Monday, May 20, 2024

Does Diabetes Cause Extreme Fatigue

Must Read

Sleep Disorders And Fatigue

Diabetes and extreme fatigue

Symptoms: Chronic fatigue, feeling exhausted upon awakening, snoring

Sleep disorders are a group of conditions that disrupt or prevent restful, restorative sleep. That can take a toll on your health and quality of life, so its important to look out for signs and symptoms.


Sleep apnea is one of the most common sleep disorders. If you or your partner notices loud snoring and you wake up tired and stay that way, you could have sleep apnea. More than one-third of adults in the U.S. snore at least a few nights a week. But if the snoring stops your breathing for seconds at a time, it could be sleep apnea. Learn more about the best sleep positions and see if sleeping on your stomach is bad or not.

Obstructive sleep apnea causes low blood oxygen levels. That’s because blockages prevent air from getting to the lungs. The low oxygen levels also affect how well your heart and brain work. Sometimes, the only clue that you might have sleep apnea is chronic fatigue.

Your doctor may prescribe a medical device called CPAP that helps keep your airways open while you sleep. In severe cases of sleep apnea, surgery may help. The surgeon will remove tissues that are blocking the airways. If left untreated, sleep apnea can increase your risk of a stroke or heart attack.

But sleep apnea is just one of many sleep disorders that cause fatigue. Other common types include:


What Else Can Cause Fatigue

Even if you have type 2 diabetes, that doesnt necessarily mean that diabetes is the sole cause of your slumping energy levels. There are many other health problems that are associated with chronic fatigue.

The following partial list of fatigue causing medical conditions just might include one or more potential culprits in your case:


Anemia is characterized by a lower than normal red blood cell count. It is usually associated with a deficiency in iron, vitamin B-12 or folic acid.

Heavy menstrual bleeding can also result in low iron and anemia in women.


Hypothyroidism, or low thyroid, has become increasingly prevalent in the general population. Diabetics are even more susceptible to developing hypothyroidism.

A low thyroid will cause you to feel depressed, tired and sleepy.

Low testosterone

Low testosterone, particularly in diabetic men, may impose fatigue, depression and a host of other problematic symptoms.


Infections, including urinary tract, bladder, vaginal and dental infections, are often a hidden cause of fatigue among people with diabetes.

Infections tend to raise blood glucose to abnormal levels and induce fatigue.

The body, especially the immune system, requires significant energy and resources to fight infections.

Heart disease

Undiagnosed heart disease may cause you to grow tired after completing seemingly simple tasks.

Talk to your health care provider about a heart checkup if unexplained fatigue is getting you down.


Food Allergies Food Intolerance And Fatigue

Symptoms: Fatigue, sleepiness, continued exhaustion

Although food is supposed to give you energy, medical research suggests that hidden food intolerances — or allergies — can do the opposite. In fact, fatigue may be an early warning sign of food intolerance or food allergy. Celiac disease, which happens when you cant digest gluten, may also cause fatigue.

Ask your doctor about the elimination diet. This is a diet in which you cut out certain foods linked to a variety of symptoms, including sleepiness within 10 to 30 minutes of eating them, for a certain period of time to see if that makes a difference. You can also talk to your doctor about a food allergy test — or invest in a home test such as ALCAT — which may help you identify the offending foods.

Recommended Reading: How To Stop Fatigue From Depression

How Can I Beat/reduce Fatigue With Diabetes And Regain My Energy

There are many ways to reduce fatigue with diabetes and regain energy. The most important thing that you can do is to control your blood sugar. This limits complications and also provides your body with the fuel that it needs to operate. You can also eat smart and exercise. Exercise actually decreases fatigue up to 65%. By taking care of yourself, you can decrease fatigue and increase quality of life.

You shouldnt make any changes to your diet, insulin, or exercise regimen without talking to your doctor. First off, your doctor needs to be consulted and you need to talk with him about the following things:

  • Can my fatigue be caused by another disease? This rules out all other reasons for your fatigue so you can focus on the main cause.
  • Are any of the side effects from my medications causing the fatigue?
  • Is it a good idea for me to start taking supplements such as Vitamin D, Vitamin B, Calcium, Chromium, Ginseng, Coenzymes, or Magnesium?
  • Is my thyroid okay?
  • What kind of exercises would be best for me?
  • How can I better control my blood sugar to decrease fatigue?
  • What is a healthy weight for me to be?

Eating too many carbohydrates can cause you to feel drowsy. You should also schedule an appointment to talk with your dietitian or nutritionist to discuss the following things:

  • Would juicing be okay for me?
  • Am I eating too many carbs?
  • How can I improve my diet to decrease my fatigue?

Other things that you can do to decrease fatigue include:

Can Undiagnosed/uncontrolled Diabetes Cause Fatigue

Type 1 Diabetes Extreme Fatigue

Undiagnosed and uncontrolled diabetes can cause fatigue. Earlier in this article, reactive hypoglycemia was mentioned, which is when your body tries to make too much insulin to keep up with the sugar intake and causes a sugar crash. There are approximately 7 million people with undiagnosed diabetes in the world. Fatigue is the most common symptom of diabetes and hopefully leads to people seeing their doctors and being diagnosed to get control of their blood sugar.

Uncontrolled diabetes causes fatigue for many reasons that were also mentioned previously in this article. First of all, blood sugars that are either too high or too low do not deliver fuel to the cells for the body to operate. Secondly, complications that are caused by uncontrolled diabetes such as kidney disease and nerve damage also cause fatigue. The most important thing to do is to control blood sugar.

You May Like: Which Vitamins Help With Fatigue

Do Not Skip Your Meal

People on insulin or medicine must never skip a meal after taking insulin/ medicine. This is because it may also result in hypoglycemia and hence can cause severe weakness.

Always talk to your doctor for further evaluation and make sure to eat small meals every 23 hours in order to keep blood sugar levels under control.

How Can Diabetes Cause Fatigue

Stress, anxiety, and depression: Between constant management, fear, and pain, stress often plays a large role in the life of an individual with diabetes. That stress is often accompanied by high blood pressure and heart rate, both of which deplete energy. Further, its not uncommon for all this stress to take its toll and manifest itself in the form of anxiety and/or depression. Studies suggest that people with diabetes are actually 3-4 times more likely than the general population to suffer from depression, which often goes hand in hand with decreased energy and lethargy.

Diabetes-related inflammation: Inflammation is often accompanied by the release of cytokines, which encourage your body to rest. If youve ever had the flu and felt excessively tired, youve most likely experienced a similar feeling. Put simply, its your bodys immune system telling you its time for sleep.

Hypoglycemia: Feeling fatigued is a classic sign of low blood sugar, though everyones reaction to hypoglycemia is different. Its important to establish how you feel when your blood sugar is low, so you know if your fatigue is symptomatic, or caused by something else.

Insulin resistance: This is a common culprit for chronic fatigue. If your cells are resisting the glucose youre fueling it with, it wont have the energy it needs to get through the day.

Also Check: Best Diet For Chronic Fatigue

What Causes Diabetes Fatigue And Can Diabetes Make You Tired

Fatigue and feeling tired are extremely common symptoms of diabetes. Theyre caused by a buildup of glucose in the blood , leading to slowed circulation and feelings of fatigue or sluggishness. In addition, when your blood sugar is low, your body doesnt have enough fuel to run properly leaving you feeling exhausted and fatigued.

Common Diabetes Fatigue Questions Answered

Causes and management of fatigue with leg pain – Dr. Mohan M R
  • Are blood sugar and exhaustion related?
  • Can diabetes cause exhaustion?
  • Does diabetes make you tired?
  • Does diabetes make you sleepy?
  • Does insulin make you tired?
  • What can people with diabetes drink for energy?
  • Is coffee OK for people with diabetes?
  • Before we jump into ways to boost energy for diabetes, letâs answer some common questions to set the stage for the most important factor in boosting energy levels when you have diabetes: blood sugar control.

    Read Also: Anti Fatigue Mat For Corner Sink

    What Are Early Signs Of Diabetes

    Both type 1 and type 2 diabetes can generate different physical symptoms. However, those afflicted with either type may experience these common occurrences:

    Be on the lookout for any of these symptoms of type 1 or 2 diabetes and dont hesitate to consult with a healthcare professional. When left unattended, certain symptoms of diabetes can cause lifelong issues, even when type 1 or type 2 diabetes gets under control.

    Why Does Type 2 Diabetes Cause Fatigue

    Fatigue is very common in Type 2 diabetes. A study published by the American Diabetes Association found that it affected 61 per cent of newly diagnosed people.

    There are lots of different reasons for this:


    When we eat carbohydrates, the digestive system breaks them down into sugar. Experts call this sugar glucose, and it is the bodys main source of energy. It travels to every part of the body in the blood.

    Insulin is a hormone. It makes sure there is never too much, or too little glucose in the blood, so that the body has the energy it needs. But when people develop Type 2 diabetes, they stop making insulin properly and the regulation system breaks down.

    Hypoglycaemia means that there is not enough sugar in the blood. Sometimes, people call this having a hypo. Fatigue is a common symptom of low blood sugar.

    It is different for everyone, but other symptoms might include:

    • feeling shaky
    • blurry vision
    • tingly lips

    If you think you might be having a hypo, you should treat it right away. Low blood sugar levels can be very dangerous.

    Diabetes symptoms

    Lots of the common symptoms of Type 2 diabetes can contribute to feelings of tiredness and fatigue.

    Things like needing to urinate a lot, feeling really thirsty, and feeling really hungry can all make you feel tired.

    Poor mental health and wellbeing can also add to fatigue. It can impact on how well someone is able to manage their blood sugar levels. It can also change sleep patterns and leave people feeling low.

    You May Like: Can Low Blood Pressure Cause Fatigue

    Why Is Diabetes Fatigue So Common

    Fatigue can be caused by something physical, emotional distress, or because of lifestyle choices. Previously in this article, a number of things related to diabetes that cause fatigue was listed. If you read over that list, you can find physical, emotional, and lifestyle choices in there. This means that individuals with diabetes are at a risk from developing fatigue because of many different reasons.

    An example is someone with diabetes that eats a very healthy diet and exercises daily. If they are too stressed because of the struggle to control their blood sugar, they could develop fatigue. Another example is someone that is very calm and follows their insulin and diet plan perfectly, but they have restless leg syndrome because of the nerve damage caused by diabetes.

    Having physical, emotional, and lifestyle risk factors makes it very difficult for people with diabetes to avoid fatigue. Many people experience multiple problems that cause fatigue, such as sleep apnea and anxiety. Dealing with both of these makes it even harder to overcome the fatigue. This is why it is the most common symptom of diabetes.

    The image below shows how all three variables play into fatigue. It also shows that not only do they cause fatigue, but fatigue causes them as well.

    What Causes Fatigue In Prediabetes

    Diabetes Fatigue

    Chronic tiredness or fatigue is more than just feeling a bit weary. If you are struggling to get up in the morning feeling a total lack of energy or fogginess or not able to perform the tasks you normally do as simply too exhausted it may be that you actually are suffering from fatigue… and it could be a side effect of your diabetes.

    Although diabetes medications generally do not result in symptoms, fluctuations in blood sugars can definitely have an effect.

    It is always a good idea to check with your doctor if you are feeling fatigued as it could be a number of other health problems such as anaemia cancer coeliac disease vitamin B12 deficiency low testosterone levels, kidney disease, thyroid issues or even as a consequence of depression.

    PreDiabetes Content

    Fatigue can occur for many reasons but here are 3 important ones to consider:

    • Poor blood circulation which results in less oxygen and energy supply to the brain
    • Longterm inflammation in the body so effectively the body is at war and the brain is sent messages that the body needs to rest and repair itself.
    • Complications such as kidney disease where there is red cell damage and less oxygen in the body.

    Fatigue in prediabetes is common and occurs for a number of reasons. High and low blood sugars can cause tiredness so it is important to check your sugars when feeling like this to try and get a clearer picture of the cause.

    Recommended Reading: Can High Triglycerides Cause Fatigue

    What Are The Effects Of Fatigue On Diabetes

    When someone becomes fatigued, it can lead to a never ending cycle. First, because of the fatigue, they become tired and dont want to do anything. That leads to lack of exercise and poor dietary choices. These choices make them depressed, which in turn makes the fatigue even worse. This cycle continues and eventually the person begins to have complications from diabetes because their blood sugars are not under control.

    Fatigue can cause someone to lose motivation to take care of themselves. They stop checking their blood sugar like they should or do things for themselves that they know they should because they are just too tired. Insulin dosages are skipped or not given accurately because of the time and energy that it takes to do it correctly. It is very important for all individuals with fatigue to find a solution, but it is even more important for those people with diabetes because of the risk of complications due to non-compliance.

    When To Speak To Your Healthcare Team About Fatigue

    If you are experiencing regular fatigue you should speak to your healthcare team. They may want to look at your medications and they will usually have some tips on how to cope.

    The team will also be able to offer medical advice on whether the extreme tiredness is a sign of something more serious, such as diabetes complications.

    You May Like: Does Lack Of Vitamin D Cause Fatigue

    How Can You Manage Your Morning Tiredness

    In diabetes, sometimes you can wake up feeling very tired and lazy. This can happen for several reasons and you can understand that the tiredness is due to diabetes if you have had a good night sleep and still you are tired in the morning.

    This usually happens when you have had too high or too low levels of blood glucose over-night. If the tiredness is being accompanied by a headache, it signifies that you have had very low levels of blood glucose over-night. In order to treat the same, you will have to check your blood glucose levels. also, do consult your doctor as you might have to change your diabetes medications as well as the insulin dose that you might have been taking.

    Read Also:Why Is My Fasting Blood Sugar High in the Morning?

    What Causes Diabetes Fatigue

    People with diabetes or fatigue: Causes and solutions to improve

    Melanie’s story is not unique. She is tired all the time. Her eyes open in the morning and she is ready to fall asleep again. Sometimes Melanie even starts dozing off while standing around her kitchen and living room, or while sitting down with a book. Fatigue can take its toll on any diabetic. It impacts time spent with family and friends.

    It can impact your work performance. Fatigue can even be dangerous, for example, while operating a car. Fatigue is one of the most common symptoms of people with diabetes. And it is a symptom that can impact your entire life.

    Read Also: How To Test For Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

    How To Identify Blood Sugar Spikes

    Fatigue is associated with a myriad of other conditions, as well as just day-to-day life and other stressors, so it alone cannot tell you whether you are experiencing a blood sugar spike. People with diabetes are encouraged to keep tabs on their blood sugar levels to detect any sudden changes. This is one of the ways they can identify when blood sugar spikes happen.

    The most common cause of high blood sugar is improper insulin production. Insulin is the hormone that is tasked with regulating blood sugar levels, and if it is not being produced at high enough levels or at all, it can lead to high blood sugar levels.

    There are few reasons why insulin levels in the body are inadequate, including:

    • Eating too much
    • Not receiving enough insulin from treatment
    • Having a malfunctioning diabetes pump
    • Having insulin that is ineffective at managing blood sugar levels

    Other risk factors that should be taken into consideration include weight, age, history of smoking, cholesterol levels, and blood pressure levels. These can all contribute to diabetes.

    For a person without diabetes, insulin levels are unlikely to be considered at all. This is why it can be helpful to keep a food log and note levels of fatigue or other symptoms following every meal. If fatigue generally sets in after eating, it could be a sign that its attributed to blood sugar levels. If this does happen, it may indicate that a person should follow up with their healthcare provider and have their blood sugar levels checked.

    More articles

    Popular Articles