Are your efforts to manage blood sugar wearing you out? Balancing your diabetes with the stressors of everyday life can be overwhelming. It can also affect the ability to keep your blood sugar at a healthy level.
‘Diabetes fatigue’ can include overwhelming feelings of exhaustion, a near constant state of weariness, a lack of energy, and a decline in motivation and concentration. This fatigue could stem from any number of reasons. Unsuccessful diabetes management, the responsibility of monitoring diabetes on a daily basis, or high blood sugar itself could all contribute.
It is crucial to work with your healthcare team to pinpoint the causes of your fatigue in order to regain your health and your energy. Other potential causes include dehydration, high blood sugar levels, sleep apnea, medications or other underlying health conditions.
Along with your physical health, be sure to discuss your emotional health with your physician. Talk about your stress level, along with any feelings of anxiety or depression. These feelings can create and enhance fatigue. Don’t be embarrassed or ashamed to discuss your feelings with your healthcare team. This is a crucial part of encouraging your overall best health.
Aside from communicating with your healthcare team, there are a few simple things you can do every day to help combat diabetes fatigue. It is possible to have more energy, along with better blood sugar levels. Consistent, quality sleep is a main contributor to achieving that goal.
New research has shown that getting less than 7 hours of sleep per night can put you at higher risk for Type II diabetes, heart disease, and other metabolic diseases like obesity. The target range appears to be between six and eight hours per night. While sleeping for 8 hours may sound like a dream (pun intended), sleep is one of the best things you can do for your health.
This is especially true for diabetics. The body’s reaction to lack of sleep can mimic insulin resistance. Insulin resistance occurs due to the cell’s inability to utilize insulin. This results in high blood sugar. Quality sleep is essential for diabetics, plain and simple.
Research has also shown that losing sleep can affect your weight. Lack of sleep may be related to increased hunger, appetite, and possibly even obesity. People who experience difficulty sleeping may also be less likely to exercise and engage in physical activity, making it difficult to maintain a healthy weight.
Plus, when you’re tired, you’re hungry! Lack of sleep appears to not only stimulate appetite in general, it also stimulates cravings for high-fat, high-carbohydrate foods. This is because the body is looking for quick energy to give it fuel to keep going.
For diabetics, an increase in appetite, especially for high-carbohydrate foods, makes healthy eating and blood sugar management more challenging. Eating healthful foods in proper portions throughout the day will keep energy levels and blood sugar more stable.
Diet is a huge contributor to how our bodies feel on a daily basis. By examining your diet and making positive food choices, you can decrease your chances of fatigue. Monitor how you feel after eating certain foods. Do some foods make you sleepy while others give you a boost?
Fish (most especially salmon, halibut and tuna) contain vitamin B6. This vitamin is crucial in making melatonin, the hormone that regulates sleeping and waking cycles.
Research also suggests that being calcium-deficient may make it difficult to fall asleep. Dairy products like yogurt and milk are good sources of calcium. Be sure to choose full fat dairy products as they contain less sugar. Green leafy vegetables, such as kale and other greens, also contain calcium.
Spinach contains folic acid which helps to reduce fatigue and improve mood. It’s is also rich in iron, a mineral that helps deliver oxygen to your cells, giving the body energy on a cellular level. Spinach also contains Vitamin C and magnesium which are crucial to the production of serotonin and dopamine – two brain chemicals responsible for feelings of joy and happiness!
Make sure you aren’t skipping meals, as this will make you even more fatigued and lead to unstable blood sugar. Start the day with a good breakfast. Also be sure to eat lunch and dinner, snacking in between as needed.
Sticking to a daily routine is crucial when managing diabetes successfully. Testing your blood sugar and taking your medications as directed are musts. Be sure to check your blood sugar regularly. Blood sugar that is too high (or too low), or blood sugar that is constantly spiking and falling will have a definite impact on how you feel.
A diagnosis of diabetes changes your life, but its impact can be managed. Getting quality rest, eating a healthy diet, and establishing a routine for yourself help to balance blood sugar with the chaos of life. Make time for your health!