Diabetes Fatigue: What Causes It?

What is diabetes fatigue?

Diabetes fatigue is not uncommon among those with diabetes.  Diabetes and fatigue are often discussed as a cause and effect and many studies have looked at the possible connection.

Roughly 2.5 million people in the United States have chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). CFS is marked by ongoing fatigue that significantly disrupts everyday life. People with this type of extreme fatigue use up their energy sources without necessarily being active. Walking to your car, for example, can zap all your energy. It’s thought that CFS is related to inflammation that disrupts your muscle metabolites.


What are some causes?

The potential causes of fatigue can vary, but the following are the most common:

  • widespread inflammation
  • depression
  • insomnia or poor sleep quality
  • hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid)
  • low testosterone levels in men
  • kidney failure
  • medication side effects
  • skipping meals
  • lack of physical activity
  • poor nutrition

How do I prevent it?

Preventing fatigue with diabetes is a challenging thing to do. The first thing that needs to be done is a visit to see your physician to make sure that the causes of fatigue is not due to another issue. Other things that can be done are:

  • Keep blood sugar levels in a normal range
  • Make sure that you are getting enough sleep
  • Take a power nap during the day if you are able
  • Limit the stressors in your life
  • Ask for help from others when it’s possible

It’s important to try to minimize complications from diabetes such as kidney disease and nerve damage because of the increase in the risk of fatigue that they bring.

The main goal is to regain a level of energy that allows you to function and manage your disease and your life. All people want a quality of life, and fatigue doesn’t allow that to happen.