High Blood Sugar And Tiredness
Fatigue and tiredness go hand in hand with a diabetes diagnosis. Ask anyone who has been diagnosed with this condition whether they feel energetic and well-rested, and a majority of them would say no! The chronic nature of the condition is not limited to its direct symptoms and signs, they extend way beyond the erratic nature of the highs and lows and move towards sleeplessness, stress, anxiety, and fatigue. It becomes difficult to function normally in daily life when constant sleepiness and lethargy are looming over the head. Even then, the life of a person with diabetes does not stop. They still need to go ahead with their daily routine and chores no matter how pertinent the fatigue is.
Not only can diabetes cause fatigue but also it is worse on some days than others. These could be because of the lows and highs in sugar levels. The only time one would feel remotely less tired – yes, less tired, not energetic would be in the duration that the sugars are more or less in the normal range. This would also have to be for a considerable time duration for the symptoms to not set in. Eventually, fatigue slowly becomes a part of regular life as people learn to push through it.
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.
Sugar Makes Me Sleepy Why Does This Happen And What Can I Do About It
Weve all experienced it before you had a few more slices of cake than you should and now you feel like you are going to fall asleep at any moment. When this happens, most people write it off as regular exhaustion. However, there is more to this phenomenon than meets the eye. If youve been wondering, why do I get tired after I eat? or Is it normal that sugar makes me really sleepy? We have all the answers to your questions in this article.
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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.
How Can One Tell If I Have Diabetes By Examining My Blood
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Screening How Is Type 2 Diabetes Diagnosed and diagnostic glucose testing is not done at home.
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Some people may have a blood sugar level that is higher than usual, but not Does A High Blood Sugar Make You Sleepy high enough to be Does A High Blood Sugar Make You Sleepy diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.
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What Are The Signs & Symptoms Of High Blood Sugar Levels
Signs of high blood sugar levels include:
- Peeing a lot: The kidneys respond by flushing out the extra glucose in urine. People with high blood sugar need to pee more often and in larger amounts.
- Drinking a lot: Someone losing so much fluid from peeing that often can get very thirsty.
- Losing weight even though your appetite has stayed the same: If there isn’t enough insulin to help the body use glucose, the body breaks down muscle and stored fat instead in an attempt to provide fuel to hungry cells.
- Feeling tired: Because the body can’t use glucose for energy properly, a person may feel unusually tired.
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.
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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.
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 Does Sugar Affect Sleep
A lot of us are just about one month into our new year, shape-up, eat-right plans. Whether youve started the new year with Paleo, Keto, Whole 30, or intermittent fasting, your new-and-improved healthy eating and weight-loss strategy is guaranteed to involve reducing sugar.
These days, Im hearing from a lot of my patients that their sleep has improved a lot since they started their version of eating clean. One of the most potent, underrated benefits of eating well, especially when paired with exercise? A big boost in sleep. Many of my patients tell me that since they gave their diets a reboot theyre finding it easier to fall asleep, they wake less often, and they rise in the morning feeling better rested and much more energized.
For all its benefits, staying away from sugar isnt easy! I have a serious sweet tooth, so I totally understand this struggle. You know its the right thing to do. But cookies, chocolate, and ice cream call to us, dont they?
Have you committed to reducing your sugar intake this year? Looking for some fresh motivation to limit the sugar in your diet? Spend a few minutes with me going over some of the biggest ways sugar can prevent you from getting your best sleep.
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Avoid The Roller Coaster Effect
Sugar consumption also spikes your blood sugar into a wild roller coaster ride, so remember, what comes up must come back down, and it comes down in a hard blood sugar crash. This roller coaster can be addicting to the body, as it starts to depend on the quick fix of sugar to have more energy, ultimately leading to more crashing.
The crashing happens when the pancreas releases more insulin to regulate the high amounts of blood sugar, as this happens, your blood sugar drops even more. the more frequently this happens, the more chances you have of developing insulin resistance, also known as Type 2 Diabetes.
How To Treat Someone Who’s Unconscious Or Very Sleepy
Follow these steps:
They may need to go to hospital if they’re 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.
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What Is Diabetic Ketoacidosis
When the body doesn’t have enough insulin, glucose stays in the blood and can’t get into the body’s cells to be used for energy. This can happen, for example, when someone skips doses of insulin or when the need for insulin suddenly increases and the doses are not adjusted.
When the body can’t use glucose for fuel, it starts to use fat. When this happens, chemicals called ketones are released into the blood. Some of these ketones, like extra glucose, pass out of the body through the urine.
High levels of ketones in the blood can be a problem because they cause the blood to become acidic. Too much acid in the blood throws off the body’s chemical balance and causes the symptoms listed below. In people with diabetes, this problem is called diabetic , or DKA. DKA is a very serious condition that can lead to coma or death if it’s not treated. The good news, though, is that it’s preventable and can be treated.
DKA happens more often in people with type 1 diabetes, but can sometimes also happen to those with type 2 diabetes.
How To Treat Someone Whos 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.
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Treating And Managing Hyperglycaemia
If your blood sugar level is slightly high for a short time, emergency treatment wont be necessary. But if it continues to rise you may need to act fast to avoid developing diabetic ketoacidosis .
If your blood sugar level is 15 mmol/l or more, you should check your blood or urine for ketones. If ketones are present, it is likely that you do not have enough insulin in your body. This means you may need to increase your dose or give yourself an extra dose. Talk to your diabetes team about how to do this if you are unsure.
You should also try to drink plenty of sugar-free fluids to prevent dehydration. And if you are feeling unwell, especially if you are vomiting, you should follow any sick day rules you have been given and contact your diabetes healthcare team for advice.
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.
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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.
Does Diabetes Cause Sleep Problems
Yes, having Type 2 diabetes has been linked to sleep difficulties, and comorbid conditions like sleep apnea or restless legs syndrome can also make it harder for a diabetic to fall asleep. The link goes both ways, as having poor sleep habits can also increase your risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Speaking with a doctor or sleep specialist can help you determine how to best manage your diabetes or other related sleep disorders.
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High Blood Sugar Causes
You may be thinking that hyperglycemia can happen just from eating a super-sugary food, but its not really as simple as that. Sure, eating a lot of sugar or carbs can elevate your blood sugar level, but thats typically when your pancreas kicks into gear and creates insulin to move that glucose into cells throughout the body.
But when someone has diabetes, this finely tuned system gets thrown out of whack. In type 2 diabeteswhich accounts for 90% to 95% of diabetes in adults, according to the CDCthe body either cant make enough insulin or cant utilize insulin well, according to the NIDDK. If someone has prediabetes, their blood glucose will be higher than normal but not quite in the type 2 diabetes range yet, per the NIDDK. And in type 1 diabetes, the body does not make insulin or makes very little.
In any case, the result is extra sugar hanging around the bloodstream, making you feel like total crap in the short term and putting your health at risk in the long term.