In the medical world, extreme tiredness and exhaustion that doesn’t disappear with rest or sleep is known as fatigue and this can be a telling symptom of diabetes.
Causes of fatigue
There are many things that can cause you to fell fatigued. The most common and obvious is a lack of sleep.
Most adults need between 6 and 8 hours of sleep a day , but this can vary quite a lot from person to person. It’s also important to remember that most people require less sleep as they get older.
Other common causes of fatigue include:
- Anaemia – a condition that occurs when you don’t have enough red blood cells
- Cancer – most types of cancer cause fatigue to a certain degree
- Chronic Fatigue Syndrome – a condition that causes unexplained exhaustion and fatigue
- Depression – constant tiredness is a major indicator of depression or emotional stress
- Diabetes – sudden and extreme tiredness is one of the main symptoms of diabetes mellitus
- Infections – fatigue can be brought on by various infections such as the flu (influenza)
- Coeliac Disease – an autoimmune condition in which inflammation in the lining of the small intestine affects the body’s ability to absorb nutrients properly.
Diabetes and fatigue
With diabetes, fatigue is caused by a number of factors, including:
- High blood sugar levels, either from a lack of the insulin horomone or from insulin resistance, can affect the body’s ability to get glucose from the blood into cells to meet our energy needs
- People on stronger diabetes medication such as insulin, may also experience fatigue as a symptom of low blood glucose levels
- Blood glucose testing can help to determine whether high or low sugar levels may be the cause of fatigue.
Symptoms of fatigue include:
- A lack of, or no energy
- Difficulty in carrying out simple everyday tasks
- Feeling down or depressed (mental fatigue)
Regular exercise combined with a healthy diet and a good night’s rest can often boost your energy levels.
In addition, mindfulness and other meditation-based techniques are ideal for combating stress and depression and improving mental health.
- Learn more about the benefits of mindfulness
When to call your doctor
If you are suffering from extreme tiredness that is not simply due to a lack of sleep and has gone on for three to four weeks, you should seek advice from your doctor and make an appointment for a check-up.