What's the Deal with Diabetes Fatigue?

What’s the deal with diabetes fatigue? First off, fatigue is different than tiredness. When a person is tired, resting usually helps them feel better. When a person is fatigued, resting doesn’t help, and exhaustion and lethargy persist.


Fatigue is a common symptom of diabetes and can result from high blood sugar levels, among other factors. According to the American Diabetes Association studies, 61% of newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes patients reported experiencing fatigue.


What Causes Diabetes Fatigue?

Changes in Blood Sugar Levels

Fatigue and weakness can result from low blood sugar or hypoglycemia. Low blood sugar can trigger the release of adrenaline, the “fight-or-flight” hormone, which causes sweating, tingling, anxiety, and a racing heart.


It can be dangerous if blood sugar levels continue to drop, as the brain is starved of glucose. To remedy the situation, the American Diabetes Association recommends following the 15-15 rule, having 15 grams of carbohydrates to raise your blood sugar and checking it after 15 minutes. Overeating can cause blood sugar levels to skyrocket, which isn’t good either.


Complication from Diabetes

Some people with diabetes might develop complications from diabetes that lead to feelings of fatigue. This happens when your blood sugar levels remain high, known as hyperglycemia. Symptoms of hyperglycemia include frequent urination and increased thirst, which can be treated by changing your diet and exercising regularly.


Heart disease is another complication of diabetes, where blood vessels are damaged, leading to heart attack and stroke. Lowering your risk of cardiovascular disease, or treating it, involves lifestyle changes and might include medication.


Diabetic nephropathy, or kidney disease, is when the kidneys become damaged from chronically high blood sugar levels. Early in this disease, you might not notice any symptoms, so it’s essential to manage your diabetes and blood sugar levels carefully.


Diabetic neuropathy, or nerve damage, can affect nerves in your body, usually in the feet, legs, hands, and arms. Nerve damage symptoms include tingling, burning, pain, or numbness in the affected areas.


Diabetes Medication

Side effects from diabetes medication can also contribute to feelings of fatigue. Corticosteroids, for example, are used to treat pain and inflammation but might cause fatigue as a side effect. Beta-blockers can also have this effect, as they work to have an ‘anti-adrenaline’ effect on your body.


Anxiety and Depression

Living with diabetes can undoubtedly impact a person’s mental and emotional wellbeing. According to medical studies, people with diabetes are almost two to three times more likely to experience depression than people who do not have diabetes. And depression and anxiety can interrupt sleep and cause feelings of fatigue and listlessness.


Anxiety and depression cause feelings of fatigue, but they also factor into abnormal blood sugar levels. Irregular blood sugar levels then impact your physical wellbeing, so it’s a vicious cycle.


Excess Body Weight

Many people with type 2 diabetes are overweight, which can contribute to feelings of fatigue. Eating too many carbs and sugars, lack of exercise and sleep disruptions contribute to this fatigue.


So, it’s critical to take control of your blood sugar levels and carefully manage your diabetes through lifestyle changes to reduce feelings of fatigue and weakness. It’s generally recommended to avoid caffeine in your diet if you have diabetes, so explore other natural pick-me-ups to get your energy. Exercise is a great way to get energy (yes, even if you feel sluggish) and positively affects your blood sugar levels.


A natural energy booster like Metavo can also do the trick. With only two simple ingredients, avocados (amplified with AvoBTM) and chromium, you can feel peppier without the caffeine and fillers.