Struggling with post-ileostomy fatigue, when will I feel better?


Hi all, I'm a newbie.

I have Crohn's. I'm almost 8 weeks post-surgery - ileostomy. I had major fatigue before the op and have been looking forward to starting to feel some vitality return. However, I'm really struggling - I was barely able to get out of bed this week and I've felt so low and weaker than ever. Is this normal? I'd really appreciate any input offered. Thanks in advance.

ron in mich

Hi topbird, yes you will feel tired and sore after major surgery and it will take about six months before you feel normal again. Take it slow, eat small meals, chew your food well, and walk. The first time I had surgery for an ileo, I was really run down, sickly, and I didn't want to do anything. I ached all over. Now, after having a resection of my old stoma and moving it to the other side, it hasn't taken me as long to feel better, about three months. I've started on Humira recently for Crohn's and hope that helps as I don't want any more surgeries.

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Hi Top bird,

It's going to take awhile to get your energy back. I'm almost 5 months post-op and just recently started having some energy. Don't rush it, give yourself time to heal. Were you flaring prior to surgery? That could be part of the issue, your body is basically trying to recover from 2 things. Give yourself time to heal, it will happen.


Hi Top Bird

8 weeks is not a long time after major surgery. I had my ileostomy 18 years ago and it took at least 6 months before feeling stronger. I still drink Chocolate Ensure or Boost with high protein, which gives some much-needed vitamins. In time, you will feel so much better. Take baby steps and chew really well when you eat.

Take good care!



I was always tired prior to having my colectomy, and it took a few months before I felt more energized after surgery in November 2017. I had an open protectomy in June 2018, and I have found it hard to motivate myself at times as I always feel tired. The doctor says that the body is using all its reserves to recover from the surgeries and heal, and this will be the reason for feeling lethargic, but that it would improve in time. I try to walk as much as possible and feel loads better for it. Things just take time but will be worth it in the long run.

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Thank you for taking the time to answer and for your reassurance advice. I hope you're as well as can be.


Well, everyone has told the truth. Time is what you need. Be patient with your body, it has a process it must go through. Eat right, chew well and yes, move around even if it's just around the house.


Hi Topbird,

I am one week more at 9 weeks. At 8 weeks, I lost all faith and confidence in the surgery (2nd Ileostomy) I just had by a world specialist. I could barely stand or get to my bed upstairs. I was hospitalized for exhaustion soon after I was discharged from surgery. So, I know that I am dealing with a lot. But this week, I have gotten a little stronger. Eating is a little less painful but is still really unpredictable.

I am with you. I am scared a lot of the time. After surgery, depression can really take hold. I am trying to keep in mind how long I was sick before my surgery and to be as patient as I can and compassionate with myself and the pace that my healing is at. This site has been a fantastic source of support. My friends are all super healthy and I don't really have family. My friends are great but a lot of times I feel really alone and lonely with being the only chronically ill and disabled, etc. This site is really great.

The days will get better. They are for me and I would mentally roll my eyes when I'd hear that last week.

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