Fatigue is a common symptom of diabetes. It is caused by an imbalance between blood sugar levels and the amount or effectiveness of circulating insulin, a hormone that allows your body to use glucose for energy. In addition, some of the medications used to treat diabetic patients can cause fatigue, as these drugs can drastically lower your blood sugar levels.
Diabetic patients with fatigue will find that tiredness doesn’t disappear with rest or sleep. They may also find it difficult to do simple everyday tasks and may even feel depressed.
Consider the following tips to address diabetes fatigue naturally: (h/t to SteadyHealth.com)
Consult a healthcare professional
The first step is to address the underlying problem of your fatigue. While the cause is obvious enough – diabetes – it’s important first to consult an integrative healthcare practitioner who can formulate a natural treatment that’s appropriate for you.
Get some vitamin D
Vitamin D deficiency is associated with fatigue and other related symptoms, such as headaches, muscle pain and weakness, depression and poor cognitive performance. In a 2016 study, people with vitamin D deficiency had lower fatigue scores after taking vitamin D supplements.
Get your daily dose of vitamin D by taking supplements or getting 15 to 30 minutes of sun exposure daily. If you’re taking supplements, be sure to take vitamin D3, as this is the recommended form of vitamin D.
Regular exercise helps increase insulin sensitivity, allowing the cells in your muscles, liver and fat to absorb glucose and use it as a source of energy. This, in turn, allows you to function properly and reduce feelings of tiredness.
Because it’s often difficult to motivate yourself to exercise, you can seek a fitness trainer who had experience working with diabetic patients. He can develop an appropriate exercise regime for you, especially if you’re just starting out with fitness.
If you’re taking insulin, remember to check your blood sugar levels before doing any physical activity to prevent hypoglycemia (abnormally low blood sugar levels).
Eat a balanced diet
A balanced diet is important for controlling blood sugar levels. Limiting your carbohydrate and sugar intake can help keep your blood sugar levels in check and improve your fatigue levels. In addition, eating a healthy diet encourages weight loss. Carrying excess weight is exhausting and puts extra strain on your heart, making you feel more tired.
Healthy dietary sources of energy include bananas, fatty fish, brown rice, apples, eggs, goji berries, quinoa and oatmeal. Avoid skipping meals as doing otherwise can contribute to fatigue.
While diabetes fatigue is a condition in itself, stress can aggravate feelings of exhaustion and make it harder for you to carry out everyday tasks. Though it’s impossible to avoid stress altogether, you can limit things under your control by doing more of the things you enjoy. (Related: What stress does to you: learn to control your stress reaction type.)
Get enough sleep
Lack of sleep causes excessive daytime sleepiness and exhaustion and makes you feel more stressed. Sleep seven to nine hours to get a good night’s rest. Avoid oversleeping, as doing otherwise can give you headaches and increase your risk of obesity, among other things.
Seek support from other people
A demanding job or a significant life event, like marriage or a new house, can be extremely stressful. If you’re experiencing any of these situations, seek support from your co-workers and loved ones. Doing this can help lift any physical and mental burden off your chest.
Diabetes fatigue is a manageable condition that can be addressed by enforcing simple lifestyle changes. Keep these tips in mind to reduce diabetic fatigue.