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Tiredness and Diabetes


Chronic tiredness, fatigue, whatever you want to call it, causes difficulties with our blood sugar.

As we all know type 1 diabetes is so different in every single person, and due to the 42+ factors that impact our blood sugars, each person with diabetes suffer in different ways. When experiencing fatigue or chronic tiredness, you can experience increased insulin resistance or sensitivity resulting in either high or low blood sugars.

Diabetics make around an extra 180 decisions a day compared to people without the illness. Which contributes to how exhausting living and managing diabetes is. So, if you are feeling exhausted, please know you are not alone with this!

There are so many moving parts to living with diabetes that can all easily go wrong, if your blood sugars are slightly out of range then this can only increase the tiredness we all feel. Sometimes it good to embrace the tiredness and just let your body try and recover. But most importantly, we shouldn’t let diabetes ruin any plans such as trips away or evenings out with friends but I know for me, my blood sugars will always be slightly increased after a period of less sleep which leads to more tiredness!

Tiredness can be very prevalent first thing in the morning. You can wake up and feel like you have had no sleep at all. This can be from your cgm constantly going off, not letting you have any sleep at all, pump alarms going off to say low insulin or blockage, or you’ve turned all your alarms off over night and your sugars just sit completely out of range the whole time. You can wake up needing another sleep and feeling done before you even get out of bed. My tip for this is to check your blood sugars, take the appropriate action and head outside, whether it is to go for a short walk or sit on a bench and have a coffee; can just be so unbelievable refreshing and help waken you up!

Tips for Managing Tiredness and Diabetes

  • If your tiredness is based off blood sugars out of range the whole time (either high or low blood sugar), you can complete a couple of basal testing events. This involves eating and drink no carbs whatsoever and constantly monitoring blood sugars for about 6 hours. These testing episodes are not ideal but it does show if your background insulin is correct. If your blood sugars remain high, this shows that your background insulin is too little and needs adjusting. And if your blood sugars drop, immediately stop the testing and consume hypo treat. This indicates the background is too high and will need adjusting. PLEASE CONSULT YOUR DIABETIC TEAM BEFORE MAKING A BIG DECISION SUCH AS THIS!

For more information please follow the link: Basal Testing

  • I know this sounds crazy but even when you are exhausted, being more active via walking, running, swimming etc can be so beneficial! It raises your heart rate, so your body knows it’s been working hard and in the end resulting in a better night sleep for you!

  • Eating at least 5 different fruits or veg a day will help your body collect the correct minerals and vitamins it needs to function resulting in less effort processing the food meaning you won’t be so lethargic after eating!

  • Don’t get me wrong, caffeine is so important but try to reduce the amount you drink and set a finish time such as 12pm. This ensures that there is no caffeine present when you are trying to sleep. I make sure I do not drink any coffee after 11am and if I have a diet coke or anything in the evening, I try and restrict myself to a maximum of 2 glasses!

  • And my favourite, Yoga or Pilates! Such brilliant relaxation techniques to help ground yourself and stop those whirling thoughts from keeping you awake at night!

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