Diabetes and fatigue

Look to the causes of fatigue to overcome this common side effect of diabetes.

Fatigue is a common side effect of diabetes. But what causes fatigue and how can you overcome it?

Managing diabetes can be challenging with all the tasks that you have to track such as glucose levels, carbohydrates, food portions, medication and many other tasks. This daily management of the disease can cause a person to experience fatigue. However, there could be other underlying causes of fatigue.

Diabetes itself can also cause fatigue due to high or low blood glucose (sugar). High levels of glucose in the blood can slow circulation. As a result, oxygen and nutrients do not get transported efficiently to the cells and this can cause fatigue. Additionally, since glucose is a fuel for the cells, low blood sugar can also cause fatigue simply because there isn’t enough glucose or fuel for the cells.

There could be other medical conditions causing fatigue such as anemia, hypothyroidism (low thyroid), and depression, to name a few. Please check with your doctor if you think that your fatigue is caused by a condition other than diabetes.

To prevent diabetes-related fatigue, try to keep blood sugar levels in control, get enough sleep and try to limit stress in your life. Caffeinated beverages and energy drinks may help you deal with fatigue temporarily, but this approach is not a long-term solution and can also mask the root causes of fatigue.

To understand the benefits of diabetes self-management and to enroll in a diabetes self-management workshop near you visit Michigan State University Extension

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