What’s Diabetes Fatigue?

Caring for your diabetes may seem like a lot, especially when faced with energy zappers like stress and daily demands. Various factors in diabetes tend to erode your energy levels at some point, and as fatigue sets in, your blood sugars can spike and spring other symptoms. It’s important to recognize these side effects and how they impact your behavior, so you can seek help before symptoms get worse.

Fluctuations in blood sugar levels
When your blood sugars are high, your kidneys are forced to operate in maximum gear to get rid of the high sugars. This causes you to pee more often than normal, making you dehydrated and languid. 

Even if you’re not peeing a lot, high blood sugars can sap your energy by preventing sugar entry into your cells. This is because, in T2DM, insulin isn’t functioning up to par to push the sugar into your cells. As a result, your cells do not get the fuel they need, and you do not get the energy.

Low blood sugars also deprive your body of the required fuel (glucose), making you feel sluggish.

Side effects of medicines
Sometimes your diabetes medications may be lowering your blood sugars that keep your energy levels down.

Depression/stress
Both psychological and biological disturbances in diabetes heighten your risk of developing depression. Fatigue is a very common symptom of depression.

Diabetes-related complications
Diabetes can damage your kidneys, heart, and nerves. Damage to these body parts is also a common cause of fatigue in diabetes.

When you start to feel symptoms of fatigue, it’s important to eat healthy, stay active and prioritize sleep. These three actions will help keep you energized and break through the fatigue.

Skipping meals may cause your blood sugars to drop too low, drain your energy, and put you at risk of hypoglycemia. This also increases your chances of binging on food that isn’t healthy and leads to more weight gain and fatigue.

Inactivity contributes to fatigue and daytime sleepiness, and can quickly cause weight gain. Exercise is one of the best ways to build energy, even if it’s just a 15 minute walk.

Sleep helps your body rest and recharge for a new day, Going to bed late will only make you more tired and sluggish, spike blood sugars and cause cravings.

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