Dealing with the Constant Fatigue of Diabetes

          Let’s say your to-do list is a mile long but you don’t have the energy to even tackle the first thing on it because you were up half the night with a low blood sugar. It can be a nightmare when you have a full-time job, kids, or even going to school. Sometimes life gets in the way and there aren’t any allowances for you to be able to rest and take care of yourself like you should. These days are the hardest to get through. When you have a presentation for work and you feel like crap, or there’s a test at school and you were too busy trying to stay out of the hospital to even try to study for it, or your toddler is tearing the house apart and you can’t even keep your eyes open long enough to make sure they aren’t doing something dangerous. To type 1 diabetics this is all too familiar. There are things that can help the constant fatigue of having diabetes though.

           If you have a desk job or find yourself staring at the screen too much it will make your eyes tired and therefore your body tired. This doesn’t just apply to T.V.’s and computers but to cell phones and tablets as well. The blue light that comes from them can damage your eyes after long exposure times. To combat this try taking frequent breaks while sitting at your desk. Even just getting up to get a cup of coffee can help give your eyes a rest. If you can’t manage to get up from your desk try just looking at paper instead of the screen. Also, you can try doing a set of exercises to help improve blood flow and concentration.

          Exercise, in general, helps us to feel better. Yes, even if we have missed sleep. It is a super important step to incorporate into our weekly schedules. 30 minutes of exercise every day can improve our circulation, life expectancy, combat obesity, and increase our insulin sensitivity. Moving our body is great for our overall health and will also get us in a better mood. I like to exercise outside when I can the scenery is much more pleasant, plus it gives us more oxygen to our bodies just by being outside, and as an added bonus by being in the sun we get more Vitamin D absorbed into our bodies.

          Eating more vitamin-rich foods also helps us fight fatigue. I’m not saying you have to be on a whole vegan or vegetarian diet as a diabetic but incorporating more fruits and vegetables into your diet can go a long way into making you feel better and cleanse your whole digestive system. Vitamins help restore the body when there has been damage to your body or you have deprived it of something. Food plays a huge role in how we feel as diabetics and keeping our numbers in a certain range consistently also helps us feel better. Not letting our numbers spike too high helps us not feel as tired and sleepy. Even certain beverages can play a role in our energy levels.

         Caffeine has always been a huge debate to people as to if it is good for you or not. Some people swear by cutting it out they feel better, some say that if they went cold turkey off caffeine that they wouldn’t have the energy to do anything. I have heard that by removing sodas and switching to just water many people have shed pounds off without making any dietary changes. As for me, I know I am very dependent on caffeine. When I don’t get enough caffeine, I get major headaches. So, it’s a debate but I know without caffeine it would be hard for me to function. If you can eliminate sodas from your beverages that would improve your overall health but it’s not something that’s really all that bad for you.   

          I hope that following these guidelines helps you feel better and get more energy to accomplish your daily tasks. Not everyone is the same and we all have different natural energy levels, and some are more affected by their diabetes and other health issues than others. Some of it may be due to age or how long they have suffered from diabetes, but some of it may be due to controllable factors like diet and exercise. Wherever you find yourself make a diabetes journal and record how you feel when you make certain changes to your routine if you find doing something specific helps you feel better adopt it as a habit. No one knows your body quite like you. Always consult your doctor when making any major changes to your diet or exercise routine in case any changes need to be made to the treatment of your diabetes along the way.

By: Miranda Montgomery (Type 1 diabetic for 20+ years) Admin for Type 1 Diabetes Support Group on Facebook with 13 K members