Metabolic Health

Diabetes Weakness Treatment

Reviewed by

Shifa Fathima

People with diabetes often complain about feeling weak, tired, and exhausted, leading one to ask the question - does diabetes cause weakness? The short answer is yes. The reason behind fatigue could be hard work, stress, or lack of good sleep, but in people with diabetes, it stems from an imbalance in blood sugar levels - it is either too high or too low. This, in turn, leads to an imbalance between blood glucose and the circulating insulin and hampers its effectiveness, leaving you feeling weak. People with diabetes often experience weakness in the limbs, hands, and legs. Therefore, diabetes weakness treatment primarily focuses on keeping your blood sugar levels in check. 

Why Does Diabetes Cause Fatigue?

Fatigue is the most common symptom of diabetes. There are various reasons why diabetes can cause fatigue. Some of them are:

  • Fluctuation in blood sugar level
  • Diabetes-related complications
  • Mental and emotional trauma due to diabetes
  • Being overweight

Changes in Blood Sugar Levels

Diabetes has a negative effect on blood sugar usage and regulation. The food we eat is broken down into simple glucose. Due to diabetes, the pancreas is not able to produce sufficient insulin, which plays a vital role in the absorption of glucose from the blood. Glucose is the primary source of energy in the body. A lack of it results in weakness and fatigue. 

Insulin also helps cells absorb sugar and restricts sugar levels from rising to harmful levels. Low blood sugar or hypoglycemia is one of the significant side effects of diabetes medications and can result in severe fatigue. One can experience fatigue even after the treatment of hypoglycemia.

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Other Diabetes Symptoms

Other symptoms of diabetes that contribute to fatigue include:

  • Sudden weight loss
  • Blurred vision
  • Excessive feelings of thirst
  • Frequent urination
  • Hunger despite eating
  • Unexplained weight loss

All these symptoms might not directly contribute to experiencing fatigue, but their persistence can lead to severe mental and physical concerns that result in the development of fatigue. One of the major symptoms of diabetes that leads to weakness is an interrupted sleeping pattern. This often results from frequent urination or constant thirst. In some instances, it is also a result of extreme stress or depression due to diabetes. 

How to Manage Fatigue Due to Diabetes?

There are several ways to manage fatigue, but the most recommended way is regular exercise and maintaining a healthy weight. Including activities like yoga and aerobics in your daily routine might be beneficial for regulating your blood sugar levels. Diet is also an essential factor. It is necessary to get your blood sugar levels checked to gauge what diet would be suitable for you. 

Having a strong support system is another factor that can help. Friends and family can play a huge role in helping you cope with weakness due to diabetes. They help keep you motivated and ease the mental and emotional stress of diabetes. Spending good times with people who care about your well-being is essential as exercise.

Fatigue, weakness, depression, and diabetes go hand-in-hand. So, talking to a therapist could also help. Talk to your physician about anti-depression medications that suit you better or if certain medications need to be changed. Experiencing diabetes alone can be difficult, so ask for help if you need it.

Other Factors to Keep In Mind 

  • Lack of sleep: The amount of stress we experience in our daily lives or our hectic schedules results in a lack of sleep. Sleeping disorders like obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) are another reason. Either of them will likely leave you feeling fatigued during the day.
  • Working in shifts: People working in shifts also feel fatigued as the body clock is constantly disturbed. 
  • Depression: Depression can wear away one’s motivation to do anything and leave one feeling drained. Talking to a therapist is the first step toward finding a solution.
  • Diet: Refined carbs make you feel bloated and lethargic, especially if you have diabetes. Having a low-carb, low-fat diet can keep you healthy and active.
  • Caffeine: Consuming too much caffeine can also cause fatigue, especially in people with diabetes. It dehydrates the body and leaves one feeling low on energy.
  • Ageing: We tend to become less energetic as we age, so experiencing more fatigue with increasing age is natural. Exercise and a good diet is the best way to cope with this kind of fatigue.

When to See a Doctor?

Fatigue due to diabetes can be troublesome, especially when it starts affecting your daily routine, work-life and personal life. It might be best to see a doctor if your fatigue symptoms fail to improve despite lifestyle changes and managing blood sugar levels. The fatigue could be related to secondary symptoms of diabetes or another condition altogether. Your doctor may advise some blood tests to rule out any other disease. Changing your diabetes medications might also be helpful.

Bottomline

People with diabetes commonly experience persistent fatigue. Fatigue can be caused due to high and low blood glucose levels, being overweight, depression, stress, certain drugs, and coexisting medical conditions. It can impede one's daily routine. Controlling blood sugar levels and maintaining a balanced and healthy lifestyle can increase your energy levels and reduce tiredness. You can always connect with others experiencing similar issues as they will understand what you are going through and share insights from their own experience. 

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