Why You Feel Extremely Tired After Eating Sugar
If you think that sugar gives you a boost of energy, in other words, a sugar high, that is actually false. Sugar is more of a sedative because its after-effects are much stronger than the little kick you initially feel.
High sugar consumption inhibits the production of Orexin, which is a chemical in your brain that stimulates the feeling of being awake. The more sugar you eat, the more sleepy you will feel. The same research discovered that the consumption of protein helps to counteract this sleepiness, so if you consume more protein it will help you to stay awake.
This further illustrates the fact that nutrition is not just calories in/calories out, but more on the nutrients that you are consuming.
How Is It Determined If The Dawn Phenomenon Or Somogyi Effect Is Causing The High Blood Sugar Levels
Your doctor will likely ask you to check your blood sugar levels between 2 a.m. and 3 a.m. for several nights in a row. If your blood sugar is consistently low during this time, the Somogyi effect is suspected. If the blood sugar is normal during this time period, the dawn phenomenon is more likely to be the cause.
Some additional clues that the Somogyi effect may be the cause include nightmares, restless sleep and overnight sweating as these are all signs of low blood sugar levels.
What Are The Risks Of Hyperglycemia
Hyperglycemia can be a sign that your body isnt getting enough insulin. It is normal for patients with T1D to get hyperglycemia, and most of the time this is simply treated with insulin. If the body does not have insulin for approximately 8 hours, you could develop a condition called diabetic ketoacidosis, or DKA.
In DKA, your body breaks down fat for energy because it doesnt have enough insulin to use the sugar in your blood. This produces chemicals called ketones, which make your blood more acidic.
DKA is dangerous. Too much acid in your blood can make you pass out or even cause death.
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Tingling Hands And Feet
Over the years, hyperglycemia can begin to impact nerve function and eventually cause nerve damage, called neuropathy, Dr. Hatipoglu says. The most common kind of neuropathy is peripheral, according to the NIDDK, which affects the extremities. You might start noticing feelings of tingling, numbness, or burning in your hands, feet, arms, and legs, per the Mayo Clinic.
Treating An Episode Of Hypoglycaemia
The immediate treatment for hypoglycaemia is to have some sugary food or drink to end the attack.
For example, this could be:
- a glass of fruit juice or non-diet soft drink
- between three and five dextrose tablets
- a handful of sweets
At first you should avoid fatty foods and drinks, such as chocolate and milk, because they don’t usually contain as much sugar and the sugar they do contain may be absorbed more slowly.
After having something sugary, you should have a longer-acting carbohydrate food, such as a few biscuits, a cereal bar, a piece of fruit or a sandwich.
It will usually take around 15 minutes to recover from a mild episode of hypoglycaemia. If you have a blood glucose meter, measure your blood sugar again after 15 to 20 minutes. If it’s still too low , you should have some more sugary food or a drink before testing your levels again in another 15 to 20 minutes.
When treating someone else with hypoglycaemia, if the above treatment isn’t effective, you may be able to help them by applying glucose gel to the inside of their cheeks, and gently massaging the outside of their cheeks.
It may take 10 to 15 minutes before they feel better. This shouldn’t be done if the person is drowsy or unconscious because of the risk of choking.
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When To See A Doctor
A person with diabetes should see their doctor regularly to monitor and manage their diabetes.
They may also wish to consult a doctor who specializes in treating new or worsening fatigue that interferes with daily life.
People should seek medical attention for fatigue that occurs alongside other symptoms, such as fever, chills, or malaise, as these could indicate an infection.
How Can You Fight Diabetes Fatigue
You want to lead a normal life and diabetes fatigue does not enable you to do so. As such, you will need to take all the necessary steps to fight tiredness and fatigue in diabetes. The following are some of the ways of achieving the same:
- Blood glucose monitoring is the most important way in which you can achieve diabetes management.As seen above, both high and low blood glucose levels lead to fatigues.
- Another important way of managing fatigue effectively is eating the right type of diet as may have been prescribed by your doctor.
- Exercising plays a great role in managing your blood glucose levels, and thereby diabetes fatigue and sleepiness. Physical activity reduces fatigue by as much as 65 percent.
- Also, vitamin D is good for your body and as such, you need to step out in the sun
- Walk after you have had a heavy meal
- You can also take small naps in between
- Make walking a daily habit. Walk as much as you can even if it is in your house.
- Keep yourself free from stress
- Meditate as much as you can
- Sleep for at least six to eight hours a day
- Stay optimistic and positive
It is also important for you to remember that there are various other reasons that can lead to a feeling of fatigue and tiredness in your body. Hence, the changes in your diet, exercise regime, insulin dose, medication, etc. should be made only after careful analyses and considerations of the following:
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What Are The Symptoms
Some symptoms of hypoglycemia are caused when the body releases extra adrenaline , a hormone that raises blood sugar levels, into the bloodstream to protect against hypoglycemia. High blood levels of adrenaline can make the skin become pale and sweaty, and a person can also have symptoms such as shakiness, anxiety, and heart palpitations .
Other symptoms of hypoglycemia are caused when not enough glucose gets to the brain in fact, the brain is the organ that suffers most significantly and most rapidly when there’s a drop in blood sugar. These symptoms include headache, extreme hunger, blurry or double vision, fatigue, and weakness. At its most severe, insufficient glucose flow to the brain can cause confusion, seizures, and loss of consciousness .
Sleep Impacts Insulin Levels
Sleep affects your hormone levels and your circadian rhythm. Your circadian rhythm naturally controls your sleep-wake cycle by responding to things like light and dark levels. Most people have a reasonably consistent circadian rhythm as adults.
There is a small group of nerve cells that form whatâs called the âmaster clockâ in your brain. This internal clock controls hormone secretion, temperature, eating habits, and digestion. To work optimally, it requires a consistent circadian rhythm. Keeping this rhythm is key to regulating your metabolism, insulin, and blood glucose, as well as your sleep-wake cycle.
When your circadian rhythms are out of sync, your bodys metabolic health can declineâand a risk for diabetes can increase.
Research published in the journal âEndocrinology and Metabolism Clinics of North Americaâ identifies that sleep deprivation reduces insulin sensitivity. This leads your body to produce more insulin to stabilize blood glucose levels. The more insulin resistant your cells become, the greater the risk that your insulin and blood sugar levels will chronically rise. This eventually leads to glucose intolerance and diabetes.
According to the CDC, even just one night of insufficient sleep can affect your bodyâs ability to use insulin effectively.
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How Is It Beneficial For Me As A Person With Diabetes To Reduce/prevent Fatigue
It is beneficial for someone with diabetes to reduce and prevent fatigue because it can lead to a happier and healthier life and less diabetes complications in the future. Fatigue can cause lack of motivation which can lead to a person not taking care of themselves. For an individual with diabetes, not taking care of their body can lead to complications that arent reversible. These include:
- Kidney damage
- Poor circulation
These complications are big problems and can lead to a very difficult life. It is much easier to keep fatigue to a minimum or eliminate it all together.
Common Diabetes Fatigue Questions Answered
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.
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Eat Before The Parties
When you go to a party hungry, every healthy decision you have will go out the window. You are so hungry that everything looks appetizing and you eat way too much of it.
Instead, have a small nourishing meal before you leave for the party, this will help you to keep your head out of the cookie try and focus more on the social aspect of the party.
Think About Whats Going On
Irene Dunbar, 73, of Durham, N.C., woke up one morning recently to discover her blood sugar was at 119, which is high for her. âI had a cold and had had orange juice yesterday and I normally do not drink orange juice and I thought, âI better not do that,â she said. When she gets a high blood sugar reading, she tries to remember if she had anything recentlylike breadthat she knows are triggers, and avoids them next time.
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How Do You Treat Hypoglycemia
Low blood sugar levels happen when theres too little glucose left in the bloodstream to continue supplying fuel to your organs, muscles, and tissues. It most often occurs when you dont eat enough food, especially carb-containing foods, given your blood-sugar-lowering medications and physical activity levels, ONeill says. Levels can decrease gradually or suddenly.
When the amount of glucose in the bloodstream drops to too-low levels, the body reacts by releasing epinephrine, also called adrenaline or the fight or flight hormone. Epinephrine revs your heart rate and can cause sweating, shaking, anxiety, and irritability. If not enough glucose is able to reach the brain, the result may be difficulty concentrating, confused thinking, and slurred speech. In extreme cases, a lack of glucose within the brain can lead to seizures, coma, and even death, she says.
People with low glucose levels can use the ADAs 15-15 Rule, which advises people consume 15 g of carbs, wait 15 minutes, and check their levels again. If the number is still low, repeat until reaching at least 70 mg/dL.
You can find 15 g of carbs in:
- 1 slice of bread
- Three to four hard candies
- Glucose tablets as indicated on the label
- Glucose gel as indicated on the label
Once your glucose levels are back to normal, the ADA suggests going ahead and eating your next scheduled meal or snack, which will help prevent levels from dropping again.
How Does Hyperglycemia Happen
Insulin is a hormone that lets your body use the sugar in your blood, which comes primarily from carbohydrates in the food that you eat. Hyperglycemia happens when your body has too little insulin to use the sugar in your blood.
People with type 1 diabetes can have episodes of hyperglycemia every day. Although this can be frustrating, it rarely creates a medical emergency. Not taking enough insulin can lead to hyperglycemia .
Other things that can cause hyperglycemia include:
- Having trouble seeing or concentrating
- Experiencing stomach pain, nausea, or vomiting
- Having sweet-smelling or fruity breath
- Cuts or sores that do not heal, infections, and unexplained weight loss may also be signs of long-term hyperglycemia.
If you notice any of these symptoms, you should check your blood sugar. If your blood sugar is very high, you should also test for ketones in either your blood or urine.
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Why Does Blood Sugar Go Up At Night
There are many factors that can cause your blood sugar to increase at night. For example: what food you ate during the day, how much and when you exercised, whether you ate snacks before bed, the timing of your insulin doses, and your stress level. You can experience different patterns of high blood sugar at night. You may start with high glucose when you go to bed, start the night in range but go high several hours later, or spend most of the night in range until the hours just before you wake up. By identifying your bodys patterns, you can figure out what is causing your high blood sugar and how to address it.
Common causes of a glucose increase at night include:
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 doctor and have their blood sugar levels checked.
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How Does Poor Sleep Affect Blood Sugar Levels
Just as diabetes can cause sleep problems, sleep problems also appear to play a role in diabetes. Getting poor sleep or less restorative slow-wave sleep has been linked to high blood sugar levels in people with diabetes and prediabetes. However, its not entirely clear whether one causes the other or whether more variables are at work. Researchers believe that sleep restriction may affect blood sugar levels due to its effects on insulin, cortisol, and oxidative stress.
One-quarter of people with diabetes report sleeping less than six hours or more than eight hours a night, which puts them at a higher risk of having elevated blood sugar. In addition to raising blood sugar levels in people who already have diabetes, sleep deprivation also raises the risk of developing insulin resistance in the first place. This link becomes apparent as early as childhood.
Studies have also found that later or irregular sleeping schedules are correlated with higher blood sugar, even in non-diabetic people. However, there may be other variables that explain this, such as the fact that people with irregular sleeping schedules are more likely to follow an erratic diet.
Sleep deprivation raises levels of ghrelin, the hunger hormone, and decreases levels of leptin, the hormone that makes us feel full. To compensate for lower energy levels, people who sleep poorly may be more likely to seek relief in foods that raise blood sugar and put them at risk of obesity, which is a risk factor for diabetes.
Prevalence And Impact Of Chronic Fatigue
A significantly higher percentage of T1DM patients were chronically fatigued than matched controls . Mean fatigue severity was also significantly higher in T1DM patients compared with matched controls . T1DM patients with a comorbidity_mr or clinically relevant depressive symptoms were significantly more often chronically fatigued than patients without a comorbidity_mr or without clinically relevant depressive symptoms . Patients who reported neuropathy, nephropathy, or cardiovascular disease as complications of diabetes were more often chronically fatigued .
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Food And Sugar Sensitivities
If your body is sensitive to sugar, you may experience fatigue due to the fact that it reacts by producing low amounts of beta-endorphins and serotonin. Low levels of these chemicals lead to an experience of fatigue and lethargy.
If you are consuming other foods that your body cannot digest, it will increase inflammation-causing cytokines that can also cause your body to inhibit the production of Orexin.
The more you are consuming these foods, the more tired you will feel. The problem goes deeper than just the experience of feeling tired, as this is just a symptom of a more serious underlying issue. Poor digestion is something not to be taken lightly.
If ignored over a long period of time, this post-meal inflammation can lead to other problems within the body such as auto-immune diseases, digestive disorders, and other conditions.