Chronic Fatigue: The IBS Connection

chronic fatigue

IBS or irritable bowel syndrome and chronic fatigue usually coexist. Separately, each condition presents a series of challenges, but together they can lower the quality of life to a great extent. And as the cause of each remains a mystery, so does the reason why they appear at the same time. Well, the following write-up provides substantial information about both. Please check it out right now.

Diagnosis and Symptoms of IBS and Chronic Fatigue

According to the experts who find a chronic fatigue treatment by an IBS naturopath, with irritable bowel syndrome, the bowels stop working they should causing immense abdominal pain and a change in the bowel habits such as constipation, diarrhea, or both.

For a diagnosis, you have to experience abdominal pain at least thrice a month for almost three months. IBS is also known as functional bowel disorder, meaning there is no such anatomical issue inside the intestines, just as with colitis or cancer.
In case of chronic fatigue, you are more than simply exhausted. You have persistent unexplained fatigue that lasts for about six months and is not cured by rest. As there is no test for diagnosis, the doctors would have to depend on symptoms to determine. Besides fatigue, you must exhibit the following symptoms:

  • Muscle tension
  • Headache
  • Sleep disturbance
  • Joint pain
  • Sore throat
  • Numb lymph nodes

Possible Ways IBS and Chronic Fatigue are Connected

  • Hyperactive Immune Response

In irritable bowel syndrome, the scientists hypothesize that immune response within the gut can trigger alterations in secretions or how the bowel senses pain or moves, causing the symptoms stated above. Mould in the home can also be a factor. A problem with the immune system can cause the production of inflammatory substances that are closely related to fatigue.

  • Post Infectious Syndrome

Irritable bowel syndrome at times develops after food poisoning or a stomach bug. Likewise, chronic fatigue has been seen in individuals after a viral, parasitic, or bacterial infection. In chronic fatigue, one of the major theories is that some infection is causing symptoms.

A study in Norway has linked Giardiasis with both IBS and chronic fatigue. A paper published in the journal of hepatology and gastroenterology tracked what actually happened after a parasite got into the water supply in Norway in the year 2004.

In total, about 1200 patients had giardiasis, experiencing stomach pain, diarrhea, and other intestinal issues that were tracked back to the outbreak. A long-term study followed approximately 600 individuals who recovered from infection and compared their physical health with people who are not infected.

At ten year mark, 44% of exposed individuals had IBS compared with 13% of those who are not affected. Chronic fatigue was reported in 22% of the infected group, compared with 12% of others.

  • Improved Pain Perception

People suffering from IBS and possibly with chronic fatigue process the pain differently from people without the said conditions. Suppose I have irritable bowel syndrome or any other pain, and you do not, and someone applies extreme pressure to the thumbnails. I will feel more intense pain than you. If you feel a three, I will feel a whopping ten. In IBS, the sensitivity actually occurs in the bowels.

When chronic fatigue and IBS overlap, you may experience a set of unique challenges. It could be overwhelming to treat multiple symptoms. CBT or cognitive behavioral therapy offer tools to manage the conditions, providing you some control. Having an appropriate structure or doing activities routinely can also help ease the symptoms of both chronic fatigue and IBS.