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What Causes Fatigue In Diabetes Type 2

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You Can Prevent Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 Diabetes Signs & Symptoms (& Why They Occur) & Associated Conditions

Before developing type 2 diabetes, most people have prediabetes, where blood sugar levels are higher than normal, but not high enough yet to be diagnosed as type 2 diabetes. People who have prediabetes are at increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

If you have prediabetes, losing a small amount of weight if youre overweight and getting regular physical activity can lower your risk for developing type 2 diabetes. A lifestyle change program offered through the CDC-led National Diabetes Prevention Program can help you make those changesand make them stick. Through the program, you can lower your risk of developing type 2 diabetes by as much as 58% .

Take the 1-minute test to see if you may be at risk of prediabetes.

Is Feeling Fatigue A Sign/symptom Of Diabetes

Feeling fatigued is definitely a symptom of diabetes. However, fatigue can also be a sign or symptom of many other diseases, so it is important that you talk to your doctor about any problems that you are having.

Reactive hypoglycemia, a term used to define the crash that a person gets after eating a lot of sugar and carbs, can be an early sign of diabetes. In order for the body to use the sugars and carbs that are consumed for fuel, each molecule must be paired with insulin to get into the cell. If there isnt enough insulin available, then the sugar molecules stay in the bloodstream and cause high blood sugar.

What happens is that over time, eating a lot of sugar and carbs causes your body to have to produce a lot of insulin. Eventually, you develop insulin resistance and the insulin stops working as well which causes your body to make even more to keep the blood sugar under control. So after eating a large meal of sugar and carbs, the body starts producing a lot of insulin to try to use the food for energy. The problem is that after the food is digested, there is still insulin floating around and it causes the sugar to drop.

Signs of reactive hypoglycemia are:

  • Difficulty concentration

If you develop these symptoms after eating, you should schedule an appointment with your physician to check for possible diabetes or pre-diabetes.

When Is It Time To Talk To A Doctor

Its important to maintain regular appointments with your health care team, and you should always notify them if you experience any changes in your emotional or physical health. However, if any of the following symptoms become excessive or consistent, and are not caused by a specific event or situation , its time to make an appointment with your physician:

  • Extreme, persistent exhaustion

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Why Anyone Can Feel Sleepy After Eating

Although certainly possible, feeling sleepy after eating doesnt necessarily mean you have diabetes.

Everyones blood sugar levels change following a meal. When these changes are significant, they can cause a drop in your energy levels.

As you eat, your body breaks down the carbohydrates in your food into glucose, which is a simple sugar. As the amount of sugar in your blood increases, your cells absorb it and either convert it into energy or store it for later.

As your cells take in sugar, the amount in your blood your blood sugar level goes down. Gradual increases and decreases in blood sugar are normal and nothing to be concerned about. However, not all foods affect your blood sugar the same way.

Complex carbohydrates, such as vegetables and whole grains, generally take longer for your body to break down. This allows glucose to be released into your blood more slowly, causing a gradual rise in blood sugar followed later by a gradual fall.

Simple carbohydrates, commonly found in fruit juice, sweets, baked goods, and ultra-processed foods, are broken down quickly. This leads to a large amount of glucose entering your blood at once. In other words, there is a higher spike in blood sugar, which can prompt a drastic fall, sometimes called a blood sugar crash.

These extreme spikes and crashes in blood sugar can be responsible for the slump in energy, difficulty concentrating, and other symptoms you may feel after a meal.

Fatigue In Type 2 Diabetes: Impact On Quality Of Life And Predictors

Is Fatigue A Symptom Of Type 2 Diabetes
  • Affiliation School of Nursing, University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City, Kansas, United States of America

  • Affiliation Department of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science, University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City, Kansas, United States of America

  • Affiliation Department of Physical Therapy, Stockton University, Galloway, New Jersey, United States of America

  • Affiliation Department of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science, University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City, Kansas, United States of America

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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.

Why Do People With Diabetes Feel Sleepy After Eating

Feeling tired at any time of the day, not just after eating, is a common issue for people living with diabetes. A recent study that involved over 42,000 people with either type 1 or type 2 diabetes found that roughly half of them reported feelings of exhaustion.

While tiredness can be a regular occurrence if you have diabetes, exactly what causes it is not completely clear.

Lets explore what may contribute to tiredness or fatigue in diabetes.

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Low Testosterone In Prediabetes

In men, testosterone levels commonly decrease if overweight. Lower testosterone levels are known to cause tiredness and weight gain. Low testosterone levels also cause you to go to the toilet more often and can interrupt sleep. Hormonal levels in women during menopause also fluctuate and can be a common time for weight gain to occur.

What Causes Diabetes Fatigue

Top 10 Prediabetes Symptoms You MUST AVOID (Reverse Prediabetes)

A common symptom of type 2 diabetes is fatigue. If youre a type 2 diabetic, you probably know what its like to feel low energy levels, even after a full night of sleep.

It seemed like you had a good night of rest, but even a bright sunny morning wouldnt allow you to escape the constant lethargy and frustration that were ruling your day.

Maybe youre searching for something that might explain the fatigue youve been having lately. Theres a long list of chronic conditions that might be causing your fatigue and related symptoms, including type 2 diabetes.

Chronic fatigue just isnt normal, so the time has come for you to speak with a medical provider that specializes in diagnosing type 2 diabetes and other known causes of extreme fatigue.

Many chronic diseases can be managed or even reversed with nutrition and healthy lifestyle choices.

Keep in mind that drugs may be part of the solution, but should only be used as a last resort. Choosing a medical provider that emphasizes natural health care solutions is my recommended approach to taking control of your health.

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What Causes People With Diabetes To Be Tired

Two common reasons for tiredness or lethargy are having too high or too low blood sugar levels.

In both cases, the tiredness is the result of having an imbalance between ones level of blood glucose and the amount or effectiveness of circulating insulin.

If you feel tired during the day, despite having slept well, it could be a result of either high or low sugar levels.

It is best to test your blood glucose levels to see whether the tiredness is indeed a result of having high or low sugar levels.

This is particularly important for people on insulin.

Can Having Gestational Diabetes Make You Tired

Gestational diabetes is a condition that approximately 4% of women experience during pregnancy. Due to the hormones, insulin resistance occurs, and causes higher blood sugar levels. This can be a problem because it causes babies to be born larger and have difficult births. It can also cause birth defects and it makes the first few days difficult for the newborn to maintain their blood sugar. It usually can be controlled with a change in diet, but sometimes insulin may be required.

Some women show no signs of gestational diabetes, while other have extreme fatigue, elevated thirst, and an increase in urinating. The problem is that most pregnant women experience all of these symptoms anyway. For this reason, all women are tested for gestational around 24 weeks of pregnancy. Women at a higher risk may be tested earlier.

If fatigue does become worse during pregnancy, the expectant mother should seek help from their physician to rule out gestational diabetes or other complications such as low blood pressure or anemia .

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What Can A Diabetic Drink For Energy How Do I Feel Energized

Diabetics should exercise every day, eat a balanced and healthy diet, and drink plenty of water to keep a high level of energy.

To help keep your glucose level at a healthy range, doctors recommend that you exercise a minimum of 2.5 hours a week, or 30 minutes every day. Some diabetics enjoy yoga, others love aerobics. Even doing strength training can be beneficial. You need to find an activity you love so that you feel motivated to keep doing it.

The Truth About Blood Sugar Levels And Tiredness

Diabetes and Fatigue: Everything You Need To Know

Many people donât realize that your energy levels and how tired you feel is very closely related to your blood sugar levels. If you look up the symptoms of both hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia and youâll see tiredness and fatigue listed as symptoms for both conditions. So, over long periods of time, poorly managed blood sugars can definitely lead to unexplained tiredness, fatigue, and exhaustion.

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Effect Of Fatigue On Diabetes

Prolonged and unaddressed fatigue associated with diabetes can damage organs like the kidney, eyes, heart and even nerves. This cycle in some diabetics can even lead to depression, which is also otherwise associated with diabetes. Diabetes management and depression counselling can prove helpful in such cases.

Prevent fatigue

  • Diabetes management is the best way to avoid any complications and difficulties such a fatigue associated with the chronic disease.
  • Getting regular diabetes checkups can also prove beneficial to detect any major issues beforehand.
  • Try limiting stress, this is essential for all, be it diabetic or not.
  • Make sure along with your diabetes care, you also are getting enough sleep for your body to recover from the days stress.
  • Eating too much carbs is also something you can avoid, as it makes you feel drowsy.

Talk to your healthcare advisor to help treat this better.

Why Does Diabetes Cause Tiredness

Diabetes and fatigue are often discussed together. In fact, if you have diabetes, youre more than likely going to experience fatigue at some point. However, there may be much more to this seemingly simple correlation.

Diabetes, which affects your blood sugar and the production of insulin by the pancreas, can also have inflammatory markers. A wealth of studies have looked at the possible connections between diabetes and fatigue.

It can be challenging to treat both diabetes and fatigue. However, there are numerous options that can help. You may first need to see your doctor to determine the exact cause of your fatigue.

Treating both diabetes and fatigue is most successful when regarded as whole, rather than separate, conditions. Healthy lifestyle habits, social support, and mental health therapies can positively impact diabetes and fatigue at the same time.

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Diabetes And Fatigue: How To Fight It

One of the most significant symptoms experienced by people with diabetes is excessive fatigue, a feeling that about half of people with diabetes report experiencing.

However, care should be taken to differentiate acute fatigue from chronic fatigue in order to explain the causes specific to each and decide how best to treat them.

Why Does Diabetes Cause Sudden Weight Loss Constant Hunger And Fatigue

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Your body gets energy from glucose that is in the foods you eat. In type 2 diabetes, your body is not able to use the glucose effectively. This causes your blood glucose levels to become too high. This can lead to constant hunger. Your body may start burning fat and muscle for energy instead, which can cause rapid weight loss.1,2

Weight loss can also be caused by frequent urination, which is another common symptom of type 2 diabetes. This happens in type 2 diabetes when extra glucose and other fluids from your organs are removed in your urine. This process can make you dehydrated and leave you feeling extra thirsty. This causes you to drink more fluids to quench your thirst, which leads to even more urination.2

Dehydration from excessive urination can also lead to feelings of fatigue. High blood sugar is another cause of fatigue since your body cannot use the glucose for energy. Studies have found that fatigue in people with type 2 diabetes may also be a result of chronic inflammation caused by a weakened immune system.3

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The Importance Of Symptoms

Modern diabetes care is characterized by a strong focus on evidence-based, number-driven targets and outcomes. While this approach does have its benefits, it has shortcomings and limitations as well, one of which is that little attention is paid to the symptomatic well-being of the persons with diabetes. At times, in fact, complaints may be neglected, and symptoms sacrificed, to justify the use of particular therapeutic strategies or tools. A casual reading of modern guidelines suggests that the end-target is more important than the means . Understandably, such clinical judgment is bound to be met with patient dissatisfaction. One symptom which may be ignored in the quest for optimal numerical end-targets, is fatigue.

Why Does My Diabetes Cause Fatigue

Diabetes affects blood sugar levels:

Theres no question that fluctuations in your blood sugar levels can cause fatigue. When your blood sugars are too high, for example, the blood cant circulate as efficiently and your cells dont get the oxygen and nutrients they need to function optimally. High blood sugar can also cause inflammation. This in turn, releases cells called monocytes into the brain causing fatigue. Similarly, if your blood sugars are too low, your cells arent getting enough fuel to work well either, which affects your energy levels.

Diabetes affects sleep:

Blood sugar fluctuations can also disrupt sleep. High blood pressure can trigger headaches at night, as well as thirst and frequent urination. Nerve damage, or neuropathy, caused by your diabetes can cause tingling and burning in your legs and feet which can affect your sleep too. Read more about how diabetes can impact your sleep.

Dealing with diabetes is stressful:

Managing your diabetes means tracking blood sugar levels, paying attention to your diet and taking medication in a timely mannerevery day! All of this can be overwhelming and stressful. As well, research shows that people with diabetes are twice as likely to suffer from depression than people without. Feeling tired and easily fatigued are key symptoms of depression. Find more on the symptoms that may signal depression.

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Fatigue And Other Signs You May Have Type 2 Diabetes

Home / Media Hub / Blog / Fatigue and Other Signs You May Have Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes. It affects how your body processes insulin. Unlike type 1, which has a genetic component, type 2 diabetes can be brought by lifestyle choices. Type 2 diabetes symptoms vary from person to person.

There are many symptoms of type 2 diabetes. Constantly feeling tired is a common symptom, but here are additional signs of type 2 diabetes that you should monitor.


As mentioned previously, your energy levels may decrease once you develop type 2 diabetes. According to the American Diabetes Foundation, individuals newly diagnosed with type 2 report feeling fatigued. This fatigue is a result of inadequate amounts of sugar moving from the blood into the cells.

Blood sugar levels are always high when you have type 2 diabetes, but the sugar has a difficult time entering the cells. This causes the cells to work with less efficiency because they do not have the proper amount of energy. Because of this, a person with type 2 diabetes may feel tired all the time.

Excessive Thirstiness

People with type 2 diabetes often feel parched. This abnormal thirst is known as polydipsia and comes from too much sugar in your bloodstream. Your kidneys, a key part of the urinary system, are forced to work harder to rid your body of the extra sugar. This causes frequent urination, which is another early warning sign that you have type 2 diabetes.

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