Changes In Blood Sugar Levels
Diabetes affects the way the body regulates and uses blood sugar.
When a person eats, the body breaks down food into simple sugars, or glucose. In people with diabetes, the pancreas does not produce enough insulin, or the body does not use insulin effectively. Cells need insulin to absorb glucose from the blood.
If the cells do not take in enough glucose, it can build up in the blood. The cells need glucose to provide energy.
Fatigue and weakness might result when the cells do not get enough glucose. Diabetes medications, such as insulin or metformin, help more of this sugar to move into the cells and prevent it from building to harmful levels in the blood.
A potential side effect of diabetes medications is low blood sugar, or hypoglycemia.
Low blood sugar can also cause fatigue, especially in people who do not get enough warning that their blood sugars levels are dropping. A person can also feel fatigued after treatment of low blood sugar.
Eat Fat Fiber And Protein At Each Meal
Boosting energy levels when you have diabetes is largely tied to making sure weâre doing everything we can to promote stable blood sugar levels. This goes for people with type 2 diabetes and any other type of diabetes. This is where balancing our meals and snacks with fat, fiber, and protein comes into to play.
Dont totally ditch carbs with meals and snacks. Carbohydrates are the bodys preferred source of fuel. It is ok to add fruit, beans or rice to a salad. A salad with chicken is great but your body may need a bit more than that to keep you going, says KeyVion Miller RDN, LD/N, Food and Nutrition Blogger of The Millers Kitchen.
How Do I Treat Low Blood Glucose
If you begin to feel one or more symptoms of low blood glucose, check your blood glucose level. If your blood glucose level is below your target or less than 70 mg/dL, follow these steps
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How To Treat Someone Whos Unconscious Or Very Sleepy
Follow these steps:
They may need to go to hospital if theyre being sick , or their blood sugar level drops again.
Tell your diabetes care team if you ever have a severe hypo that caused you to lose consciousness.
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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How To Treat Someone Who’s Having A Seizure Or Fit
Follow these steps if someone has a seizure or fit caused by a low blood sugar level:
Tell your diabetes care team if you ever have a severe hypo that caused you to have a seizure or fit.
Low Blood Sugar At Night Is A Common Danger For People With Diabetes It Is Important For Both You And Your Sleep Partner To Know The Warning Signs And Have A Plan For Treatment
Untreated hypoglycemia can lead to a seizure and be life-threatening.
You know it is important to have tight control of you blood sugar with diabetes. Tight control is how you prevent diabetes complications. One of the dangers of tight control is letting your blood sugar get too low, called hypoglycemia.
The most dangerous time for hypoglycemia is when you are sleeping, a condition called nocturnal hypoglycemia. Up to 50 percent of diabetics may have episodes of nocturnal hypoglycemia. In fact, almost 50 percent of hypoglycemic episodes occur at night and more than half of dangerous episodes occur at night.
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Signs And Symptoms Of Low Blood Sugar
Each person’s reaction to low blood sugar is different. Learn your own signs and symptoms of when your blood sugar is low. Taking time to write these symptoms down may help you learn your own symptoms of when your blood sugar is low. From milder, more common indicators to most severe, signs and symptoms of low blood sugar include:
- Feeling shaky
- Color draining from the skin
- Feeling sleepy
- Feeling weak or having no energy
- Blurred/impaired vision
- Tingling or numbness in the lips, tongue or cheeks
- Nightmares or crying out during sleep
The only sure way to know whether you are experiencing low blood sugar is to check your blood sugar, if possible. If you are experiencing symptoms and you are unable to check your blood sugar for any reason, treat the hypoglycemia.
A low blood sugar level triggers the release of epinephrine , the fight-or-flight hormone. Epinephrine is what can cause the symptoms of hypoglycemia such as thumping heart, sweating, tingling and anxiety.
If the blood sugar level continues to drop, the brain does not get enough glucose and stops functioning as it should. This can lead to blurred vision, difficulty concentrating, confused thinking, slurred speech, numbness, and drowsiness. If blood sugar stays low for too long, starving the brain of glucose, it may lead to seizures, coma and very rarely death.
Avoiding The Blood Sugar Slump
While giving in to your craving for a Snickers might seem like the right thing to do when youâre in the midst of a blood sugar crash, your sugary snack will only give you a temporary fix before leaving you feeling low again. The best way to dodge a sugar slump is to avoid the foods that cause them. Instead, pick foods that keep your blood sugar relatively steady.
Avoiding sugary drinks and snacks is probably sound advice for everyone seeking better control over their blood sugar. But some experts advise highly restrictive diets that limit all carbohydrates. However, studies have shown that diets high in carbohydrates from plants can improve blood sugar control after eating by increasing the activity of gut microbes, which protect against unhealthy blood sugar reactions.
Rather than avoiding certain food groups, like carbohydrates, we advise eating a varied diet tailored to your unique biology. After all, our PREDICT-1 study has shown us that the same foods can cause different blood sugar responses in different people, so there is no one-size-fits-all advice for maintaining healthy blood sugar levels.
To understand what causes your sugar crashes, and how you can avoid them and maintain your energy levels, you need to know how YOUR body responds to food. You are unique, and your diet should be too.
But how can you know what foods are best for your body? That’s where the ZOE program comes in.
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Could My Fatigue Be Linked To My Depression About Diabetes
Diabetes is a very stressful disease. It takes a lot of time and energy to plan meals and insulin dosages. Having all of the stress can lead to depression. People with diabetes are twice as likely to have depression as those without diabetes.
Depression is a major cause of fatigue, and can make it even harder to manage diabetes because of lack of motivation. It is important that individuals with depression seek help from their doctor/therapist to make sure that they are able to care for themselves. Learning coping mechanisms to deal with your depression which is linked to your diabetes will be effective in the long term.
Are Some People More Susceptible To Blood Sugar Crashes Than Others
Have you ever noticed that youâre suffering from a terrible afternoon slump, when your lunch companion who ate exactly the same meal seems just fine?
We saw blood sugar crashes in plenty of our PREDICT participants, who underwent continuous glucose monitoring for two weeks. But they were more common in some people than others. And even identical twins, who share all their genes, could have different glucose responses after eating the same foods.
The mechanism behind blood sugar crashes isnât fully understood, and it may vary between people. One theory is that if your blood sugar levels are not well controlled, the insulin-secreting cells in your pancreas can become damaged and don’t produce enough insulin as your blood sugar begins to rise after eating. In response, your body âpanicsâ and releases excessive insulin later on, causing a crash.
Another idea is that your blood sugar responses depend on the microbes that live in your gut. We all have a unique set of microbes, so we all process our food differently, causing unique responses to food, even when we’ve eaten precisely the same thing.
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What Can I Do To Fix This And Get Healthy Again
With some minor life-style changes, you can see and feel big improvements quickly. Here are some things you should focus on:
- Lose Unwanted FatThis may not be fun, but its very important and its the first step in keeping your glucose in check.
- Eat Better Natural FoodsThis means lower glycemic foods, less carbohydrates, healthy proteins and fats. It also means to stay AWAY from processed, man-made foods. Also, make sure you eat often smaller meals throughout the day to stabilize your blood sugar and have lots of fiber as well.
- Exercise Daily Aerobic & AnaerobicExercise utilizes the carbohydrates you eat, so it keeps your blood sugar stable. Having more muscle also improves insulin sensitivity, which means less insulin is needed.
- Proper SupplementationThere are specific natural herbs, vitamins and minerals that can help stabilize your blood sugar, while also improving insulin sensitivity.
Simply making some small adjustments in each of these categories will mean fast results for you. Which means more energy, less body fat, better cognition and you’ll simply look and feel YOUNGER!
Are There Any Newer Technologies To Prevent Hypoglycemia
We are lucky that in this day and age, we can predict hypoglycemia and prevent it through technology like continuous glucose monitors, explains Dr. Shah. Additionally, he notes that there are newer insulins available to help decrease episodes of hypoglycemia.
One of our roles as your doctor is to educate every patient about the self-management of diabetes and to create a personalized care plan, explains Dr. Shah. By self-managing your condition you will really feel empowered enough to take control of your health.
Dr. Shah is located at the Hackensack Meridian Health Medical Group Diabetes Center, part of Hackensack Meridian Health Medical Group. Call to schedule an appointment at the office in Old Bridge.
What About High Blood Sugar
There are even more factors that can make you feel tired when you have high blood sugar from eating the wrong TYPE or AMOUNT of foods.
When your blood sugar goes too high, your kidneys are working overtime to eliminate the excess of glucose and sugar from your blood. This makes you tired in 2 major ways:
Warning Signs Of Low Blood Sugar
Hypoglycemia can cause both short- and long-term complications. Know the signs so that you can treat the condition as soon as you’re aware of it.
As a person living with diabetes, you know how important it is to reduce blood sugar when it is too high, a phenomenon called hyperglycemia. But blood sugar that is too low, or hypoglycemia, is equally critical to avoid.
“Hypoglycemia happens when the amount of blood glucose drops to a level that’s too low to sustain normal functioning,” says Erin Palinski-Wade, RD, CDCES, who is based in Sparta, New Jersey. “In most people, this is defined as a blood sugar level at or below 70 milligrams per deciliter .”
Hypoglycemia is common among people with type 2 diabetes, according to a review published in June 2015 in the journal PLoS One. Individuals with the condition had an average of 19 mild or moderate episodes of hypoglycemia per year and nearly one severe episode per year on average, according to the researchers. Low blood sugar was particularly common among those taking insulin.
This decrease in blood sugar levels can cause both short-term complications, like confusion and dizziness, as well as more serious issues, including seizures, coma, and, rarely, death, according to the American Diabetes Association .
Hypoglycemia is usually the result of a too-high dose of insulin or a change in diet or exercise habits, according to Harvard Health Publishing.
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High Blood Sugar Causes Fatigue
Fatigue is one of the most common symptoms of high blood sugar. In people with diabetes, it is referred to as diabetes fatigue. Many people with the condition feel tired all the time regardless of how well they sleep, how healthily they eat, or how much they exercise on a regular basis. Research has shown that up to 61% of people who are recently diagnosed with the condition experience fatigue. However, fatigue doesnt just occur in those with diabetes. It can also happen in people with normal or prediabetic blood sugar levels if they experience a sudden spike in their blood sugar.
When the body experiences a spike in blood sugar levels, it goes into overdrive trying to create enough insulin to balance it out. If there isnt enough insulin or the body isnt responding to the insulin as it should, your body will start to pull from fat to create the energy it needs. When this happens, energy is used from the splitting of a molecule known as adenosine triphosphate, or ATP. When ATP expels one of its three phosphates for energy, it turns into another molecule known as adenosine diphosphate, or ADP. If there are no energy sources to pull from, the ATP cannot regain the phosphate it gave away, leading to fatigue.
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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Digestive Endocrine And Circulatory Systems
After you eat, your digestive system breaks down carbohydrates and turns them into glucose. Essentially, glucose is your bodys fuel source.
As your sugar levels rise, your pancreas releases a hormone called insulin, which helps glucose get taken up and used by cells throughout your body. If you have insulin-dependent diabetes, you must take the right about of insulin to get the job done.
Any excess glucose goes to your liver for storage.
When you go a few hours without eating, blood sugar levels go down. If you have a healthy pancreas, it releases a hormone called glucagon to make up for the absence of food. This hormone tells your liver to process the stored sugars and release them into your bloodstream.
If everything works as it should, your blood sugar levels should remain in the normal range until your next meal.
Insufficient blood sugar levels can cause a rapid heartbeat and heart palpitations. However, even if you have diabetes, you may not always have obvious symptoms of low blood sugar. This is a potentially dangerous condition called hypoglycemia unawareness. It happens when you experience low blood sugar so often that it changes your bodys response to it.
Normally, low blood sugar causes your body to release stress hormones, such as epinephrine. Epinephrine is responsible for those early warning signs, like hunger and shakiness.