What Causes Diabetes Tiredness and Fatigue?

By: Jolie Wiener

August 10, 2020

Melanie’s’ story is not unique. She is tired all the time. Her eyes open in the morning… and she’s ready to fall asleep again. Sometimes Melanie even starts dozing off while standing around her kitchen and living room, or while sitting down with a book. Fatigue can take its toll on any diabetic. It impacts time spent with family and friends. It can hurt you in the workplace. Fatigue can even be dangerous, for example, while operating a car. You see… Fatigue is one of the most common symptoms of people with diabetes. And it’s a symptom that can impact your entire life.

Why Does Type 2 Diabetes Make You Feel So Tired?

There are various reasons why diabetics feel tired all the time.

Your Blood Sugar Levels Are Not In The Healthy Range

When your blood sugar is too high, it affects how your body burns glucose from the for energy. Unless you’re on some specialized diet, sugar is your body’s primary fuel source… If your primed to use it. Once we get sugar from food, the pancreas releases insulin, opening the cells to absorb the sugar for usable energy. However, if your cells don’t respond properly to the insulin, the sugar won’t absorb into your cells. Instead, it stays in your blood stream. When your cells cannot get sugar (their fuel), they are literally starved for energy. If you have no energy, you feel tired and fatigued. High blood sugar also leads to another reason for fatigue:

 

Slow Blood Circulation

High blood sugar thickens your blood, which slows down blood flow. Slow blood flow means, your body can get very limited amounts of oxygen and nutrients, which are crucial to maintaining healthy energy levels. This is the exact reason why you feel groggy when you wake up in the morning and why you easily fall asleep in the afternoon. It is also why so many people struggle with getting the energy to do your everyday work.

 

Insomnia

People with diabetes tend to have poor sleep quality. This can be caused by numerous reasons, including frequent urination, with some diabetics reporting to need the toilet as much as 8 times during the night. No wonder it can be so hard to function during the day.

 

How do I Feel Energized?

It’s crucial for diabetics to exercise every day, eat a balanced and healthy diet, and drink plenty of water to keep a high level of energy, according to Dr. Zonszein, director of the Clinical Diabetes Center at the University Hospital of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Montefiore Health System in the Bronx, New York. To help keep your glucose level at a healthy range, it is recommended that you exercise a minimum of 2.5 hours a week, or 30 minutes every day. Some diabetics enjoy yoga, others love aerobics, while many other people are doing strength training. You need to find an activity you love so that you feel motivated to keep doing it.
  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4461902/
  2. https://www.everydayhealth.com/type-2-diabetes/why-does-type-2-diabetes-make-you-feel-tired/

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