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Type 2 Diabetes and Fatigue

Symptoms: Extreme fatigue, increased thirst and hunger, increased urination, unusual weight loss

The incidence of type 2 diabetes is escalating in children and adults in the U.S. If you have symptoms of type 2 diabetes, call your doctor and ask to be tested. While finding out you have diabetes may be frightening, type 2 diabetes can be self-managed with guidance from your doctor.

Treatment for type 2 diabetes may include:

  • losing excess weight
  • increasing physical activity
  • maintaining strict blood glucose control
  • taking diabetes medications (insulin or other drugs)
  • eating a low glycemic index carbohydrate diet, or, though controversial, a low-carbohydrate diet

Other lifestyle measures are important in staying well with type 2 diabetes. They include smoking cessation, blood pressure control, and reduction in cholesterol.

Underactive Thyroid (Hypothyroidism) and Fatigue

Symptoms: Extreme fatigue, sluggishness, feeling run down, depression, cold intolerance, weight gain

The problem may be a slow or underactive thyroid. This is known as hypothyroidism. The thyroid is a small, butterfly-shaped gland that sits at the base of your neck. It helps set the rate of metabolism, which is the rate at which the body uses energy.

According to the American Thyroid Foundation, approximately 17% of all women will have a thyroid disorder by age 60. And most won't know it. The most common cause is an autoimmune disorder known as Hashimoto's thyroiditis. Hashimoto's stops the gland from making enough thyroid hormones for the body to work the way it should. The result is hypothyroidism, or a slow metabolism.

Blood tests known as T3 and T4 will detect thyroid hormones. If these hormones are low, synthetic hormones (medication) can bring you up to speed and you should begin to feel better fairly rapidly.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Arefa Cassoobhoy, MD, MPH on July 16, 2013
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