Why Do Diabetics Feel Tired?

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Diabetes is an illness involving insulin, a hormone produced in the pancreas. Insulin allows glucose to be absorbed by cells, which turn it into energy for the body. With diabetes, insulin is not properly produced, the body does not properly respond to its own insulin or the body does not create enough insulin. The glucose then begins to "float around" in the blood, which can lead to various complications.


For the diabetic, life can include fatigue. There is a constant monitoring of foods you should and should not have, and getting familiar with the best diet is half the battle. Diabetes is often an emotional roller coaster, and as a result you may often be tired.

Tiredness and Diabetes

  • If you are feeling tired and worn down, realize it is a common symptom in diabetic patients and the second most common complaint doctors experience from their patients.

    Some causes for tiredness are:

    1. Stress
    2. Pregnancy
    3. Medications
    4. Inactivity
    5. Imbalance in blood sugar

    The imbalance of blood sugar in the system is normally the main cause of diabetes-related fatigue. Glucose is like a fuel to the cells. With diabetes, poor production of insulin occurs and glucose is not used properly by the cells as energy.

Relieving Fatigue

  • Returning blood sugar (glucose) levels to normal will relieve fatigue. If you caught your diabetes early on, you may be able to return levels to normal by losing excess pounds and/or lowering cholesterol and blood pressure through diet and exercise. If your diabetes is more severe, oral medications and/or injections of insulin will be used to control fatigue.

    Regular, moderate exercise with plenty of sleep will help combat fatigue. Create a schedule and stick to it. Go to bed, eat, get up and exercise at the same time daily. Avoid energy crashes by keeping your blood sugar levels stable.

    Also, relieve stress in your life. This can be done through methods such as meditation, relaxation and deep breathing.

Acupuncture Treatments for Fatigue and General Wellness

  • Acupuncture is an alternative therapy for many of you seeking relief from the symptoms of diabetes, and can help to combat tiredness. It involves inserting fine needles into various parts of the body. This has been found to increase insulin production, improve blood circulation and regulate blood sugar levels as well as help treat obesity. In helping to combat and regulate these conditions, symptoms often diminish if you are diabetic, helping improve wellness and fight fatigue.

    Acupuncture can be safely combined with medicines and play a role in the treatment of diabetes. Although the techniques of the fine needles demonstrate beneficial effects in blood sugar control, it is important to engage in a healthy diet and physical activity as well.

Foods, Diabetes and Fatigue

  • To maintain wellness, it is mandatory to control your diet. This will help combat fatigue, as well.

    Guidelines to help control diabetes with diet include:

    1. Limiting fat intake
    2. Limiting dietary cholesterol
    3. Following a high-fiber diet
    4. Eating fresh fruits in moderation
    5. Limiting protein
    6. Reducing salt intake

    As a diabetic, you should set a daily goal of consuming five servings of fruit and vegetables and six servings of whole grain foods daily, and include two servings a week of fatty fish.

Symptoms

  • For the person not yet diagnosed with diabetes, the main symptom is the inability of the body to create insulin.

    Other symptoms include:

    1. Blurry vision
    2. Increase in urine production
    3. Extreme hunger
    4. Irritability
    5. Excessive weight loss
    6. Increase in fatigue

    If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, consult your physician immediately.

Causes and Risks of Diabetes:

  • The causes of diabetes are unknown. There are educated guesses and factors that can relate to the onset of diabetes, however.

    Causes may include:

    1. Heredity
    2. Obesity
    3. Lack of exercise
    4. Diet

    Risk factors may include:

    1. Siblings and parents with diabetes
    2. 20% or more overweight
    3. No exercise
    4. Have had gestational diabetes or a baby over 9 lbs.
    5. High blood pressure
    6. Abnormal cholesterol level

Outlook

  • Although there is no cure for diabetes, treatment options have improved greatly. Today, there are self-monitoring devices to measure blood glucose levels and help administer insulin.

    Diabetes is on the breakthrough of many treatments, such as devices like the insulin pump implant, which is being researched and would permanently implant a pump into the body to measure blood sugar levels and deliver the exact amount of insulin needed.

References

  • Photo Credit "Google Dance 2007" is Copyrighted by Flickr user: Piutus under the Creative Commons Attribution license.
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