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Fatigue scale for Crohn's sufferers

22 July 2014 09:30

Crohn's sufferers can now work measure their tiredness on a new fatigue scale

Crohn's sufferers can now work measure their tiredness on a new fatigue scale

People who suffer from inflammatory bowel diseases (IBDs) such as Crohn's can now measure the level of their fatigue with a newly developed scale.

Crohn's and Colitis UK has launched the new IBD Fatigue Scale in collaboration with experts at the Addenbrooke's NHS Trust, King's College London and University College London.

IBD, which is thought to affect more people in the UK than Parkinson's or MS, comes in two forms - ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease.

Sufferers typically experience abdominal pain, diarrhoea and weight loss, and half of all patients with IBD in remission and 70% of those with active IBD suffer from extreme tiredness or fatigue.

Fatigue can be particularly unpleasant on holiday, when the effects of jetlag or long car journeys can add to the tiredness. Travellers with the condition may wish to consider taking out pre-existing medical travel insurance for Crohn's before embarking on their journey.

Jon Murray, from Reading, was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis nearly two years ago. The condition causes the inner lining of the rectum and colon to become inflamed and ulcerated.

The 29-year-old told Get Reading that his chronic fatigue leaves him feeling "like a zombie".

Helen Terry, director of patient support and information at Crohn's and Colitis UK, said some health experts do not know how badly people suffering from IBDs can be affected by fatigue.

She said everyone with the condition should tell their doctors about the fatigue they are experiencing, and they should use the IBD Fatigue Scale to allow them to "formally discuss their fatigue" with their healthcare professionals.