.

  • there are many ways tiredness can come about. Choose a few of the following to reduce your fatigue:

    - raw foods, fibres, fats and proteins demand a lot of energy to digest. Carbohydrates are no better since they spike your energy and then make you crash. Choose easily digestable foods: well cooked vegetables, well cooked meats. Chicken soup and one broth would be the absolute best. Avoid raw vegetables and whole grains. Chew chew chew.

    - lack of vit D, vit B12, folate or many other minerals (Iodine for your thyroid!). Unfortunately blood levels do not always give the best insight. Many people have DNA trouble which prevents them using their blood supply of these vitamins and minerals. Get them tested anyway.

    - digestion takes a lot of energy, especially making your stomach acid acid enough. Help your stomach by drinking diluted lemon juice or diluted vinegar with your meals. Especially when you are nauseous or have heart burn. These are signs of not enough stomach acid.

    - I'm recovered from ME and I can tell you that exercise where you sweat are very bad for people with ME. Choose a sport that's not cardio. Choose weight lifting instead. I do fit20, which is extremely anearobic.

    - body cells that cannot shift their trash tire the body very much. You can help your cells by drinking a lot of water (with salt if you have low blood pressure), by taking B12, vit D, folate, Zinc. And by engaging the lymph system, which is the partner of the blood vessels in your body but lacks a pump. Engage the lymph system without breaking a sweat. Stretch like a lazy dog who's basking in your bed. That's the right way. Yawn. Massage works too but this may be already too intrusive for your tired body and bring loose too much trash. Drink lukewarm water.

    - bile is the trash can man of your body. Check your stool to see it's dark enough. If not try and increase your bile. This is done by acidifying your stomach acid. Or by taking ox bile pills.

    Hope this helps a bit. I'd like to know more about the kind of tiredness you feel. Are you cold? Is it tiredness in your cells (absolute no energy). Is it your brain that's not shifting? Do you have brain fog? Do you fall asleep after a meal? Do you need to go lie down after taking a shower?

    Either way: time to unburden your body as much as possible: no stressors; easy nutritious food; love and rest; warm bed; stretching and yawning like a happy lazy dog; cutting tiresome people out of your life; aid your stomach acid; no sweaty exercising; anaerobic exercise if you must (do try and move a bit because that's the only way the lymph system engages but don't empty your cells with a cardio exercise, it will take days to replenish if you have ME/CFS).

  • I never fall asleep after meals or a shower or anything. I just walk around with a kind of brain fog/no energy, constantly feeling like I'm going to fall asleep all the time. 😞 even after a full nights rest I feel constantly tired all the time like I can't function as I'm so tired. It doesn't help that I do shift work as a support worker, but I do love my job.

  • How do you acidify your stomach acid? Very interested as i suffer from ME/CFS. Constantly tired, heavy arms that i struggle to lift them sometimes, heavy legs, wake up and feel still so tired almost like i havent slept!

  • I think "Help your stomach by drinking diluted lemon juice or diluted vinegar with your meals" in the earlier answer was the reply to that. I've tried both and they didn't help me at all - cider vinegar comes particularly recommended by people who suffer from gastric reflux - but they didn't do any harm either.

  • Thanks WP, it's really great to hear suggestions from someone who's beaten ME! And especially the advice on exercise.

  • Hi, sorry to hear you have been feeling poorly but when I get IBS flare up I feel very tired and down and don't feel like doing anything!! But do have a chat with your gp and ask his/her advice. Hope you feel better soon

  • Thank you. I will!

  • Worms and parasites can drain you of energy. I suffered from debilitating fatigue for nearly 10 years. Always going to the doctor and coming away empty handed, no solutions at all. Even had two sleep studies. It was found that I had sleep apnea, which is being treated, except that the fatigue and tiredness persisted. I'd crawl out of bed at 11 am and still couldn't get going. Finally, I was prescribed an amphetamine!!!! No kidding. But I found the solution to the problem by myself, and quite by accident. My skin and hair had been getting dry, my hair thinning. I decided to try supplementing silica by using food grade diatomaceus earth. I put just 1/4 tsp in my morning breakfast drink. About three days after I started this, I noticed things in the toilet I'd rather not have seen. A large tapeworm, 2 large roundworms and as the days went by some flukes, threadworms and hook worms. But that amazing thing was that just 3 days and the fatigue that had plagued me for so many years, had vanished - completely. I now wake up at about 7 am and I'm refreshed and ready to about the day. I told the sleep doctor about what I'd learned as he had said some people didn't respond to the CPAP and I was one of them. He was astonished. As simple as worms and parasites, yet the doctors never check. It seems to me it should be high on the list of the first they check. But there you have it.

  • Thanks Millie great to hear your story, and I've sent for some diatomaceous earth after reading it - sounds like if nothing else it's a good nutritional supplement, and helps some people with digestion. I have drunk from pretty clean-looking streams a few times in my younger days, it's always possible I picked something unhelpful up then. I tried seeing a kinesiologist many years ago for a different health problem; I thought she was a total quack because her diagnosis was something I couldn't make any sense of except that parasites, cheese, and music all featured in it somehow! Wouldn't it be funny if she was right about the parasites.

  • You're welcome! I hope it solves your fatigue issue. Fatigue and chronic tiredness is terrible to live with. My energy is still up and I'm feeling good. I think a regular parasite cleanse once a year is a good idea. We can pick up roundworms and tapeworms easily and not realize it.

  • I received a letter from Wishaw General hospital, saying they've made an appointment for me at their nurse led IBS clinic in September for symptomatic management so maybe that will be of some help and hopefully help me control the IBS better. X

  • Great I hope that helps! Please do let us know if they give you any management techniques that could be useful for others.

  • Course I will! I am hoping it helps and it's nice they are doing something other than just leaving me to get on with it!

You may also like...