Don’t Let Your Diabetes Wear You Out

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Don't Let Your Diabetes Wear You Out

However, new studies on this topic show that there might be other reasons for this diabetes-fatigue duo. In The Diabetes Educator, scientists Cynthia Fritchi (RN, PhD, University of Illinois College of Nursing) and Laurie Quinn (RN, PhD, University of Illinois College of Nursing) published a study, where they revealed that stress, depression, body mass index (BMI) and not enough physical activity can cause a lot of extra tiredness in people suffering from diabetes.

They observed 83 women in total between ages 40 to 65, who had type II diabetes. These women were asked series of questions about their fatigue levels, health condition, diabetes symptoms, depression, physical activity, emotional distress and how they were coping with diabetes. Some of them even wore a glucose monitor for 3 days.


The study didn’t show any relation between the fatigue levels and blood sugar control. Their blood sugar levels and glucose fluctuation also didn’t seem to be connected with the their level of weariness, so the reason must be elsewhere.

β€œIt appears that other factors – such as being overweight, getting little physical activity, and having higher levels of distress – could be causing their fatigue.” – Fritschi

Researchers suggest that the main factor for managing your diabetes is exercise, although many people suffering from it are often too tired to do it.

Now, when we add depression or any other quality of life problem into the bunch, then you’re even less likely to put an emphasis on nutritious healthy meals and tracking your blood sugar levels.

Managing Your Diabetes and Fatigue

The best way to manage your weariness is prevention. Keep an eye on your symptoms and ask advice from your health care providers if need be.

  • Give specifics. Give your doctor a specific descriptions about what kind of situations make you feel too tired. Let your doctor know which important actions, that would keep you healthy, you cannot perform.
  • Keep a journal. Keep a log about symptoms like the number of times you would have to go to the bathroom at night. How many times have you had to skip meals simply because you feel too tired to prepare them?
    Write it down with as many details as you can when they occur. This journal is another source you can share with your doctor or diabetes educator, so that they could advice you how to cope with the diabetes better.
  • Work with a therapist. It’s a 24/7 commitment to handle your diabetes. Only, that sense of commitment could make you stressed out, depressed and anxious.
    Furthermore, the depression can lead to fatigue.
    So, if you feel like your diabetes is a big burden to bear, then make sure you contact your therapist, who is trained in treating depression. They can definitely help you make your mental health better. Again, your doctor or diabetes educator can help you with a recommendation in this case.
  • Join a support community. Allow yourself to feel that sense of relief, when you talk to other people, who are suffering from exactly the same condition and symptoms that you are.
    By discussing everyday challenges, worries and the emotions with people, who have dealt all of that before, can help you learn to manage your diabetes better.
    Learn from other’s mistakes or improvements and figure out, what will work for you. You can ask your diabetes adviser more information about local support groups or join an online support community.

 

Quality Sleep Is a Must

At least half of the people suffering from diabetes might have trouble with sleeping. If you don’t have good night’s sleep, you will certainly be tired the next day. Luckily, improving your sleeping conditions can help you get more rest during the night.

Here are some tips to help you get better sleep:

  • Go to bed and wake up the same time every day (even on weekends)
  • Keep your bedroom dark and cool
  • No electronics (TV, computer etc) an hour before the bedtime
  • Ask your doctor to be tested, if you suspect having sleeping disorders

 

Diabetes, Depression and Fatigue

Uncontrolled fatigue may lead to depression in the long run. It will also make it more difficult to manage your diabetes. So, if you feel tired all the time, make sure to talk to your doctor about it. Let them help you figure out, what is draining your energy and how to overcome those symptoms.

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