Keep Your Sugars In Check
For morning tiredness, always check fasting blood sugar and 3:00 am blood sugar levels.
As already mentioned above, one of the main causes of tiredness after waking up in the morning might be due to high fasting blood sugar and weakness at around 3:00 am could be due to a drop in blood sugar at that time.
In such cases, follow the guidelines mentioned above, under the first point of diabetes fatigue management.
Prevalence And Impact Of Chronic Fatigue
A significantly higher percentage of T1DM patients were chronically fatigued than matched controls . Mean fatigue severity was also significantly higher in T1DM patients compared with matched controls . T1DM patients with a comorbidity_mr or clinically relevant depressive symptoms were significantly more often chronically fatigued than patients without a comorbidity_mr or without clinically relevant depressive symptoms . Patients who reported neuropathy, nephropathy, or cardiovascular disease as complications of diabetes were more often chronically fatigued .
Chronically fatigued T1DM patients were significantly more impaired compared with nonchronically fatigued T1DM patients on all aspects of daily functioning . Fatigue was the most troublesome symptom of the 34 assessed diabetes-related symptoms. The five most troublesome symptoms were overall sense of fatigue, lack of energy, increasing fatigue in the course of the day, fatigue in the morning when getting up, and sleepiness or drowsiness .
What Causes Fatigue In Diabetes
Why does too much sugar make you tired? With diabetes, tiredness can result as a result of several factors such as:
- Can insulin resistance cause fatigue? High levels of glucose in the blood, either due to a lack of insulin or due to insulin resistance, can have an effect on the bodys capacity to get sugar from the blood into body cells to meet a persons energy requirements.
- Individuals who are on stronger anti-diabetics including insulin might also experience tiredness as a sign of low blood sugar levels.
- Blood sugar testing is a great way to determine whether high or low glucose levels can be the reason behind fatigue.
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Problems Caused By High Blood Sugar
It’s not usually a serious problem if your blood sugar is sometimes slightly high for a short time.
But high blood sugar can cause serious problems if it stays high for a long time or gets to a very high level.
It can lead to:
- life-threatening conditions such as diabetic ketoacidosis
If you have high blood sugar, your doctor or care team may ask you to test your blood or pee to check for ketones. A high level of ketones is a sign of diabetic ketoacidosis.
High Blood Sugar And Tiredness
Fatigue and tiredness go hand in hand with a diabetes diagnosis. Ask anyone who has been diagnosed with this condition whether they feel energetic and well-rested, and a majority of them would say no! The chronic nature of the condition is not limited to its direct symptoms and signs, they extend way beyond the erratic nature of the highs and lows and move towards sleeplessness, stress, anxiety, and fatigue. It becomes difficult to function normally in daily life when constant sleepiness and lethargy are looming over the head. Even then, the life of a person with diabetes does not stop. They still need to go ahead with their daily routine and chores no matter how pertinent the fatigue is.
Not only can diabetes cause fatigue but also it is worse on some days than others. These could be because of the lows and highs in sugar levels. The only time one would feel remotely less tired – yes, less tired, not energetic would be in the duration that the sugars are more or less in the normal range. This would also have to be for a considerable time duration for the symptoms to not set in. Eventually, fatigue slowly becomes a part of regular life as people learn to push through it.
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Smart Sleep Solutions For Diabetics
The bad news is that having type 2 diabetes can lead to several complications that can make adequate sleep harder to come by. The good news? Since doctors know so much about the things that can cause sleep problems for diabetics, there are plenty of solutions that may help you snooze better.
If you have sleep apnea, finding a treatment option that works for you can lead to more restful sleep. For many people, that means getting fitted for a CPAP machine that helps keep your airway open, eliminating snoring or disruptive pauses in breathing. If youre overweight, losing weight may help ease sleep-stealing snoring, too.
Conditions like peripheral neuropathy and restless leg syndrome can often be managed with medication. If you experience pain in your legs or feet, your doctor can help you find a pain reliever to eradicate the discomfort or make it more tolerable.
Muscle relaxers or medications that boost dopamine levels in the brain can help with restless leg syndrome, too. However, since RLS is often associated with too-high blood sugar, managing your blood sugar may be another way to ease symptoms.
Perhaps most important of all? If you have diabetes and are experiencing sleep problems, talk with your doctor. Together, the two of you can develop a strategy to help you better manage your conditionwhile achieving the rest that you need.
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Eating The Right Foods For You
When it comes to avoiding big blood sugar spikes and dips, there are some general guidelines you can follow.
However, to make sure youre eating the best foods for you, its important to understand your bodys unique metabolism. And your blood sugar levels are not the only thing involved in shaping it.
Your gut microbiome is the name for the trillions of bacteria and other microorganisms that live in your gut. It plays an important part in your overall health and how your body responds to food.
When the bad bugs in your gut microbiome outnumber the good, it can have a negative effect on how your body manages energy.
At ZOE, we run the largest study of nutrition and the gut microbiome in the world, with over 15,000 participants so far. Our data show that theres no one-size-fits-all approach to nutrition and that everyone responds differently to foods.
ZOEs at-home test helps you to understand your bodys responses to different foods by analyzing your blood sugar, blood fat, and your gut microbiome.
Based on your results, we give you personalized recommendations of the best foods for you.
Our unpublished research found that 82% of people who closely followed their personalized ZOE nutrition program said they had more energy.
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How Is Hyperglycemia Diagnosed
If you have diabetes and notice a sudden change in your blood sugar levels during your home monitoring, you should alert your doctor of your symptoms. The increase in blood sugar may affect your treatment plan.
Regardless of whether you have diabetes, if you begin experiencing any symptoms of hyperglycemia, you should speak to your doctor. Before going to your appointment, you should note what symptoms youre experiencing. You should also consider these questions:
- Has your diet changed?
- Have you had enough water to drink?
- Are you under a lot of stress?
- Were you just in the hospital for surgery?
- Were you involved in an accident?
Once at your doctors appointment, your doctor will discuss all of your concerns. Theyll perform a brief physical exam and discuss your family history. Your doctor will also discuss your target blood sugar level.
If youre age 59 or younger, a safe blood sugar range is generally between 80 and 120 milligrams per deciliter . This is also the projected range for people who dont have any underlying medical conditions.
People who are age 60 or older and those who have other medical conditions or concerns may have levels between 100 and 140 mg/dL.
Your doctor may conduct an A1C test to determine what your average blood sugar level has been in recent months. This is done by measuring the amount of blood sugar attached to the oxygen-carrying protein hemoglobin in your red blood cells.
Sugar And Its Affect On Sleep
The more sugar you consume, the more that it will affect your bodys ability to get in some quality sleep. While you sleep, your body goes through different levels of deep rest, and the most rejuvenating level is called rapid eye movement sleep .
The more sugar you have before bed, the less of a chance you have of staying in deep Rapid Eye movement sleep. Even if you do not fully wake up during the night, it can pull you out of REM sleep, affecting the sensations of feeling well-rested in the morning.
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Can Undiagnosed/uncontrolled Diabetes Cause Fatigue
Undiagnosed and uncontrolled diabetes can cause fatigue. Earlier in this article, reactive hypoglycemia was mentioned, which is when your body tries to make too much insulin to keep up with the sugar intake and causes a sugar crash. There are approximately 7 million people with undiagnosed diabetes in the world. Fatigue is the most common symptom of diabetes and hopefully leads to people seeing their doctors and being diagnosed to get control of their blood sugar.
Uncontrolled diabetes causes fatigue for many reasons that were also mentioned previously in this article. First of all, blood sugars that are either too high or too low do not deliver fuel to the cells for the body to operate. Secondly, complications that are caused by uncontrolled diabetes such as kidney disease and nerve damage also cause fatigue. The most important thing to do is to control blood sugar.
Avoid The Roller Coaster Effect
Sugar consumption also spikes your blood sugar into a wild roller coaster ride, so remember, what comes up must come back down, and it comes down in a hard blood sugar crash. This roller coaster can be addicting to the body, as it starts to depend on the quick fix of sugar to have more energy, ultimately leading to more crashing.
The crashing happens when the pancreas releases more insulin to regulate the high amounts of blood sugar, as this happens, your blood sugar drops even more. the more frequently this happens, the more chances you have of developing insulin resistance, also known as Type 2 Diabetes.
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Why Is Diabetes Fatigue So Common
Fatigue can be caused by something physical, emotional distress, or because of lifestyle choices. Previously in this article, a number of things related to diabetes that cause fatigue was listed. If you read over that list, you can find physical, emotional, and lifestyle choices in there. This means that individuals with diabetes are at a risk from developing fatigue because of many different reasons.
An example is someone with diabetes that eats a very healthy diet and exercises daily. If they are too stressed because of the struggle to control their blood sugar, they could develop fatigue. Another example is someone that is very calm and follows their insulin and diet plan perfectly, but they have restless leg syndrome because of the nerve damage caused by diabetes.
Having physical, emotional, and lifestyle risk factors makes it very difficult for people with diabetes to avoid fatigue. Many people experience multiple problems that cause fatigue, such as sleep apnea and anxiety. Dealing with both of these makes it even harder to overcome the fatigue. This is why it is the most common symptom of diabetes.
The image below shows how all three variables play into fatigue. It also shows that not only do they cause fatigue, but fatigue causes them as well.
How To Treat A Low Blood Sugar Level Yourself
Follow these steps if your blood sugar level is less than 3.5mmol/L or you have hypo symptoms:
You do not usually need to get medical help once youre feeling better if you only have a few hypos.
But tell your diabetes team if you keep having hypos or if you stop having symptoms when your blood sugar level is low.
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What You Can Do Now
Your doctor will provide you with clear steps to follow aimed at lowering your blood sugar levels. Its important that you take their recommendations to heart and make any necessary lifestyle changes to improve your health. If left untreated, hyperglycemia can lead to serious, and sometimes life-threatening, complications.
Your doctor may recommend that you buy a blood glucose meter to use at home. This is a simple and effective way to monitor your blood sugar and act quickly if your levels have spiked to an unsafe level. Being aware of your levels can empower you to take charge of your condition and live a healthy lifestyle.
When To See A Doctor
A person with diabetes should see their doctor regularly to monitor and manage their diabetes.
They may also wish to consult a doctor who specializes in treating new or worsening fatigue that interferes with daily life.
People should seek medical attention for fatigue that occurs alongside other symptoms, such as fever, chills, or malaise, as these could indicate an infection.
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The Truth About Blood Sugar Levels And Tiredness
Many people donât realize that your energy levels and how tired you feel is very closely related to your blood sugar levels. If you look up the symptoms of both hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia and youâll see tiredness and fatigue listed as symptoms for both conditions. So, over long periods of time, poorly managed blood sugars can definitely lead to unexplained tiredness, fatigue, and exhaustion.
How To Identify Blood Sugar Spikes
Fatigue is associated with a myriad of other conditions, as well as just day-to-day life and other stressors, so it alone cannot tell you whether you are experiencing a blood sugar spike. People with diabetes are encouraged to keep tabs on their blood sugar levels to detect any sudden changes. This is one of the ways they can identify when blood sugar spikes happen.
The most common cause of high blood sugar is improper insulin production. Insulin is the hormone that is tasked with regulating blood sugar levels, and if it is not being produced at high enough levels or at all, it can lead to high blood sugar levels.
There are few reasons why insulin levels in the body are inadequate, including:
- Eating too much
- Not receiving enough insulin from treatment
- Having a malfunctioning diabetes pump
- Having insulin that is ineffective at managing blood sugar levels
Other risk factors that should be taken into consideration include weight, age, history of smoking, cholesterol levels, and blood pressure levels. These can all contribute to diabetes.
For a person without diabetes, insulin levels are unlikely to be considered at all. This is why it can be helpful to keep a food log and note levels of fatigue or other symptoms following every meal. If fatigue generally sets in after eating, it could be a sign that its attributed to blood sugar levels. If this does happen, it may indicate that a person should follow up with their healthcare provider and have their blood sugar levels checked.
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Eat Fat Fiber And Protein At Each Meal
Boosting energy levels when you have diabetes is largely tied to making sure weâre doing everything we can to promote stable blood sugar levels. This goes for people with type 2 diabetes and any other type of diabetes. This is where balancing our meals and snacks with fat, fiber, and protein comes into to play.
Dont totally ditch carbs with meals and snacks. Carbohydrates are the bodys preferred source of fuel. It is ok to add fruit, beans or rice to a salad. A salad with chicken is great but your body may need a bit more than that to keep you going, says KeyVion Miller RDN, LD/N, Food and Nutrition Blogger of The Millers Kitchen.
Nausea Vomiting Confusion And More
These seemingly disparate symptoms are all signs of a rare and life-threatening state called diabetic ketoacidosis , according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine. DKA can cause the symptoms above, as well as stomach pain, trouble breathing, dry or flushed skin, fruity-smelling breath, or difficulty paying attention. It usually occurs in people with type 1 diabetes and is sometimes the first sign they are sick, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine. DKA happens when the liver is unable to use the sugar in the blood for energy without insulin and begins to break down body fat into a type of fuel called ketones at such a high rate that they become toxic and make the blood acidic, the U.S. National Library of Medicine explains. DKA can be fatal if left untreated, so anyone experiencing these symptoms should seek care immediately.
Over time, untreated high blood sugar can cause additional symptoms, such as:
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