Is Diabetes Making Me Tired?

Q: I've had diabetes for seven months, and I'm always tired. Is there anything I can do to overcome being tired all the time?

A: Are you monitoring your blood glucose levels? Tiredness is common when glucose stays too high. According to the American Diabetes Association, the target level for fasting blood glucose (before eating) is 70-130 mg/dl and under 180 mg/dl one to two hours after meals. Monitoring your blood glucose can tell you a lot, including how meals and activity affect your blood glucose trends.

Another thing to consider is how you're coping with this new reality. A diagnosis of diabetes can contribute to anxiety or even depression. Depression can cause you to feel tired. Ask your provider to screen you for depression. Some things that help keep your blood glucose levels steady, such as getting enough sleep and daily physical activity, can help treat depression, too. Also ask your provider about sleep apnea, a condition that prevents deep sleep. Depression and sleep apnea are common with type 2 diabetes; both are treatable.

Depression and Diabetes

Virginia Zamudio Lange, R.N., M.S.N., CDE, is a member of Diabetic Living's editorial advisory board.