why do type 2 diabetics feel tired

If you have and youre feeling tired, youre not alone. Fatigue is a symptom thats often associated with the condition. There are many possible causes, including everything from
to underlying conditions. Simply managing diabetes on a daily basis can zap your energy from time to time. However, the most common cause, by far, is uncontrolled blood glucose, says, 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. With type 2 diabetes, poor blood sugar control typically results in or high blood sugar, which can cause fatigue among other symptoms. But Dr. Zonszein notes that high blood glucose isnt the only cause. Some people especially the elderly get dehydrated because their blood sugars are so high [and this leads to increased urination]. The fatigue, in part, comes from the dehydration, he says. It can also come from kidney disease. Underlying conditions and diabetes-related complications are additional factors that can contribute to tiredness. Dr. Zonszein explains that when people have had type 2 diabetes for a long time, they can develop damage in their kidneys, heart, and liver. Abnormalities in these organs can also cause fatigue, he says. When fatigue is a concern, Zonszein will also screen for anemia. Anemia is not caused by diabetes, but it frequently occurs in people with diabetes and is a common cause of fatigue. He will also check the thyroid hormone level. People with diabetes are at increased risk for thyroid diseases, especially hypothyroidism.


A sluggish thyroid together with diabetes can be another cause, says Zonszein. should also be reviewed, as fatigue can be a side effect in some, especially those used to control blood pressure like beta blockers. Type 2 diabetes is a complex disease that is associated with numerous co-morbidities, including obesity, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and high blood sugar. People with diabetes who neglect their health because of fatigue and other symptoms put themselves at greater risk of developing complications, according to a review of literature focused on diabetes-related fatigue that was published in the Journal of Psychosomatic Research. Often neglected are psychological factors, such as depression or feeling overwhelmed by their diagnosis or complexity of medical care, that can contribute greatly to feeling low energy. To reduce fatigue and your risk of other symptoms and complications, its important to work with your health care team to make sure youre properly managing your diabetes and any co-morbid conditions and that includes making healthy lifestyle choices. People who have a who exercise every day, eat well, drink a lot of water, and take their medications properly tend to feel well, says Zonszein. It is the ones who are a little bit sluggish with exercising, or they over-eat, or they dont eat all day and then they eat too much at night, and they forget their medications, those are the ones who often start to get complications.


Fatigue and headaches are the most common complications of patients who are not well-treated, he says. If youre feeling abnormally tired in between your and you dont seem to be getting better, call your doctor and make an appointment to get examined sooner. If youre coping with and feel wiped out all the time the kind of fatigue that isnt helped by eating or getting a little extra sleep your doctor might tell you that your blood sugar levels are to blame. But research suggests that the fatigue associated with diabetes could have other causes. In The Diabetes Educator, researchers and, found that stress, depression, body mass index (BMI), and lack of physical activity can all be significant contributors to fatigue in people with diabetes. In the study, 83 women ages 40 to 65 with type 2 diabetes completed questionnaires about their health, fatigue levels, depression, emotional distress, physical activity, and how they were managing and coping with diabetes. Some of the women wore a continuous glucose monitor for three days to assess the changes in their glucose (blood sugar) levels. The researchers found no relationship between the womens fatigue level and their blood sugar control. , glucose fluctuations over the study period, and results from the A1C test, which measures average blood sugar level over the previous two to three months, did not predict how tired the women reported feeling. It appears that other factors such as being overweight, getting little physical activity, and having higher levels of distress could be causing their fatigue, Fritschi says.


A statement published by in Diabetes Care recommends that physical activity be prescribed to all people living with diabetes in order to manage glycemic control and overall health. In particular, the ADA urges people living with diabetes to interrupt long periods of sitting with light activity by doing 3 minutes of light exercise (like stretches or walking) every 30 minutes. But diabetes and fatigue can set up a catch-22, Fritschi says. One of the , yet people with diabetes can be too tired to exercise," she says. If youre also depressed, youre even less likely to have the energy to take other steps needed to manage the condition, such as preparing healthy meals and monitoring your blood sugar. Coping With Diabetes and Fatigue Take a proactive approach to dealing with fatigue by addressing your symptoms and concerns with your health care providers and support team. Following these steps can help: Give specifics. When talking to your doctor about how you feel, dont just say, Im tired all the time. Tell your doctor, 'Im too tired to go for a walk or go grocery shopping,' Fritschi says. Let your doctor know that exhaustion is preventing you from doing activities that are important to keeping you healthy. Keep a journal. How many times do you get up at night to go to the bathroom? Are you skipping meals because youre too tired to stand and prepare them?


Take detailed notes on your daily habits and use your journal to talk to your doctor or diabetes educator about concerns that make living with diabetes harder for you. Work with a therapist. Managing diabetes is a 24/7 commitment. That alone can cause you to feel anxious, stressed, and depressed. And, in turn, depression can lead to fatigue and a lack of energy, Fritschi says. If you feel burdened and depressed by your diabetes, consider getting professional help. A therapist who is trained in treating depression can help you improve your mental health. Ask your doctor or diabetes educator for a recommendation. Join a support community. can provide some relief. Discussing day-to-day challenges, worries, and emotions with peers who have experienced similar situations can help you manage stress and brainstorm coping strategies. Ask your diabetes educator about local support groups, or become a member of an online community for virtual conversation. Aim for quality sleep. As many as half of all people with diabetes may have trouble sleeping, Fritschi says. If youre not sleeping well at night, you're going to be tired during the day. Modifying your evening routine and sleep environment can help you get more rest. Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, even on weekends; keep your bedroom cool and dark; and turn off electronics (the computer and the TV) at least an hour before going to bed. If you are concerned you may have a sleep disorder, speak with your doctor about getting tested.

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