Diabetes Self-Management Blog

“My days have been getting shorter,” Ron (who has Type 2 diabetes) told me. “I sleep ten hours a night and still need naps in the day. Even when I’m awake, I’m dragging. What can I do?”

Ron’s doctor wasn’t much help. At his last appointment six weeks ago, Ron’s A1c was 8.1, and the doc started him on nateglinide (brand name Starlix), but his energy level hasn’t improved. At family picnics, he just watches or naps while the others play softball. “I’m starting to feel depressed, like life is passing me by” he told me.

Excessive tiredness like Ron’s is often called fatigue. It’s one of the classic symptoms of diabetes and many other illnesses. But what causes it and what can you do about it? Most experts blame insulin resistance for the fatigue. If your cells are resisting glucose, they won’t have enough fuel, so they tire out. At the same time, the glucose level in your blood will be higher than normal, so blood flows less well (similar to if there were sugar in your car’s gas tank), which could also be tiring. Hypoglycemia (low blood glucose) can also cause fatigue.

Blood glucose is far from the whole story, though. Inflammation makes people very tired. Part of the inflammatory response includes cytokines and white blood cells that influence the nervous system and tell us to sleep. That’s why people are so tired with the flu; our immune systems are trying to get us to rest. If you have chronic inflammation, which many people with diabetes do, that could cause fatigue.

Infection is another source of fatigue. Our bodies need all the energy they can get to fight the invading germs, so less energy is available for other things. Infection also causes inflammation and can raise blood glucose levels.

So someone in Ron’s situation should investigate possible sources of inflammation and infection starting with gums and feet, and possibly take anti-inflammatory medicines like ibuprofen.

Stress can fatigue us in many ways. It increases insulin resistance, leading to higher blood glucose. It raises blood pressure and heart rate, so that the heart is working harder and needs more rest. It makes our muscles unnecessarily tense, which wastes energy. It can even interfere with our breathing, and shallow breathing is tiring, because we don’t get enough oxygen.

A good tip for Ron might be to take some deep breaths. But reducing stress through meditation, prayer, or by getting help would also be helpful.

Poor sleep is the most likely candidate for Ron’s fatigue. He is “sleeping” 10 hours a night, but how well? How much time is he really asleep? If he’s getting up to the bathroom, waking from sleep apnea, or spending much of the night tossing and turning, he will be tired in the morning. People with fatigue should be checked for sleep apnea, and follow good habits like these that will improve sleep.

What about naps? Experts disagree. Some think naps will interfere with nighttime sleep, but many studies associate short daily naps with lower rates of heart disease. Most researchers seem to agree that naps should be short; probably around 20–40 minutes is best. Longer naps may leave you sluggish and keep you up at night.

I’m a big fan of naps, but I would like to know your experience with napping. Does it make you feel better or worse? Do you notice any effect on your blood glucose?

Besides sleeping better, normalizing blood glucose, and decreasing inflammation, what else can a person do to fight fatigue? According to Body+Soul magazine, one can reduce stress, eat healthful food, including a good breakfast, less sugar, and more whole foods; make sure you get enough Vitamin D, B vitamins and calcium/magnesium; and do gentle exercise. These all seem like sound recommendations to me. They also suggest reducing caffeine; for example, by switching from coffee to green tea. But caffeine is also a good short-term fatigue treatment, so you have to decide.

Depression is a major cause of fatigue. If you’re feeling down, you might want to get checked for depression and get professional help with that, but you can also self-manage with sunshine, exercise, and social contact with people who make you feel good. (Not people who wear you out. In fact, finding the right people to hang out with might be a good approach to fatigue.)

What has worked for you in dealing with fatigue? Is it all about blood glucose, or is it about weight, or psychological factors, or what? This is a big problem for people with and without diabetes, so share your knowledge and experience with us.

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Comments
  1. I understand what Ron is dealing with, and I deal with it too, if my glucose level is high. It is not the same thing as fatigue; it’s sleepiness, and I haven’t seen it adequately addressed here or anywhere else. I see it in my friends who are diabetic, with their sugars running high; one would pass out in his car in the parking lot, another would fall asleep after lunch every day.
    I can tell if my sugars are high in the morning, because “groggy” doesn’t begin to describe it. “Drugged” is how it feels. Since I use Apidra, a fast-acting insulin, I can calculate pretty accurately how many units I’ll need to keep my glucose levels down or bring them down, as the case may be. I aim for 100, and then sometimes tweak it lower. When I hit 80, I start to get the shakes. But if I’m lazy and careless, I can sleep 12 hours at night, have carbs at lunchtime, and be out for another hour or two.
    It’s not inflammation, unless that changes by the hour. It’s very directly related to how many grams of carbohydrate I consume and how effectively I deal with it. I just wish someone would research it enough to know exactly what causes it, in terms of biological processes.

    Posted by Margaret |
  2. My daughter has Diabetes type 2 since she was 11 , now she is fifteen. She always seems that sleep at night wasn’t enough. On weekends she can sleep 12 or 14 hours , I always have to wake her up, remind her she needs to eat. Most of the time I cook breakfast and she eats at bed. I know she could sleep half day if I don’t do anything.

    Posted by Lydia |
  3. I have been dealing with this for the last couple years since being diagnosed over 4 yrs ago, I can fall asleep anywhere if I sit long enough. It has gotten so bad I can’t drive more than 30 minutes because my husband is afraid I will fall asleep driving and wreck (which I have dozed while driving before). I have talked to my doctor and we have done the sleep study and it showed nothing wrong. I usually sleep after dinner (it is my heaviest meal of the day) and I usually have no control over it. One minute I am awake, the next I am waking up and someone says I have been out for 20-40 minutes. It really takes a toll on my family and things we can do. I just want to have the energy to play with my son and to do things around the house or with friends.

    Posted by Melanie |
  4. What about low testosterone levels causing fatigue? I’ve read that as we get older levels go down and with the double whammy of having diabetes it makes the situation even worse.

    Posted by don |
  5. I get anywhere from 5 to 9 hours in bed, but I am up every hour or two to go to the bathroom, get a sip of water since I am a mouth breather and dry out fast and sleep apnea. I can’t use cpap, so my body sits up when I stop breathing. I wake up about two or three times a night sitting on the side of my bed. I am type 2, insulin dependant. I feel tired almost all the time. Sometimes I even dream I am to tired to drive or do things. Several doctors have addressed it, along with homestyle recipies and suggestions, but to no avail. Giving up is not an option, so I just deal with it.

    Posted by Mike |
  6. I too suffer from this. I work a 3rd shift position. 10pm to 7am. I just happen to be a restless sleeper and get maybe 2 to 3 hours before waking up 3 or 4 times a sleep period. I feel so tired all the time and when I am awake even on my days off I have to force myself to do anything. One day off is devoted expressly to sleeping. I have gone back to drinking decafinated tea to see if it was the caffein and nope not the caffein. Still don’t sleep. I’m type 2 and am just really tired of being tired!! I miss enjoying things because I’m too tired. I think that forcing myself to do everything is just causing the fatigue to worsen. I don’t believe in “energy” drinks and was wondering if a B-12 shot might help.

    Posted by Patti |
  7. Personally I know whether I wake up to a sunny day or a dark dreary day influences the amount of energy I start out with. The best day is one with a list made of “projects” to do for the day so I can check off as I complete them. Family, friends, community– there are so many areas where an individual’s help can make such a difference.
    All the suggestions given previously- eating the right foods,exercise moderately, stretching, having a “quiet time”, vitamins,etc. all are important. I know I feel better when I do these things and my readings show it.

    Posted by Bea Atalig |
  8. I am tired all the time, I usually just fight it. I walk 15 to 30 minutes at least 5 times a week and I also do Curves 2 to 3 times a week although lately I’ve been too tired so it has been 1 to 2 times a week. I take an anti-depressant for my depression and Victoza for my type 2 diabetes. I also take a B12 vitamin along with a multi-vitamin designed for diabetics. My A1C is 5.2 which is excellent. I believe I am doing everything I should be. So I don’t understand why I am tired all the time. I wish someone would do a study or come up with something to help with this problem.

    Posted by Ann |
  9. My heart goes out to Ann, Patti, Melanie, Mike, Margaret, and the rest of us who are coping with this 1000-pound weight of fatigue. I know what that’s like.

    According to the Stanford self-management course, fatigue can be caused by the disease itself, inactivity, poor nutrition, poor rest, stress, depression, overwork, or medication side effects. From the comments, it sounds like all of those are going on with our readers.

    I would suggest looking at all of those possibilities and see if there’s any place to break in to the cycle. For example, if you can’t sleep lying down, can you try sleeping sitting, maybe in a recliner? If you’re too tired to exercise, can you break your physical activity into smaller bits throughout the day? I’m doing that now, 3 sessions of 10–20 minutes each, and it seems to be working.

    What else?

    Posted by David Spero RN |
  10. Melanie, I had that problem and it turned out my thyroid wasn’t functioning much. I take thyroid medication now.

    I was like you, falling asleep without any warning. I fell asleep at the table at a resturant once!

    Another possibility for women is peri-menopause or menopause.

    As far as fatigue, I am tired a lot. I am very overweight, don’t exercise and my BG is not low enough (last was 8.6 A1c). Lots of stress.

    Posted by Lena |
  11. Being tired all the time is no fun. I had this issue to deal with for awhile but now all is much better. However, I am slightly anemic and this was thought to cause my tiredness but it was not the only reason. My endocrinologist had several test done, then prescribed Vit D (NOT the over the counter product as it is usually too weak of a product to bring one up to a stable level.

    My thyroid was also not getting enough of the medicine needed. So again, the strength of my medicine was increased considerably and today I have lots of energy at age 75 as a Type 1 for 53 years!!

    I do get tired when a high blood glucose level comes along; I take a bolus injection and then a small nap of 15 min. to 1/2 hour. My system prefers regular hours but when I was raising children — well, regular hours were unheard of!! :-)) I took a nap when they did and later when they were in school all day.

    There is no one method of a healthy lifestyle and control of diabetes; we just need to keep working at what is best for us as an individual.

    It its going to be, it’s up to ME!

    Posted by joan |
  12. I have fibromyalgia, arthritis, diabetes, depression, mytonic dystrophy, irregularly shaped muscles cells and sleep apnea. Fatigue is a constant and I have had to learn to go and do only what I can. I don’t push myself anymore as I pay for it dearly. I get tired of explaining why I don’t feel good, don’t want to do anything. Some understand and some don’t.

    I asked my psychiatrist if there was anything to help with the lack of energy. He gave me Adderal, 10mgs 3 times a day. I usually take 2. I don’t care if my blood pressure goes up. Pain which I live with constantly drives up the blood pressure, also. Stress-ha- I was borne into it and married into it. Constant, daily stressfull situations that lasted until I was 50.

    I am sorry if I have vented too much for some, but the burden get awfully heavy. I also lost the dearest, kindest and most understanding friend I ever had. We taught school together and we bonded in the trenches of 5th grade. She was more a sister than my own. We were friends for 30 years. She died suddenly 4 months ago and I miss her disparately.

    Posted by Maria |
  13. I understand first hand what everyone is going thru. I am an IT Manager so I spend my day sitting at a computer and it becomes such a challenge to have the energy and motivation to do my job. I am overweight which I gained while on insulin, and I know my weight is a major factor in my insulin resistance. So I made the decision that living obese and dependent on insulin was not the life choice I wanted to accept. So I have gone off my insulin and I am controlling my carb intake and trying to exercise to force my blood sugar levels down and allow my body to drop some weight. I know that even 10-20 lbs can make a big difference. It is just a matter of will power, but as everyone knows.. that is very very hard. Everyone is different, but we are all responsible for ourselves. Wish me luck.

    Posted by Sam |
  14. I sleep from Midnight to noon each day. Then I get depressed because I waste half a day. I never feel good because I also have fibromyalgia and the pain causes stress and more fatigue. I lay down to nap and the “nap” ends up being another two to three hours. My doctor increased my meds and is testing my thyroid. Wants me to drink more water but stop all liquids at 7PM (except for pill taking before bed) to help the many bathroom trips that interrupt sleep. Then, I must exercise daily. Made me laugh, I am already exhausted and in pain, won’t exercising make it all worse?

    Posted by Jan |
  15. Thank you so much for bringing this up. My fight against tiredness echoes Ann’s in some ways. I’ve brought my A1c down to the low 5’s–where it’s hovered for many years now..after a weight loss of 140 pounds which I managed by diet/walking over three years. I’ve maintained the weight loss for ten years.
    I still take many meds, however, because the many years that I was obese took their toll.

    I appreciated RN David’s response. If, however, the cause of the tiredness for some of us comes from our medications and the disease itself..what, in actuality, are we to do?

    For example. I’ve tried to eliminate and/or cut down on the meds I take (pain, mostly) that might be culprits for tiredness in my untutored opinion (I read the printed documents on side effects that came along with all my medications on one rainy afternoon ; but I couldn’t manage the pain..and went back to the original dose..with much misgiving.

    So, If we can’t cut down on the meds that cause the side effects and/or it’s the disease itself that is the cause of the tiredness–what then? We can’t do yoga or chant all day in a reasonable world. Is there any research coming down the pike that might offer hope for our community?

    Posted by Susan in Manhattan |
  16. I too have struggled with fatigue. It comes and it goes. Too many carbs always wear me out. Balanced eating helps immensely, but i don’t always do that even though I know it makes me feel better. I keep forgetting that diabetes wears you out, from management to the effects on the body. I am in a cycle right now where I actually have some energy. Last year was a bad energy year. Can’t tell you what I am doing differently… everything is still the same, meds, etc.

    Posted by Becky |
  17. I am just glad to know that I am not the only one who feels this way. I keep trying to ‘ not be diabetic’ and want to think that I am not affected that much by my type 2 diabetes. I’ve had diabetes for 10 years, A1c of 6.3 which is good, I take my Byetta and Actos and Glucophage and I’m 60. I keep asking myself if it is the diabetes that makes me tired or is it my age, or is it the fact that I am busy all the time. My mind tells me I am about 35, the body betrays me and I cannot do all that I used to do. Thanks for the topic and letting us all vent a bit. It helps.

    Posted by Becky |
  18. I am 75 years old and have had type II diabetes for about 10 years. My problem is in the morning towards noon I develop a low and get weak with confusion If not corrected. I found drinking a glass of orange juice corrects this problem in a hurry and works better than candy or glucose tablets. Also orange juice is healthy and better than candy or some other form of sugar.This works for me and is a quick boost.

    Posted by Richard Sullivan |
  19. I believe the keys to less fatigue are exercise, proper diet and, if you are over-weight, weight loss. I recently got back on program with my diabetes control. I eat reasonable amounts of food, I’ve lost some weight, and I’ve started walking or using my elliptical once or twice a day for fifteen minute (or more) stints. It was getting to the point where I would sleep for six or seven hours each night, then sleep for five or six more hours during the day. Now, I find that even when I lie down to take a nap in the afternoon, I am able to choose to get something done or do some exercise instead. Sure, there are days when I’m just too down-in-the-dumps to do much of anything, but those days are becoming fewer and farther between.

    Posted by John |
  20. I have type 2 and there are times that it feels like lead is attached to my body and I cannot move. Sometimes just standing up takes every fiber of my being to accomplish.

    I’ve cut out most carbs with the exception of green veggies and have lost 36 pounds. That really helps. Then I added crystal light with electrolytes to my water. Maybe it’s all in my head, and if it is I don’t care, the difference it makes for me is amazing. I have no idea why this is happening but as soon as I’m feeling fatigued, I drink it and I feel so much better.

    Posted by Tia |
  21. Since May I have stopped eating gluten and “white” foods, to include white rice, white sugar, white potatoes, regular pasta, white milk and dairy products, white flour and bread. That said I’ve substituted these foods with brown rice, organic white & brown sugar, sweet potatoes, soy or almond milk, gluten-free pasta, soy or veggie based cheese, soy or rice flour, Ezekiel bread, either low or gluten-free depends on availability in your area. I have lost 23 pounds so far and keep loosing. You would be surprised where you will find gluten besides food. It is also in your makeup, your toothpaste, etc. It’s as bad a MSG or high fructose corn syrup. It’s makes things taste good, but it’s not good for us, because it makes most of us keep and gain weight.
    I’m not allergic to gluten, nor do I have Celiac’s disease, however I am pre-diabetic (meaning my blood glucose is normal, but my A1C has been elevated but not high enough to be diabetic) but I am taking Metformin. I am also on high blood pressure meds, high cholestrol meds, using a CPAP machine. I just discovered I have severe nerve damage in my left leg into two of my toes and up into my lower back, where I have several herniated discs.
    My friend suggested I try removing gluten from my diet since I have a disease that is causing an ‘anti-inflammatory’ reaction (diabetes). Why not try removing gluten from your diet? It can’t hurt, you can always go back to eating it after two or three weeks.

    Posted by Janet |
  22. What an eye-opener (excuse the pun!) I thought I was the only one who had the dreaded Sleeping Sickness. Now I have some clues at to just what has been causing this - thank you all!

    As far as things to help go, there isn’t a lot out there. One thing I do is never to schedule appointments on Mondays, or in the mornings. I never know how I’ll be coping that day, and it takes the pressure off. I also turn the ringer off on the phone at night. If the house is on fire, the neighbors will come and get you! I plan to sit under a strong light for a while if it is a gray day, and especially if it’s cold. And on cold days I try to get outside even if just for a few minutes to let the cold air blow the fog out of my head. If I get sleepy from carbs, I try to get right on the treadmill or something to “use up” the excess fuel right away. If that’s not possible, then I take a nap. Sometimes naps are not optional, and I make no apology for it either.

    I got some excellent advice from a doctor friend - he told me there are no prizes for a stiff upper lip!!!!!!!!!!! Believe it.

    Posted by Christine Richardson |
  23. I have been telling my general practitioner for 8 years that I am so tired I can’t function he simply just said I needed to loose weight or fight through it which is the answer I get from my family a lot. They are not comprehending what I mean by tired I am talking bone tired I could sleep at the drop of a hat no matter where I was or what was going on. I finally got a vein specialist because my legs are swelling and they have decided I have a blood clot so will have to be on cumadin the rest of my life. The vein doctor sent me to a kidney specialist because he was worried about the liquid in the tops of my legs. the kidney doctor did his exam and then asked me why I was on blood pressure medicine and I told him that my endocrinologist said it was to protect my kidneys. I have had diabetes type one for 31 years, and the kidney doctor told me that there was no need for me to be on the blood pressure pills they are part of whats making me so tired they had my blood pressure so low he didn’t know how I was functioning. My vein doctor also sent me to another doctor who tested me for sleep apnea and sure enough I was so bad that during the testing they came in and asked me to put the c-pap mask on. I stopped the blood pressure and the metformin the kidney doctor said it was very hard on my kidney’s and I now wear a c-pap mask every night. I wake up with out that bone tired feeling however I have been starting to need naps again but I am a bit concerned that my body has just not gotten used to them and the extra weight does not help. I have learned to stop kidding myself, I was complaining for 8 years to a doctor who was not listening and I need to remember when they do not take action or want to tell me it’s just my weight I will find a new doctor who will listen to me and understand I know my body better then they do. Just an idea check your meds with the pharmacist and see which ones can make you tired, check into sleep apnea especially if you are over weight and find a new doctor who is not used to you telling him you are tired. Hope something in here helped. April

    Posted by April |
  24. I have been a Type 2 for 12 years and in the last 2 yrs have struggled with fatigue. I do not sleep good at night and therefore need naps in the day to continue on. I am a nurse and work nights for 19yrs. My doctor says working nights is not for diabetics but that is where the money is and I regulate my blood sugars well. I have felt better since starting Byetta 4 months ago but I still struggle with it.

    Posted by Carolyn |
  25. wow all of this helps, type 2 for a year now & im struggling with the fatigue. thanks now i know im not crazy ;0)

    Posted by crystal |
  26. Wow, thank you everyone for posting this info. I just googled ‘diabetes fatigue’ to try to find a way to feel better, and all of your posts are incredibly helpful. I changed jobs from a stressful one 4 years ago, after having been diagnosed with type 2 5 years ago. Recently, 2 weeks ago, I had to quit this job because it had become too stressful too. I tend to take on too much, or am so resourceful that people learn to come to me for their answers and needs, but I also had frequent overnight calls for issues with security or building alarms, so I was not sleeping well. Now having rested these 2 weeks, I am no better with the stress removed than I was. I actually feel more tired than I did. So I have to conclude that it is the disease making me tired, and not necessarily the stress. I take metformin, and added glipizide this year. I also have depression and muscle pain that I take meds for. Right now I am lucky if I get the dishes done and fix meals each day, the fatigue is so chronic. And I’m so forgetful. I get so sleepy throughout the day, and the fatigue I feel is bodily not emotional - I can literally not move, or get up when I’m overwhelmed by it. I would love to exercise, but it’s all I can do to just move around for regular chores. I can’t imagine what the rest of my life will be like if I don’t get this under control! I’m only 48. I plan to begin just 5 minutes on my treadmill today, and repeat as often as I can each day. Drink more water, and take what I can for inflammation. Coffee and herbal energy things do nothing for me. Electrolytes do help, so Smart Water will be on my list too. Hope everyone continues to be successful in their struggles with this disease, and thank you again for your insights.

    Posted by Kimmers |
  27. I am really glad that I’ve seen this. I have been going through fatigue for many many years, even before I was officially diagnosed with diabetes. I’m tired now even though I have a CPAP to help me sleep better during the night. I know it has to be something with trying to find the right combination of foods to eat properly to help balance the glucose but it’s just so difficult trying to figure it out especially because they keep changing all the rules. However, I have to say that it’s a nice thing to not be alone in feeling this way.

    Posted by Mitch |
  28. So glad to read this thread. It didn’t tell me much of what I didn’t already know. However, it feels nice not to feel alone. I started with night sweats years ago and thought I was pre-menapausal. Then three years ago had my 3rd child and gestational diabeties that’s when I learned more about the fatigue. My current commute to work is 45min so there are days it’s real dangerous. I find I control it best with proper eating going low sugar,high fiber, more balance etc. But from time to time it’s like I forget and get way off track then it hits me like a truck I am one now who they call not diabetic but pre-diabetic. Yet somehow I don’t have pre-symptoms this is real fatigue. Glad to have the support like this form here. My mother is diabetic and she seems to be one of the only few who understands what I mean when explain this type of tired to her. I would love to find a quick fix to energize at least until I get home on my long drives.

    Posted by Jennipher |
  29. THis column clearly suggest that the current orthodoxy, bad science and standing pat on horses and buggy whip solutions is bearing little fruit.
    The cases are doubling.

    The human body has a tremendous horespower to live and try and overcome terrible problems to try and survive.

    Today, the body deserves better help and hope in that quest.

    With deepest respect and not throwing cheap brickbats at the ADA, Endo’s and others we truly need some revised thinking and some better responses to this issue.

    The current standing pat on current solutions and defending orthodoxy are clearly not providing better answers while super restricive diets ( 600 to 1000 calories), lap band and surgery and tweaking absorption rates in small instestine are suggesting something else going on.

    In my case data is clear, shut down organ process screwups(liver leaks), get on tight diet, and exercise - hearty exercise sufficiently and restrict the supercarbs back - that after 30 years numbers getting worse and now getting better, damage stopped, and evening BG keeps dropping - now at 118-122 and dropped extra insulin at midnight and no other change to diet/insulin charge.

    Its time to apply the great science that got us to the moon and mars and outer space and haul back on the Order of Merlin with Magic cape, wand and special incantantions.

    For Gods sakes, lets march forward and start looking at all the data even if it does not align with the stars as we currently see them or believe them to be.

    Posted by jim snell |
  30. I got so desperate I did a search on tiredness and diabetes and found this eye-opener website. I have had sleep apnea 12 years (after I woke up with an air-bag in my face and threatened to have my wife serve my medical clinic with a law suit if they didn’t find out what was wrong and I died). I’m also Type 2 diabetic and could never hold a job with all the naps I need every day (lucky I’m 73 and don’t need one). I just decided I am going to get this under control by doing my own research and quit relying on my doctor who is “PRACTICING” medicine. I can’t believe how much they say they don’t know! He told me if I keep my A1C between 5-7 I should be fine, but when I got the flu last week my blood sugar shot up to 277 and I sure didn’t feel fine. I can test it before bed and get 150’s and by morning it’s 180’s without eating anything??? Thanks for letting me know I’m not alone!

    Posted by Warren |
  31. I have a question about that as well…do you think that fatigue has ANYTHING to do with malnutrition? Like, how do we really know that our bodies are absorbing the nutrients that we are putting into them??? Is that how we got diabetes in the first place?

    Posted by Diane |
  32. At least I know I’m not alone now. I’m type 2 for about 2 years and the fatigue is killing me - literally I think. There isn’t a moment in my day when I wouldn’t rather be asleep. I sleep well - as soon as my head hits the pillow I’m out and I usually don’t wake till morning. I would easily sleep for 12 hours a night if something didn’t wake me up.

    I didn’t used to be this way. I was thin and energetic. Then, I had an accident and wound up with 7 herniated disks in my back and neck a month after my daughter was born. Because of the injury, I never took off the pregnancy weight.

    Six years later my Dr. talked me into a cervical epidural for back pain. What he didn’t tell me was that the injections have been linked to diabetes. I have no family history of diabetes, no gestational diabetes and my last blood test before the procedure showed perfect blood sugars. I woke up from the procedure thirsty - I drank bottle after bottle after bottle of water the first day and every day after that. That night I started getting up to go to the bathroom every night multiple times.

    Six months later I wound up in the ER being told I was diabetic. At first I didn’t put two and two together. Then I stumbled upon others online who had had cervical epidurals and were suddenly diagnosed with diabetes. When I finally asked my Endo about it he said he had heard of the link and agreed that the injections were probably the cause of my diabetes.

    Long story but my point is that Docs don’t know everything and sometimes they can do more harm than good. What I do know is that my fatigue IS caused by this disease and I have more faith that I will find an answer through others who have traveled the same path than from Docs who find it easier to write people off as being “lazy.”

    Posted by Amy |
  33. I’m a freelance health writer and working on an article on diabetes fatigue. I’m interested in interviewing someone who has dealt with this problem and found solutions that work for them. Please contact me if you’re open to sharing your story.
    Thanks

    Posted by Jeff |
  34. I am also pre-diabetic and believe the pain, numbness and fatique I have told the doctors about for 10 years are because of diabetis. Everyone is different and pre-diabetis is being diabetic and should be recognised. The Medical profession needs a new age of enlightenment as they have now become the witch-doctors that they have accused alternative medicine practioners of being. Rely on your own intuition. Many people would be better off staying away from most doctors. On the other hand if you find a real doctor then hang on to them.

    Posted by Daryl |
  35. Hi- I didn’t see this mentioned here, but it could be a big cause of sleep problems. Sleep apnea. I had a very bad case of it, and was fuzzy for a year in one job that I then lost ! I never got enough sleep to be sharp even after 8 hours.
    It turns out I was suffocating and waking up many times per night. A simple CPAP machine cured this.
    This apnea condition worsens type 2 diabetes, from what I hear, and insulin resistance.
    For me, I had fatigue, muscle aches, head aches, was very run down, and felt 500% better once it was treated with a CPAP machine.
    My doc just had me do a ~ 4 hour sleep study + that confirmed it.
    If anyone has a bad quality of sleep for a long period, I highly recommend asking your doc about sleep apnea, esp if you are overweight. Also I think snoring is a symptom. Your throat just closes off during sleep and keeps you from getting any deep sleep, that is absolutely required for health !!!! Also- there is a sleep monitor for 100 - $150 out now, that would have showed me what I had - by Zeo. At Amazon.
    Mike

    Posted by Mike Johnson |
  36. I know there is a genetic connection, not just weight gain. As a child I was as skinny as an anorexic ( wasn’t labeled then). My school system constantly sent home notices that I was too underweight. My friends would be a few pounds over weight and ‘fast’ and I could not do it without passing out. ( obviously low blood sugar). My sis- ter was very big and weighed close to 300 lbs by adulthood and never had Diabetes and so was my grandmother.
    The only person who had it was my grandmother’s brother and that is ‘it’ for my genetic history of diabetes.
    I find I have to eliminate ‘P’foods/ Potatoes, Pancakes, Pizza, Pasta even Peas and most everything that has white flour and sugar in it. Refined, processed foods send my BG numbers out of the stratosphere. Try to stick to longer digested food, slowly released to keep from ricocheting back and forth. Also I find do not eat too late at night.

    Posted by Joanna Economakos |
  37. I have sleep apnea so i was used to be tired all the time. Since being diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes it has gotten much worse. Now I really know what fatigue is. My housework suffers dramatically, I don’t do half of the the things that I used to with my child.When I do find the time and energy to do thing I am easily worn out and need to rest.I can’t even keep a job. I am on disability because of it and I hate this. I just want to feel normal.

    Posted by Donnah |
  38. does diabetes make you go off food i am not eating well dont fancy a lot of foods

    Posted by elaine ramsden |
  39. Hi Elaine,

    Perhaps others know more, but I haven’t heard of diabetes hurting your appetite or taste. Certain medications can, though. Probably worth asking your doctor about it.

    Posted by David Spero RN |
  40. I have found that the use of a Multi-Vitamin called One Daily Energy by Equaline, virtually eliminates the fatigue associated with my Type-2 Diabetes.

    Posted by Terrence Davis |
  41. I’m 67 and feel so tired, and wonder how long I have left. When I first got diabetes, I was really good on my diet, checked labels and never ate sugar. Now 17 years later all I crave is sugar. I don’t even want to eat anymore, as salads and vegetables, (fixed every way imaginable), just turn me off. I’ve even tried juicing them ! I wonder if there are so many years that you can stay on a fat free, sugar free diet ,before your body says that’s enough ? Or, do you get to a certain age and your body just craves sugar ? I don’t absorb my metformin, as I see it in the toilet. Would it help to go back on shots ?

    Posted by Nancy |
  42. Hi Nancy,

    There’s something wrong here, and I don’t know what. That sugar craving is not normal and not age-related. You could have major depression, but your letter doesn’t sound like that. Try to find a doctor (maybe yours) who can explore this with you and figure it out.

    David

    Posted by David Spero RN |
  43. My best control is having fruit and yogurt loads and loads of exercise good for the heart and soul feeling good yes i do have anxiety… But hey so what my,hb1ac is always 6.2 and ive lost nearly 7stone and now only taking 4 units in the morrning and between 6and 10 at night…

    Posted by mike |
  44. I suffer fatigue and depression. I have Type 2 Diabetes. I take Metformin and insulin including meds for blood pressure. During the day I feel tired and want to sleep and at night I sleep but get up frequently to use the bathroom. I had to give up work because of my fatigue.

    Posted by Charles Aissen |
  45. Wow, I thought I was alone. This list of comments makes me feel “in” so to speak. I too have fatigue or sleepiness, usually after I eat and this occurs most every day. I have type 2, and use meformin and insulin, and blood pressure meds. I also go to bathroom twice or more each night. I am sharing these comments with my wife, so she can see better what I tell her, that I feel tired. Fortunately, I saw that others have a hard time with the fatigue and I am not alone.

    Thanks for sharing, all of you.

    Posted by Durward Gantz |
  46. I’m not sure what the problem is. I am type 2, with it in control. no meds for 2 yrs, I cycle 100 miles a week, and eat healthy meals. I occasionaly have the bad food, but my I test in the am at 100, so I am pretty proud of that without meds.

    I’ve also battled depression, divorce, unemployment, and all that not so fun stuff. I live a totally different life than I had 10 yrs ago, but for losing everything, I think I remain in good spirits and have overcome a lot!

    But still, at noon everyday, or mid afternoon, I have to nap! The naps is what holds me back now! When I had a job last yr, Id sleep in my car at lunch! I have to believe there is something more to it.

    I am 41 btw.

    Posted by tim |
  47. I am sixty,since last 15 years type-2 diabetic.I am taking metformin 500mg,glymipride-2 before breakfast,afterfood voglibose-.03,morning and evening since last one month sugar level come down as below 200.morning cycling ,aerobic,yoga meditation,and do some religious servicefrom morning to evening.with all activities i feel tiredness,feel depression,dullness.what to do further.

    Posted by hariprabhuk |
  48. many many comments , many thanks to you all found this in error on this matter , I thought i was cracking up with telling my doctor / nurse about tiredness mid-afternoon.
    many replys but i must state comments on Energy by Equaline, can be dangerous a lot of caffine release , each tablets is a large cup of coffee , can cause other major illness from it, high blood pressure, etc so be aware of these.
    i found my own way of dealing with this when i was felling really tied, was to simply get up leave everything and move around, getting fresh air , mind over matters, tiedness died away in about 15-20mins so a quick break from normal routine helped.

    Posted by dave j |

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Diabetes Basics
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Five Environmental Causes of Diabetes (03/19/14)

 

 

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