What is it?

Feeling tired at the end of a long day is a welcome part of life for some people – a sign of a day well-spent, and opportunity to get some rest. For others, feeling tired may not go away. They may feel low on energy, even when they get enough sleep. This lack of energy may make it hard to move and think, may lead to irritability, and may make dealing with GI symptoms and other health problems more difficult. If you’ve ever said "I’m sick and tired of feeling sick and tired", then you may know the experience of simply feeling worn out by life’s difficulties.

Devitalization is a state of feeling drained of energy and tired. We may also say that you feel fatigue. Fatigue is a symptom of many problems – physical, psychological, and environmental. You may feel tired because you have been working too hard, not sleeping enough, struggling with a physical or mental illness, or experiencing a dietary imbalance. For some people, fatigue is something that they experience as part of feeling depressed. For other people, fatigue comes because their bodies are not absorbing enough of the right nutrients, and GI symptoms may result. Fatigue is very common among people with GI problems because the brain and the GI system are connected and "talk" with one another.

Thus, the ways you can feel less fatigued are as diverse as the causes of your fatigue.

Fatigue is associated with a wide range of conditions, such as sleep problems, excessive stress, anxiety or depression. It is also caused by many different medical conditions, such as heart and breathing problems, anemia, thyroid problems, diabetes, obesity, liver conditions, viral infections, substance use problems, and poor nutrition, among many others. In other words, most psychological and physical problems are associated with fatigue, and you may not even have any of these issues.

Fatigue and GI Symptoms

When your GI symptoms flare up, you might feel worn out, or like a battery that has lost power. Fatigue is a common side effect of any long-term or chronic illness. And this makes sense – your body is devoting energy to fighting a disease or struggling with an inflamed or sensitive digestive tract. Even though this is a common experience, it is not a comfortable one. You may feel tired because your GI symptoms have kept you awake or in the bathroom all night. You may not be eating the right foods, which can cause both fatigue and troublesome GI problems.

What can I do about it?

Since fatigue can be caused by lots of different conditions, it is important to work with a healthcare professional to identify and treat causes. Remember, just because you feel tired does not mean you are depressed, or have an exotic disease you read about on the internet. Fatigue that is caused by GI symptom flare-ups may be dealt with by speaking to your doctor. Fatigue that comes from poor sleep can be addressed using some of the tools in My Quality of Life (MyQOL) Toolbox. Specifically, you might have intrusive thoughts keeping you up at night, or you are unable to relax at night. MyQOL Toolbox can teach you about controlling your thoughts and relaxing.

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