Diabetes is a common disease that is characterized by high levels of the glucose (a sugar) in your blood. High blood glucose levels can be extremely detrimental to various organs and, if left uncontrolled, can be fatal. Diabetes can be categorized into two major subtypes:
- Type 1 diabetes, in which the pancreas doesn’t produce the hormone insulin (which helps metabolize glucose).
- Type 2 diabetes, in which cells of the body become resistant to the effects of insulin.
Patients with diabetes tend to develop fatigue for a number of reasons, including an inability of cells to access sugar (which they turn into energy) due to a lack of insulin or response to insulin. Additionally, some of the medication that is used to treat patients with diabetes can also cause fatigue as they can lead to low blood glucose levels.
The good news is that there are several things you can do to reduce your tiredness and get your energy back. These are seven tips that can help.
1. Get diagnosed
The first thing you need to do is to address the underlying problem that is causing you fatigue, which, in this case, is diabetes. Once you start to treat your diabetes, your blood glucose levels will normalize and you will be able to regain your energy.
One of the best things you can do to get over fatigue, which may seem counterintuitive, is to get out and exercise. It can be hard to motivate yourself to overcome the barrier of feeling tired but once you start to exercise, that encourages your cells to take up the glucose in your blood. This helps restore the energy that your cells desire. You can also go see a fitness trainer that has had experience working with patients with diabetes and they can develop the best exercise regimen for you, especially if you are a novice.
3. Have a healthy diet
A healthy diet is key when it comes to controlling your glucose. Limiting carbohydrates and sugars will help keep your blood sugar levels in check, and therefore, help improve your fatigue levels. Eating a healthy diet also encourages weight loss, which is another component of reducing fatigue and increasing your energy levels. Ideally, you should go see a nutritionist or a dietitian that can make an individualized dietary plan for you.
4. Get enough sleep, but not too much
One of the primary reasons why people, whether or not they have diabetes, experience extreme fatigue is because they are not getting enough sleep. Your body needs to sleep in order to rest your mind. People who get six to eight hours of sleep a day tend to have the highest energy levels. It is important to keep in mind that too much sleep is also detrimental to your health. If you have a bad night and don’t get enough sleep, you can also try taking a power nap in the day, which can help restore some of the lost energy.
5. Limit the stressors in your life
It can be hard to limit the things that cause you stress. However, if it is possible, avoid people and activities that give you stress. Obviously, it is not possible to avoid all sources of stress in your life but try to limit what is under your control. The less stressed you are, the more relaxed you will feel and the less fatigued you will be.
6. Ask help from others
Sometimes, we have to ask for help from others when we are feeling overwhelmed. Especially if you have a chronic disease like diabetes, you will have to learn to ask for help or accept help from others. It can seem difficult, particularly if you have always been used to doing things for yourself. However, it is important to get help because if you are physically exhausted from doing everything you need to, then you will never get over feeling tired or fatigued. For example, if you have children, then ask your family members if they can look after them, even if only for a few hours. Additionally, if you are given too much responsibility at work, explain your situation to your boss and ask if some of the load can be taken off you.
7. Get outside in the sun
It is important to get our daily dose of vitamin D, which is obtained from the sun. If you go outside for 15-30 minutes a day, you will be able to get your daily dose of vitamin D, which works to make you feel happy and less depressed. When you are in a better mood, your energy levels will automatically improve.