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Why do we struggle with Diabetes Fatigue? Your useful tips and causes

by IBD Medical on March 24, 2024

Feeling fatigue can unfortunately be a common experience for those living with diabetes, even when we have had an adequate amount of sleep. While there can be a multitude of reasons for feeling tired during your day, learning about some common reasons can help you understand how to change simple habits & improve general energy. 

Diabetes and fatigue

Here are some reasons why you may be feeling fatigued from diabetes: 

1. Fluctuating blood sugar levels
Living with diabetes means that we deal with our blood levels rising and falling throughout the day. Often, our sugar levels play a role in our energy levels. When our sugar levels are high or low, this can lead to sudden mood changes such as feeling frustrated, or lead to decreased cognitive function and fatigue. 
Glucose monitoring will play an important role in helping to combat the extreme spikes or dips in our blood levels. By closely monitoring our levels, this can help us be self-aware, mindful and proactive to avoid fatigue and other potential side effects from having a high/low level. 
Physical activity and following a healthy diet can help fight the feelings of  fatigue. Starting with a simple change of having a well-balanced diet consisting of complex carbs, fruits, vegetables and lean proteins can help avoid sudden spikes in sugar levels, decreasing the chances of fatigue. As for physical activity, it may be the last activity we want to engage in when we’re feeling tired, but even a little movement will get the heart pumping and boost your energy levels! 

2. Medications

We may be on additional medications when managing a life with diabetes and the side effects could be a contributing factor to feeling fatigue. It’s mindful to note that everyone’s experiences and body reactions are very different, so it’s good to take note of whether you may feel different since taking your medications or insulin. Speak to your doctor, who can help work with you to personalise a management/treatment plan that can take into account your health requirements and your lifestyle quality. 

3. Underlying medical conditions 
Diabetes can be complex and there may be other underlying health conditions, either separate from diabetes or from diabetes complications. Some underlying medical conditions could include heart problems, Anemia, thyroid or adrenal issues, diabetic Nephropathy, nerve pain from high blood sugar levels, depression/anxiety. 
Consult with your professional medical team to better understand and get a plan together for your health map. Never be afraid to ask for help! 
Leaning on people who may understand or whom you trust can be a great way to get the emotional support you may need to start your journey of changing small habits for an improved lifestyle (hopefully one without too much fatigue!). We have an online community space that could be a great starting point to connect with like-minded people, if you’re not a part of it already! Our community loves to share tips, ask and answer questions and there’s always someone to provide a helping hand if you want the support! 
The content of this Website or Blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this Website or Blog.
If you think you may have a medical emergency, call 911 (in the US) or 000 (in Australia) immediately, call your doctor, or go to the emergency room/urgent care.