No energy - gastroparesis

I'm struggling with really low energy levels which lead me to overeat (leading to the inevitable stomach/gut pain and then subsequent shutdown for the rest of the day).

I've started putting sugar in my tea and drinking caffeine again in the hope of feeling like even getting in the shower, let alone leaving the house. I can't even concentrate through lack of energy. Not that I think it's a good idea to be downing sugar constantly - my teeth certainly don't think so.

I know that the gp is better when I stick to small portions and allow time to digest but it's hard to close the kitchen door when I feel just as tired after my meal, if not worse. I feel physically satisfied by my food - as in, I always always feel full, but I never feel like I've got the energy to do anything! I want to have a life and not feel distracted by food thoughts, but when I have no energy my head always goes to food.

I would really appreciate any suggestions.

Thanks.

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First, are you getting enough sleep? Second, have you had blood work done recently to check whether you're anemic? With gp we often don't eat enough iron rich foods, and if your iron levels are low you won't have much energy at all. I discovered that I had iron deficiency anemia and after two iron infusions felt a lot more energy. Third, and this may sound counterintuitive, are you getting enough exercise? I was very low on energy after going through five surgeries in a year and was sent to PT to try to get better conditioned. When I started on the treadmill on my first visit, I could only walk .1k at a rate of 1 mph. By the end of my three months of physical therapy, I was walking a mile at a rate of 4mph! What an improvement. Doing the PT and the exercises at home on my off days, and including a walk into my daily routine really helped. I've found that now, with the cold weather and no more walking (I have asthma and cold weather makes it hard for me to breathe), my energy level has dropped again. You might try some very short walks (it's good to have someone with you), gradually increasing the distance as you feel more energetic.. I hope that one or more of these suggestions helps you. It sucks to be perpetually tired, but just eating isn't going to do it for you, which you've already discovered.
Love and Light, Candace

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Hi Candace, thanks for your reply. Thankfully sleep isn't a huge problem, although it never feels that refreshing. I haven't had any recent bloods but last time they came back low on the iron. I definitely don't get enough of it... The doctor gave me really high iron supplements and I do take a multivit, but I rarely take the iron pills because they make me more constipated. Exercise is difficult at the best of times with my motivation levels, but I accept that you have to do more to get more (energy). I just need to find ways to make it less boring and try to get into a routine with it. If only there were shortcuts with these things! Thanks again

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Hi sunny,

Im so sorry you feel tired. I know how you feel. I was like that for 8 months. Totally wiped out.

I agree with candace. I returned to work and noticed that my increased activity and more sleep helped my gp. I drink coffee in the morning which gets me going. I have to drink smart water or soup for my electrolytes. My blood work was always good.

I try to eat a variety of foods. Everyone is different. I decided to listen to my body with the foods i eat. I noticed a little broccolli helps even though its a no no food. I try to eat meat everyday but not left overs. I originally lost 50 pounds when i was really sick and now have gained 8 pounds in the last month. I probably could gain another 5 or 10. I eat plain bagels and fresh rolls on sandwiches which seem to help my stomach.

Please keep searching for things that help. And if caffeine helps and doesnt hurt you stomach, why not. Works for me and im alot happier.

Good luck. Big hugs,
Carol

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It might be worth it to take the iron supplements and add some miralax to counteract the constipating effects of the iron. You can adjust the dosage of the miralax safely, as it is not absorbed into the blood stream like other laxatives, just sits in your gut drawing in moisture from your body. If a single dose is not enough, you could try a double dose after a couple of days. (Miralax takes a couple of days to take effect). I hope this is helpful.
Love and Light, Candace

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Here are. Some. Suggestion s that. Worked. For. Me. I put. A bag. Of. Soft. Sweet prunes. In. My bed dresser. Drawer. This way I don't. Have. To. To. To. The. Kitchen. When. I get that. Craving. Or. Tired. Feeling. Never did. That before but its working! Also I joined. A gym. JUST START! You will get addicted! I can't. Wait. To. Make. My trip. There! And I feel SO GOOD! Haven't excerisered for years. And years! But it worked! Loads of energy! GOOD LUCK. TO YOU! PRAYING. FO YOU!

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The point about the prunes is they are very high in iron and B Vitamins. :)

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Keep an eye on that iron. Before I even knew about GP I got weaker and weaker everyday. They tested me for everything but never checked a regular blood test that would have shown anemia. I had to stop watching my Grandaughter. I could not walk but a few steps. They checked my heart, ect. Finally I mentioned iron and they ran a test and I was so low. Put me in the hospital and had a bunch of transfusions. Never did find out why I had it. I know about the constipation. I deal with it all the time, but please don't get the iron checked again. Keeping good thoughts for you.

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I agree with everything Candace recommended. If you are not anemic or deficient in the B vitamins, your doctor might consider having you tested to see if you have a sleep disorder. For about 8 months last year i slept for about 20 hours per day. I thought I was sleeping soundly day and night. After the usual blood tests i finally had a sleep study. It showed that I was getting ZERO REM sleep. Whenever I should have slipped into REM sleep, my brain woke up. I was completely unaware of this. It turned out to be a rare side effect of the Lorcet I took at night to relieve back pain and neuropathy. (Quit taking the Lorcet and now my energy level has returned to normal.) A more likely sleep problem is sleep apnea. Just one more thing to consider, and a lot of doctors don't think of it.

Best of luck.

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Thanks for all the input Carol, Candace, Mprs, Gorki, Thatsatruefact. Most of you seem to be suggesting the iron so I'll follow that up. Will carry on with the caffeine for now too - I need the boost! Thanks for all the well wishes - I wish you all the same :) Sorry I'm not replying too much in depth but feeling a bit overwhelmed with things right now. It means a lot though! x

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I am also anemic and my GP told me to take an iron supplement called Vitron C, from CVS. She said it is less constipating, and I have not seen any change in my digestive system In the 6 months I've been on it. I began with 1 a day and it has raised my iron level enough that now I take 3 per week.

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For those who suffer from Constipation Issues, that's why I suggested the Prunes, since most Iron Supplements will constipate you. If you don't suffer from it, than that's another story. GOOD LUCK!!!!!

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Kind of a catch 22.....my GI told me to minimize the amount of fiber I consume because I also have gastro paresis., and prunes are really high in fiber. For some types of constipation, fiber (including prunes) is the way to go, for others it's not the way to go....no pun intended! A lot of the foods with high iron content are also on the list of things I should avoid because they are hard to digest : (

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Kind of a catch 22.....my GI told me to minimize the amount of fiber I consume because I also have gastro paresis., and prunes are really high i.n fiber. For some types of constipation, fiber (including prunes) is the way to go, for others it's not the way to go....no pun intended! A lot of the foods with high iron content are also on the list of things I should avoid because they are hard to digest : (

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I'm on TPN so my blood levels are good (plus my surgeon just had me in for a tune up and they took enough blood I asked if I needed a transfusion). I have no energy and my doctors have limited my activity. I think there are several reasons #1 my TPN is 3 Liters and what fluid goes in must come out (we just lowered the rate from 8oz to 5oz per hour) but I have to pee several times during the night. BUT MY LACK OF ENERGY ISN'T "I'M TIRED" it doesn't seem to be affected by sleep. #2. It could be a side effect of some of my meds. #3. My iron has been fine since I had a total hysterectomy. I actually do 3 Liters of TPN from 4pm-10am and 750ml of Normal Saline from 1pm-4pm. I get 715 kcal 6 days a wk and 1286 kcal 1 day a week when I do Lipids (+a few more if I take in anything by mouth.)
I have been told by medical professionals it is due to the abuse of my body--#1. fact that I've had 8 major surgeries in the last 6 years and about 15 endoscopies and 2-3 catheter changes (since I don't twilight they are done under general) my body is exhausted. #2. I went from 238 pounds in 2007 to 102 in 2011 I'm now at 130 (right where they want me). #3. I am fighting 24/7 pain, 24/7 nausea (and my immune system sucks so I deal with a bunch of viruses I think I'm a magnet). #4. I've ended up in the hospital numerous times and you don't get much sleep there.
I've also been told I have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome--but I disagree

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This might be a simple problem actually. You may want to go to your doctor and get your vitamin levels checked. With gp which I have and know a lot of people do have a problem maintaining the right balance of vitamins. You might be deficient. I was having the same problems as you and I found I was deficient in vitamin D and B. B vitamins affect your energy and concentration Very much. So if you dont want to get another blood test you can try taking vitamins. The key to this is absorption. Since we have problems with our digestive system we dont absorb vitamins properly. So you might want to try sub-lingual vitamin B. So that is vitamins that dissolve in the mouth or liquid that goes under your tongue. It took me about 2 weeks to get my levels to a better place where I could feel a difference. Also you might want to try and find a nutritionist who specializes in bariatric patients.They are use to dealing with people who cannot absorb vitamins and digest food properly and could point you towards brands that might be more beneficial, easy on the gut, and easy to absorb. Vitamin B at Walgreen are not very expensive so it might be a easy thing to try. Remember to get sub-lingual though that is su[er important. Good Luck!

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I was also found to be low In vitamins D and B, so I had a series of B12 shots and now take pills. My doctor didn't specify sub lingual B12, will ask her about that. The initial thought was that I had a GI bleed, but nothing showed up in any tests and my iron level has risen (almost to the normal range.). What a huge difference I saw after 2 weeks of treatment. I had been having dizzy episodes when I would get shaky etc, and those have virtually stopped now. I still am tired a lot,, but I have to accept that might partly be due to getting older, and also my iron level needs to come up some more. My doctors have never attributed the low vitamin and iron levels to my gastro paresis, sloooow motility and colectomy, but it does seem they go together. I learn so much on this group and find out how many people are dealing with the same issues I am. I wouldn't wish this on my worst enemy, but I am glad there are others willing to share all they've learned about how to manage this illness and still have a life. Seeing a bariatric nutritionist sounds like a great idea! Will look into that. I am getting more severe symptoms over time but because of this group I know I will be able to find ways to handle it.

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Good I am glad you liked that idea! I hope it helps. You are definitely not alone, never think that.

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Fatigue is a big problem for me. I have been attributing it to depression, insomnia & poor nutrition.
It is kind of strange. I am most tired in the afternoon. I am at my best in the evening when I am usually feeling at my worst stomach wise. This GP is a very tricky illness.
Hope you find some answers.

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I too was very anemic and couldn't take the regular iron pills because they constipated me. I got some 'Vegan Iron' (tiny little pills) started taking them and all my iron levels came back up along with my energy. They do not constipate you. That was 5 years ago and my levels have been normal consistently.

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Wow...more info about the "vegan iron"" please! What is the name, and where did you get it? My doctor told me last week that I most likely have a low grade chronic stomach bleeding because I take an NSAID for a headache condition. My last eddys opy showed gastritis, no frank bleeding, but she suspects there is some, so I will likely need to take some iron indefinitely..

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