How Does Diabetes Affect Energy Levels?

Lack of energy, or fatigue, can be caused by any number of normal activities, like manual labor, intense physical activity, and even lack of activity. Chronic fatigue is finding yourself exhausted frequently and can be linked to bad lifestyle habits, as well as a number of serious conditions. One treatable, but potentially life-threatening, condition that causes chronic fatigue is diabetes, which affects 85% of people who suffer with chronic fatigue. It can make it difficult to perform everyday tasks, and understanding why diabetes does this to you can help you manage the condition better.

Managing chronic fatigue and other symptoms of diabetes can be difficult, but there is help. Patients in the Little River, South Carolina, area dealing with these diabetic symptoms can rely on the diagnostic and treatment services of Dr. Rogers Walker and Walker Urgent and Family Care.

What diabetes does to your body

Diabetes wreaks havoc on the way your blood glucose, or blood sugar affects your body. Blood glucose is your body’s source of energy for the cells in your muscles and tissues, but it only needs a certain amount. 

How much you have is controlled by your body’s insulin, a hormone generated by your pancreas designed to regulate blood glucose levels. Diabetes lowers or eliminates the insulin in your body, causing a spike in blood glucose in your body and leading to a lot of complications. 

How it causes fatigue

There are a couple of causes of chronic fatigue in diabetes. One related to the high blood glucose count is referred to as hyperglycemia, a common threat for diabetics. When there is too much sugar in the blood, it takes longer for energy to travel from the blood to the cells in your muscles and other tissues. The result leaves you exhausted. Left untreated, severe hyperglycemia can put you in a diabetic coma. 

The other cause is hypoglycemia, which is having too little or lower than normal levels of blood glucose.

Because blood glucose’s primary function is to provide energy to cells, when there is too much of an insulin buildup, it can starve the blood of the glucose it needs to send to cells. When blood glucose is too low, it not only leads to fatigue, but also confusion and in severe cases seizures. Hypoglycemia can be caused by a higher dose of insulin for diabetics and can also be triggered by alcohol, metabolic disorders, tumors, and some surgeries ( gastric bypass and ulcer surgeries ). 

How it can be treated

With complications from diabetes, managing the blood glucose is important to help reduce symptoms like chronic fatigue. Methods for doing that include insulin therapy, oral medications to produce more insulin, or bariatric surgery ( for overweight people dealing with diabetes ). 

Some treatment plans have you checking your blood sugar as many as four times a day if you’re taking insulin to regulate blood glucose. A healthier diet focusing on more fruits, vegetables, lean meats, and whole grains in combination with insulin therapy and moderate exercise will also help to reduce chronic fatigue.

Chronic fatigue is common with diabetes, but it doesn’t have to control your life. To get control, make an appointment with Dr. Walker and Walker Urgent and Family Care today.

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