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6 Ways to Stop Diabetes From Making You Tired

WebMD Feature

Feeling fatigued? If you have diabetes, tiredness can be one of the symptoms.

The first step toward feeling better is to talk to your doctor. Your doctor will check your overall health, including how well your diabetes is controlled and whether you have any other medical conditions that need attention.

It will help if you keep a diary for a week or two for your doctor. In it, write down:

  • Your blood sugar levels.
  • How stressed you feel. Some people feel burned out from the effort it takes to manage diabetes every day.
  • How often and how much you exercise.
  • What you eat and when you eat it and how much you eat.
  • How much and how well you slept.
  • If you wake up at night because you're snoring, need to use the bathroom, or if anything else interrupts a full night’s sleep.
  • How you feel when you wake up in the morning. Do you feel rested or tired?

Together, you and your doctor can make a plan to boost your energy level. Your plan may include:

6 Tips to Get Your Energy Back

1. Exercise. Move more, and you get more energy. People who take a brisk, daily 30-minute walk are less tired than idle people, says Cynthia Fritschi, PhD, RN, CDE, assistant professor in the biobehavioral health science department at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Nursing.

Choose an activity you like, whether it's Zumba, tennis, walking, gardening, or swimming. Do it for at least 30 to 60 minutes a day. If you can't spare that much time at once, sneak in shorter (10-minute) periods of exercise whenever you can. As long as it adds up to 30-60 minutes per day, that's what counts.

Wear a pedometer so you know how many steps you're taking each day. Try to add 500 steps a day until you reach at least 10,000 daily steps, says Geralyn Spollett, MSN, ANP, CDE, of the American Diabetes Association and Yale Diabetes Center.

2. Watch your diet. To keep your blood sugar level steady, eat three healthy meals and a snack during the day. Include healthy carbohydrates from fruits and vegetables and whole grains, as well as lean protein from sources such as beans, tofu, fish, or skinless chicken breasts.

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If the level is below 70 or you are experiencing symptoms such as shaking, sweating or difficulty thinking, you will need to raise the number immediately. A quick solution is to eat a few pieces of hard candy or 1 tablespoon of sugar or honey. Recheck your numbers again in 15 minutes to see if the number has gone up. If not, repeat the steps above or call your doctor.

People who experience hypoglycemia several times in a week should call their health care provider. It's important to monitor your levels each day so you can make sure your numbers are within the range. If you are pregnant always consult with your health care provider.

Congratulations on taking steps to manage your health.

However, it's important to continue to track your numbers so that you can make lifestyle changes if needed. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.

Your level is high if this reading was taken before eating. Aim for 70-130 before meals and less than 180 two hours after meals.

Even if your number is high, it's not too late for you to take control of your health and lower your blood sugar.

One of the first steps is to monitor your levels each day. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.

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