Monthly Archives: August 2014

6 Tips to Fight Diabetes-Related Fatigue

6 Ways to Stop Diabetes From Making You Tired

WebMD Feature


Feeling fatigued? If you have diabetes, tiredness can be one of the symptoms.  

The first step toward feeling better is to talk to your doctor. Your doctor will check your overall health, including how well your diabetes is controlled and whether you have any other medical conditions that need attention.

It will help if you keep a diary for a week or two for your doctor. In it, write down:

  • Your blood sugar levels.
  • How stressed you feel. Some people feel burned out from the effort it takes tomanage diabetes every day.
  • How often and how much you exercise.
  • What you eat and when you eat it and how much you eat.
  • How much and how well you slept.  
  • If you wake up at night because you’re snoring, need to use the bathroom, or if anything else interrupts a full night’s sleep.  
  • How you feel when you wake up in the morning. Do you feel rested or tired?

Together, you and your doctor can make a plan to boost your energy level. Your plan may include:

6 Tips to Get Your Energy Back

1. Exercise. Move more, and you get more energy. People who take a brisk, daily 30-minute walk are less tired than idle people, says Cynthia Fritschi, PhD, RN, CDE, assistant professor in the biobehavioral health science department at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Nursing. 

Choose an activity you like, whether it’s Zumba, tennis, walking, gardening, orswimming. Do it for at least 30 to 60 minutes a day. If you can’t spare that much time at once, sneak in shorter (10-minute) periods of exercise whenever you can. As long as it adds up to 30-60 minutes per day, that’s what counts.

Wear a pedometer so you know how many steps you’re taking each day. Try to add 500 steps a day until you reach at least 10,000 daily steps, says Geralyn Spollett, MSN, ANP, CDE, of the American Diabetes Association and Yale Diabetes Center.

2. Watch your diet. To keep your blood sugar level steady, eat three healthy meals and a snack during the day. Include healthy carbohydrates from fruits and vegetables and whole grains, as well as lean protein from sources such as beans, tofu, fish, or skinless chicken breasts.

3. Avoid caffeine, especially late in the day. Caffeine can keep you awake and disrupt sleep. It can also make it harder to control your blood sugar, if you overdo it.  

4. Get enough B vitamins. B vitamins help nerve health. If you have nerve problems from diabetes, make sure you’re getting these nutrients from your diet (good sources are foods such as fish, poultry, fortified cereals, and eggs) or a supplement. It’s a good idea to tell your doctor about any supplements you take, including vitamins, so they can check that you’re getting the right amount.

5. Check on your snoring. Many people with diabetes briefly stop breathing several times at night. That’s called sleep apnea. Symptoms include snoring, feeling sleepy during the day, having trouble concentrating, and often waking up with a headache or sore throat. Tell your doctor if you, or your bed partner, notice those things. Sleep apnea can be treated, and that could help you get better at night, which gives you more daytime energy.

6. Stay hydrated. You can become fatigued if you’re dehydrated. Drink at least 8-9 glasses of fluids a day.