What people with IBD should know

I am often asked, “What would you tell someone recently diagnosed with IBD?” So, this is what I think you should know! Look out for clickable links in this blog, leading to more detailed information! For many, a definitive diagnosis is a massive relief after a long period of being unwell. This does not mean that acceptance is easy, after all, you have just been diagnosed with a chronic disease which has no cure. Do NOT panic, we’ve got this, life is not over! It is worth pointing out that no two IBD patients’ lives are the same. The disease does not always manifest in the same way, and the fact that a treatment works for one person does not mean it will work for another. This makes IBD notoriously difficult to treat. That said, some IBD patients may have one flare, find the right medication straight away and never have another, and that is fantastic! For the rest of us, being diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease or Ulcerative Colitis may mean some lifestyle changes and som

Foods to combat fatigue | Desperate times - desperate measures

For me, living with IBD means that I’m frequently left feeling as though I am not doing enough to help myself… Like, everything feels so hard a lot of the time because I am doing something wrong.

Friends and family tell you
“Get more sleep”
and they truly believe that if I tried harder to get more sleep, I wouldn't feel so tired all of the time.

Of course! Didn’t think of that -.-
This is fatigue; it matters not whether I sleep for 30 minutes or 10 hours! Every day in the early afternoon I am ready to go back to sleep, lacking in concentration, lacking in patience and lacking in, well, pretty much… WILL TO LIVE.

They tell you
“If you ate differently then you’d have more energy to get through the day.”

I do as I have been told to do by the professionals; I eat little and often, as one should with a jpouch. Sure, I have days when I eat nothing but junk, but junk works for my body. It processes better and it usually gives me the extra 5mg of salt my body needs per day compared to a regular (by regular I mean ‘owner of a colon’) person.

The medical professionals tell me
“If you worked less hours then you would be happier. You wouldn’t feel as stressed and you wouldn’t have to feel as though you’re battling through every afternoon, therefore flaring less and feel generally better.”

That may well be the case, but how much happier would I be on payday when my wage doesn’t cover the bills? Huh, Phillis?

I usually shrug these off, but after months of feeling the strain of fatigue kicking my ass, constantly thinking that I REALLY cannot feel worse than this, and then being proved wrong, I figured ‘What the hell, it’s not going to do me any harm to try a different diet. Maybe, it will improve my energy levels and help beat the fatigue a little.’

These are desperate times, and they call for desperate measures! So I do what anyone looking for high energy foods would do, I ask Google. I make a shopping list of the most frequently listed from about 11 different websites and I set about my new diet. Feeling positive! 

Every morning I make a smoothie from bananas and oats and natural yoghurt and honey, even my wraps are seedy and good for me (and I hate them). 

A lot of salmon, egg, avocado, cottage cheese and spinach later (3 weeks to be precise) and I have to say, I feel… the same. Just as tired, just as shitty and just as grumpy.

Buuuut, I feel good that I tried to help myself, and also a little gutted because I had hoped for even just a little more ‘get up and go’. Now the high energy foods have got up and gone and I have resigned myself to the fact that, this is me. A slightly grumpier version of me than I have become accustomed to, but the only version of me that I have right now.