Blurred vision and frequent thirst are some of the most common symptoms of diabetes, but sometimes, people who have diabetes feel extremely tired. Then here comes the question: Can diabetes make you tired? Also, what could be the reasons if your diabetes is making you feel tired? Let’s find out more.
Does Diabetes Make You Tired?
The answer is yes. You may feel tired, especially after meals if you are a diabetic. The reason is that your body does not get enough energy from the food you eat when you have diabetes. When you feel tired, it becomes difficult to handle your diabetes self-management tasks. That is the reason why it makes sense to learn how you can deal with this condition.
Why Does Diabetes Make You Tired?
1. Abnormal Blood Sugar Levels
Both high and low blood glucose levels can cause tiredness.
- High blood sugar levels: In type-1 diabetes, your body fails to produce enough insulin to keep blood sugar levels low, while your body fails to utilize insulin properly if you have type-2 diabetes. Insulin transports glucose into your cells to provide you with energy. When insulin is not enough or is not working efficiently, the sugar in your blood cannot be transferred into cells, so cells can’t get enough energy to function well, making you feel tired.
- Low blood sugar levels: Your tiredness could be due to hypoglycemia or low blood sugar, which is the result of too much insulin in your body. This may happen when you consume too much insulin or diabetes medications. Besides, eating quickly digestible carbs will make your blood sugar level go up and then crash quickly within a couple of hours. The absence of enough glucose in your blood also makes you feel tired.
2. Diabetes Daily Management and Stress
Daily management of tasks are difficult with diabetes. You need to track your blood sugar levels all the time, take your medications in a timely manner, pay attention to your diet, and do regular exercise. Taking care of all these things can make you feel stressed. When you are under stress, your body triggers the production of glucose in the blood. This can cause regular tiredness, especially in people with type-2 diabetes.
3. Sleep Issues
Does diabetes make you tired? It surely does, because it can interfere with your quality of sleep, and lacking of sleep can make anyone feel tired. Diabetes neuropathy can cause burning and pain in legs and feet, which can disturb your sleep. People with type-2 diabetes may have restless legs syndrome that affects sleep. Sleep apnea is another complication associated with type-2 diabetes, which is characterized by repeated pauses in breathing while asleep. All these issues can lead to disrupted sleep and cause tiredness.
High blood sugar levels may lead to the inflammation of blood vessels, which will make immune cells called monocytes go into the brain, resulting in fatigue.
How to Deal with the Tiredness Caused by Diabetes
Why does diabetes make you tired? Now you know the answer. To avoid feeling tired while dealing with diabetes, your focus should be on maintaining healthy blood sugar levels. Having an active lifestyle is usually enough to maintain normal blood sugar levels in mild cases of diabetes, but you have to be more careful about your diet and medications in severe cases of diabetes. Serious cases of diabetes usually require insulin to regulate blood sugar. Here are some other tips to deal with tiredness.
1. Stay Hydrated
You need to stay hydrated all the time because dehydration can always make you feel tired. Be sure to drink 2-4 liters of liquids such as water and juice in a day. Taking adequate amount of fluids will also improve fiber absorption, which is good for your overall health.
2. Take Vitamin Supplements
As a diabetic, you should avoid dairy and egg products, so it makes great sense to include dietary supplements in your diet to prevent any dietary deficiencies you might experience. You should get enough B-vitamins to protect your nerves and get your energy back. They become even more important when you already have diabetic neuropathy or diabetic nerve problems.
3. Do Regular Exercise
Maintaining an active lifestyle helps regulate blood sugar levels. Regular exercise, such as 30-minute walk a day, will make you feel less tired throughout the day. Everything from gardening to swimming will work. Just spend at least half an hour enjoying your favorite physical activity to get good results.
4. Avoid Caffeine
While you should increase your fluid intake to stay hydrated, you should avoid caffeinated beverages as much as possible. Caffeine can affect your sleep quality and may have bad influence on your blood sugar levels. Avoid it especially in the evenings.
5. Eat a Balanced Diet
What you eat always has a huge impact on how you feel. Not eating a balanced diet with diabetes can make things worse. Make a diet plan to ensure that you do not eat too much fat and cholesterol. You should stick to a high-fiber diet with moderated consumption of fresh fruits. Also, consider limiting your protein and salt intake. People with diabetes should have six servings of whole grain foods and five servings of fruits and veggies a day. Having two servings of fatty fish every week is also suggested.
6. Apply Acupuncture
Acupuncture may help find some relief from many symptoms of diabetes. It also helps combat tiredness. A specialist will insert fine needles into certain pressure points to make you feel better by improving blood circulation and insulin levels. Acupuncture also helps prevent obesity and makes it easier to regulate blood sugar levels, which in turn helps prevent fatigue.