Fatigue and IBD

Fatigue and IBD

People with Inflammatory Bowel Disease often suffer from fatigue. 2 out of 5 patients will struggle daily with fatigue even if they are in remission from the disease. Remission from IBD simply means that there are no/ have been no symptoms for a lengthy period of time.

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What causes fatigue?

Fatigue can be caused by a number of factors including

  • anaemia
  • steroids
  • side effects of medications
  • dehydration
  • weight loss
  • anxiety/depression
  • interrupted sleep
  • pain

It is no wonder then that patients with IBD suffer from fatigue as a lot of these factors are linked to the disease.

What does fatigue feel like?

Fatigue can make you feel exhausted and cannot be helped by sleeping or resting. Fatigue is not just tiredness. It is so difficult to push through the fogginess and exhaustion and it can be mentally and physically taxing. This often leaves the person feeling weak, drained and worn out.

Symptoms of Fatigue

  • brain fog
  • dizziness
  • headaches
  • feeling “heavy”
  • exhaustion
  • sore or aching muscles
  • irritability
  • muscle weakness
  • impaired decision-making
  • blurry vision
  • low motivation
  • poor concentration
  • poor appetite

How Fatigue Has Affected Me 

Fatigue is something that I have to deal with on a daily basis. I can sleep for hours and hours and still wake up feeling as if I haven’t rested. It’s horrible. I have spoken to my doctor about it but as there is currently not a lot of information on remedies for fatigue, I was told to eat more red meat to see if it would help. I can’t say that it made much difference. I have had to reduce my working hours down to part-time as working full time was too taxing for me. I currently work 5 hours and I can come home and have to sleep for the rest of the afternoon. The level of fatigue varies day-to-day and there are some days that are better than others. I find though that when I am not having an active flare-up, it does tend to be slightly lessened. During a flare-up the fatigue is horrendous and can be so bad that I have to lie down after taking a shower. It is such a difficult feeling to explain, it feels like a fogginess or a big cloud is hanging over you and pulling you down. It’s worse than just feeling tired, it is physically and mentally draining.

What I Do To Help Reduce My Fatigue

  • Drink plenty of water
  • De-stress! Take a long bath, do yoga, meditate etc
  • Exercise, a little goes a long way.
  • Eat lots of fruit and veg
  • Take vitamins
  • Sleep as often and as much as I can. Naps are everything!

These things do not get rid of the fatigue but they do make it a little more manageable.

I hope that there will be more research into fatigue and the link with IBD as currently around 80% of IBD patients suffer from it. We need a treatment or something to help reduce the symptoms so we can go about our every day lives with a bit of normalcy.

If you suffer from fatigue and IBD, you can log your symptoms here in order to help the research go further.

Here is Crohns and Colitis UK’s pdf about fatigue and IBD which I used for my research for this post.

Thank you for reading.

Love and light,

Rebecca ❤

My Current Favourites

My Current Favourites

Hi lovelies! It’s been a while since I did a favourites but I felt inspired to share with you the things I am loving at the moment. So keep on reading for a mixture of my fave beauty, books, films, home-ware and more! I hope you enjoy.

BEAUTY

MAKE-UP

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These 3 makeup products have been my go-to’s for every day use. I use the Tanya Burr Face Illuminator either mixed into my foundation or on it’s own for a healthy glow. It really brightens up my skin. The Sleek Solstice Highlighting Palette is stunning. There are four different highlighters; 1 cream and 3 powder. Alongside using them for highlighting my brow bone, cheekbones, nose and cupid’s bow, I have been using them as eye shadow and the pigmentation is amazing. Last but not least, I picked up the NYX Lingerie liquid lipstick in Ruffle Trim and I am obsessed! It s not drying on the lips and has the most beautiful formula and colour. I can’t wait to try their other colours in the range!

HAIR

I have been loving the Lee Stafford Chopstick Styler. It creates beautiful tight curls in a matter of seconds. There is only one heat setting and it is the perfect temperature as you only need to hold the hair on the barrel for a few seconds. To keep the curls in place, I use Mark Hill’s Magic Curl Spray and Lee Stafford Heat Protection Shine Mist. I have also been loving the Aussie Miracle Dry Shampoo to give my hair extra volume.

STATIONARY/ HOME-WARE

GABRIELLA x PRIMARK CANVAS PRINT

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I’m not sure if I have mentioned this on here before but one of my favourite things to do is watch Gabriella Lindley (VelvetGh0st) on YouTube and so when she released a new home-ware range with Primark, I fell in love- especially as it has a cat theme! This is so cute and is currently hanging above my bed. I love the simple design and the font of the text. It’s fab!

GABRIELLA x PRIMARK RANGE

I also bought some more pieces from Gabriella’s range; pens, pins, notes, rubbers, pencils, notebooks, a mug and the most amazing cat pyjamas and dressing gown (which I have been living in!)

UNICORN HOT WATER BOTTLE- primark

fluffy “Look at that fluffy unicorn…So fluffy I’m gonna die! SO FLUFFY!” -Agnes

I am obsessed with this hot water bottle. Not only is it the cutest, fluffiest thing ever- it is my saviour! I have been using this every day since I got it last month as it really helps my stomach pains (and keeps me warm on those chilly winter nights).

THE HAPPINESS PLANNER: INSPIRATIONAL PENCILS

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I got given these stunning pencils as a Christmas gift and I am so in love. Each pencil has an inspirational quote as a reminder to stay positive any time you’re writing or working.

FAIRY DUST CANDLE

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This candle is so pretty and smells amazing. It’s quite a sweet smell and the scent is strong which is brilliant as it leaves your room smelling divine for a while after.

BOOKS

These are the books I have read recently and I would recommend them all. Each story is captivating and I couldn’t put any of them down. So good!

TV SHOWS/ FILMS

THE SEVEN DEADLY SINS

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If you’ve never watched anime…I suggest you start with this. I’m gutted I’ve finished the first season already. Too much goes on to even explain what it’s about so here is the trailer. It’s awesome!

LA LA LAND

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I absolutely loved this film. The story-line was great and the whole set and soundtrack was magical. Definitely recommend going to see it if you haven’t already. And I mean… Ryan Gosling…you can’t say no to that can you?!

30 Things To Be Happy About!

30 Things To Be Happy About!

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  1. Lazy mornings
  2. Snuggles in bed
  3. Cats (and all cute animals)
  4. Unicorns
  5. Nature
  6. Bubble baths
  7. Fairy lights
  8. Hot chocolate with cream…yum!
  9. Having a tidy house/room
  10. Spending time with family and friends
  11. Netflix
  12. A cup of tea in your favourite mug
  13. Freshly baked cakes
  14. Delicious food
  15. Scented candles
  16. People who smell good
  17. Watching the sunset/sunrise
  18. Songs that remind you of a special person or memory
  19. Forehead kisses
  20. Beautiful tattoos
  21. Travelling to new places and watching the world go by
  22. Long showers
  23. Knowing every lyric of a song
  24. Holding hands
  25. Reading a captivating book
  26. When your pet comes to cuddle you
  27. Clean water
  28. Being warm and cosy when it’s cold outside
  29. Making new memories every day
  30. Being alive!

There are a million and one things to be happy about and I could honestly write on this topic forever. I loved writing this and it made me feel so grateful to be alive and be able to experience all of these wonderful things!

I hope that this made you smile and I’d love to know; what would you add to the list that makes you happy?

Love and light, 

Rebecca ❤

My Aspirations for 2017

My Aspirations for 2017

Happy New Year beautiful people!

Much the same as last year, I won’t be setting resolutions because I feel there is too much pressure that comes with the word. I am going to be setting aspirations; something that I hope to achieve. That way, if I don’t manage to get something on the list done or it doesn’t happen how I want it to, I am less likely to feel disheartened. However, there is nothing wrong with setting resolutions if that is something that inspires you. You do you!

My aspirations for this year are things that I hope will help to improve my confidence and self love. This is going to be the year of me. And I don’t mean that in a selfish way, I just want to focus more on being happy and growing as a person.

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No.1 Focus more on my own happiness.

I plan on doing what makes me feel good and if there is something that doesn’t, I want to be able to say so.

No. 2 Take the time to listen to what my body needs.

This is something that is so important due to my IBD. There are times when I forget to take my medication or forget to drink enough water or even overwork myself. I am going to work on being more aware of what it is my body is telling me; whether that’s “go for a nap” or “eat that chocolate bar”.

No. 3 To take each day as it comes.

I often have so much anxiety over what’s to come in the next few days/ weeks or stressing about things that have happened in the past and it totally removes me from the present moment. I want to be able to be fully here and I think by doing this, my happiness will improve greatly.

No.4 Learn to love every single version of myself.

I want to love every part of me on the good and bad days; when I’m happy, sad, anxious, in pain etc.

No.5 Spend more time with friends. I don’t see my friends enough and I think a big part of that is down to becoming comfortable in my routine. This year, I am ready to step out of my comfort zone and put more effort into my friendships and taking part in lots of fun stuff!

No.6 Get back into my spiritual practice.

I’ve fallen away from my meditation, yoga and other rituals that I had been loving. I want to get back into this again as I felt great at the time. If anyone has any suggestions or recommendations of self-improvement/spiritual books, please leave me a comment 🙂

No.7 Choose positive over negative.

We can control our thoughts and although it can be difficult, it is possible. Our mind is a very powerful thing and can control our life if we let it. I am going to be taking back control of my mind by focusing on positive thoughts more.

Thank you for reading, let me know in the comments one thing you are hoping for in 2017. I wish you all the most wonderful joy-filled year!

Love and light,

Rebecca xo

Highlights of My Year-2016

Highlights of My Year-2016

Hi everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and are enjoying the rest of the holidays before the New Year. As there are only a few days left of 2016, I thought I would share a bit about my year with you. Although it’s not all been sunshine and rainbows- there have been many struggles too- I wanted to focus on the experiences that I have loved this year and those that I’m grateful for.

PERSONAL HIGHLIGHTS:

JANUARY-MARCH

2016 started off pretty well for me as I turned 21 in February and had such an amazing time celebrating. My mum and step-dad got me a lovely gift of a night away in a hotel with my fiance and it was so beautiful. I then had lots of fun with family and friends and even had a small party. It was fantastic! Also, in February I completed my modern apprenticeship and became a qualified nursery practitioner. I am absolutely loving my job and was so grateful to be offered a position in the nursery were I did my training. In March, I was lucky enough to attend two gigs; Adele and Country2Country. Both of these were incredible. Adele was so amazing live and I had such a brilliant time. At Country2Country, I got to meet one of the singers, Andrew Combs- I was so happy because I got to tell him I loved his cardigan haha – who was great live. One of my favourite singers, Kacey Musgraves was performing and she was absolutely wonderful! It was a brilliant gig and I’m happy that I will be going back next year.

APRIL-MAY

In April, I went to see Macklemore and Ryan Lewis live for the second time and it was brilliant! I was having way too much fun bouncing around to the songs that I didn’t get any good pictures! My holiday in May to Portugal was probably one of the biggest highlights of 2016. The weather was brilliant and it was so lovely to have a week to just relax in the sunshine with my best friend. We made so many memories and I can’t wait for our holiday in 2017 that we will have!

JUNE-SEPTEMBER

In June, I had my graduation for completing my modern apprenticeship and it was a brilliant day. After the ceremony, my mum, Connor and I went out for a lovely meal to celebrate. I went for my first girls weekend away to Edinburgh in August and it was so much fun. (You can read my post all about it here.)

OCTOBER-DECEMBER

My mum graduated in October and now has a Post Graduate Diploma Level in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. I am so so proud of her and all the work she has put in to get to where she is today. Her graduation was so beautiful and very emotional! To finish off the year, I had a wonderful Christmas with my family and I am so grateful for everyone in my life right now.

Also a little side note on my health in 2016; overall it’s been a pretty good year in terms of my IBD, I haven’t had a flare up since the beginning of the year and that cleared up quickly with steroids. I have had to cut out some dairy products to try to help my stomach pains but so far I haven’t noticed a great change. I am just so thankful that I have made it to December without a serious issue or hospital admission. Let’s hope that continues long into 2017!

BLOG HIGHLIGHTS:

I can’t believe I reached the one year milestone in September with my blog! Thank you to all of you for reading, liking, following and commenting; it means so much.

My blog post; 8 Pieces of Advice for anyone suffering with Inflammatory Bowel Disease was featured on thedisclosed.com and the response was amazing.  I am so glad I managed to help raise awareness of IBD and help some people suffering.

I also wrote An Honest Letter to my Illness where I really sat and thought about what it was like to live with IBD and how it had changed, not only my life, but me as a person. I feel that since writing this, I have come to terms with it more and accepted it as part of me.

I set up my very own Etsy Shop this year, which is something I had wanted to do for a long while. I sell inspirational, handwritten quotes, gifts and cards. If you are interested, you can check it out here. It would mean a lot if you left some feedback on what you think of the products.

To finish this post off, I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who was there to share these wonderful experiences with me and to my followers for always being there to read what I post. I hope everyone has an amazing New Year and I wish you all the best for 2017 ❤

Love and Light,

Rebecca xo

 

 

Colitis and Me

Colitis and Me

 

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As part of #CrohnsandColitisAwarenessWeek, crohnsandcolitis.org.uk has set up an option to create your own poster to spread awareness of the differences of IBD from person to person. This is my poster on how living with Ulcerative Colitis affects me and my life.

 

10 Things You Need to Know About Ulcerative Colitis

10 Things You Need to Know About Ulcerative Colitis

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1. Ulcerative Colitis (UC) is a form of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD). The other main form of IBD is Crohn’s Disease. IBD is an autoimmune disease which means that the immune system attacks the healthy body cells.

2. Around 146, 000 people in the UK are living with Ulcerative Colitis.

3. UC causes inflammation and ulceration of the colon and inner lining of the rectum.

4. Symptoms can vary from person to person and can include; blood in stools, diarrhoea, severe abdominal pain, extreme fatigue, anaemia and severe weight loss in some cases.

5. There is no known cure.

6. Treatments for UC include immuno-suppressant medication or anti-inflammatory medication which aim to reduce the inflammation. There are many different kinds of medication for IBD such as steroids, injections etc and sometimes they do not always work, resulting in surgery. Surgery for UC includes the inflamed part of the colon being removed and an ostomy being created. This is when an opening in the abdomen is created to allow the intestines to go through and a bag is attached in order for the person to pass waste into. The surgery is usually only required for those with severe cases of UC.

7.  The cause of Ulcerative Colitis is unknown but researches believe it could be caused by a person’s genes, environment and the immune system reacting in an abnormal way to bacteria in the gut.

8. IBD is not the same as IBS. IBD is a disease and has no cure. It is a life-long illness whereas IBS is a syndrome and can be treated/controlled with medication or changes to the diet.

9. It is not just a pooping disease. There are many symptoms of IBD and not only that, there are many problems caused by having IBD such as joint problems, side effects from medication, mental health issues and much more.

10. People with UC/IBD often don’t look sick. This is because it is an invisible illness. This means that the person could look absolutely fine but be really struggling on the inside with severe symptoms and you wouldn’t be able to tell by looking at them. This is why it is so important that awareness is raised.

To help support research for a cure for IBD, please text CCAW22 £_ to 70070 and share this post.

This is a subject very close to my heart as you will know if you know me or follow my blog. I was diagnosed with UC 3 years ago and it completely changed my life. I want to be able to raise awareness as it something that I had never heard of until I was diagnosed and I hope that anyone struggling with symptoms has a loved one with IBD or has been newly diagnosed can find this piece helpful.

https://www.crohnsandcolitis.org.uk/

http://s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/files.crohnsandcolitis.org.uk/Publications/ulcerative-colitis.pdf

Thank you for reading ❤

Rebecca xo