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06-20-2013, 10:51 PM   #1
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Lake St. Louis, Missouri

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Vitamin D

Can a lack of vitamin D cause you to have extreme fatigue? I have been struggling with it for a few months now. I went to the doctor today and everything else seems ok but my vitamin d levels are low. I have been taking aderall for a while to help with fatigue and even that isn't helping. Struggling in the afternoons to keep my eyes open and have been having headaches too. Could the low vitamin d be my problem?
06-20-2013, 11:07 PM   #2
nogutsnoglory's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: New York

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Low levels of Vitamin D3 are associated with fatigue. Whether it would cause extreme fatigue I don't know about. Most Americans are Vit D deficient and most people with IBD are more deficient than the general population.
06-21-2013, 01:03 AM   #3
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Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Frankfurt, Germany
Apart from vit D, when you sy that everything seems ok, what blood tests have been made? Have you been tested for all kinds of deficiencies (e.g. For iron you need to know your ferritin level)? Do you know your hemoglobin level?
Crohn's diagnosed in 1999
On Aza from 2003 to 2008 and from 2010 again until Today
60cm of smaller intestine removed in 2003
Vitamin therapy with D3, B6, B12, magnesium, zinc, folic acid for years
Iron therapy with Tardyferron 80mgx2 and Loesferron 80mg for years
Yoga, running, freeletics on the sport side!
06-21-2013, 07:18 AM   #4
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Join Date: May 2011
I can imagine the fatigue could come about from a number of causes, nutritional deficiencies such as low vitamin D, B12, etc, unfortunately just our IBD conditions being its miserable self, or high sugar blood spikes.

Your mention about the fatigue being worst after lunch reminded me of what I often read on low carb sights - once beginning the diet of eating fewer carbs, afternoon fatigue diminishes or goes away.

One example along these lines:

"My lunch yesterday reminded me why I do this work"

On a personal note, that certainly was the case for me also as I experienced less afternoon fatigue once I began eating fewer carbs.
06-21-2013, 07:36 AM   #5
Join Date: Oct 2012

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I had low vitamin D, and my doctor told me that might be the reason I was feeling so tired. I was doubtful about this comment, because I knew I'd been exhausted even at times when my Vitamin D levels were fine.

I was also told Vitamin D is more common in people with Crohn's.

My doctor prescribed a Vitamin D/calcium supplement (I'm not sure why as my calcium levels were fine). The supplement seemed to upset my stomach though, so I decided to try and get Vitamin D naturally, from sunlight. I used to always put sun cream on whenever I went outside because I'm so pale I burn really easily, even here in England where there's not all that much sun! But I tried only putting sun cream on in the afternoons when the sun is brightest, and leaving it off in the mornings, even when I went outside.

A few months later I had the blood tests again, and my Vitamin D was normal. But I was just as tired as ever!

I think it is true that lacking Vit. D can cause fatigue, but us people with Crohn's can have many factors which make us tired. Since it's easily fixed, it can't do you much harm to get some more sunlight (as long as you don't burn) or try a supplement, and you might be lucky enough to find that stops you feeling tired.

I know it might not be possible depending on your schedule, but the afternoons is quite often when my energy peters out, and having a nap for an hour or so makes me feel so much better!

Another possible cause may be that you're not getting in enough calories, if you're either not absorbing properly or if you don't have an appetite. If you're losing weight try having some extra snacks, high calorie drinks or supplements to keep you going.

I hope you feel better soon. Healthy people don't tend to appreciate just how debilitating fatigue can be. Telling people you're feeling tired sounds like no big deal, but I know how hard it is to function when all you want to do is sleep!
06-21-2013, 09:16 AM   #6
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Lake St. Louis, Missouri

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Thank you for all the comments. I guess I am just sad and tired of never knowing what is causing all this. I know you all can relate.

My fatigue got worse about 3 months ago right after I had a colonoscopy. I have always dealt with it to some extent but I guess that is expected. I have 4 kids and work outside the home 5 days a week. I feel like I am going non stop all the time.

Up until yesterday I really liked my GI doctor. Now I am starting to feel like she doesn't know what else to do for me and is throwing things at me to shut me up in hopes they will work. In February she tried to send me to a new doctor - a crohns specialist. I left that doctor's appt in tears. That doctor didn't listen to a word I said. So I went back to my original doctor but now I am starting to feel she just doesn't know what to do. The new doctor back in February did some blood work and that is actually where I noticed my vitamin D being low. (still trying to figure out how to read the rest of it). My reg. GI doctor does blood work every six months but I don't think she checks my vitamin D, iron or B12.

Food may be a factor - I don't eat much. It is baseball season and I have three kids that play. I don't eat dinner because then I will sit in the bathroom at a park all night and refuse to miss their games.

When I went in yesterday all I cared about was figuring out why I am so tired. I have pain and diarrhea daily but I have learned to live with those. I can live somewhat normal and deal with those symptoms. What I can't do is function when I am fighting to keep my eyes open at work or snapping at my kids because I am exhausted. But she seemed less concerned about the fatigue and more worried about the pain and diarrhea. She wanted to prescribe me something for bowels spasms.

My regular doctor wanted to up my adderall and my husband can't understand why I won't just do that. I tried to explain to him that what I am taking now was working at one point. There has to be a reason that I am so tired and I would rather figure that out then mask it with more doses of medicine.

anyway - thanks for letting me rant. Just feel like I am barely holding it together some days.
06-21-2013, 09:51 AM   #7
Join Date: Apr 2013
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alex_chris - what should your hemoglobin levels be? How could that effect it?
06-21-2013, 12:21 PM   #8
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Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Frankfurt, Germany
alex_chris - what should your hemoglobin levels be? How could that effect it?
If you got low hemoglobin (of whatever reason, for Crohn's patients it is mostly because of malabsorption of iron and protein) then you'll end up anaemic. Apart from various other side effects, anaemia results in a general feeling of fatigue, low energy and needing rest a lot.

On the standard scale of blood tests (which is printed on blood test print-outs) hemoglobin levels should 14-18g/dl for men and 13-18g/dl for women.

I'd ask your doctor whether your blood tests have shown any problems with iron or hemoglobin and whether you have any other deficiencies.


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