Managing fatigue with diabetes

There is no one ‘right’ diet to manage diabetes, however, there are some simple steps you can follow to help keep your blood sugar levels stable and avoid daytime drowsiness.

Fatigue is one of the major symptoms of diabetes, so if you are feeling unusually tired it might be worth talking to your GP about getting tested. For those who are aware of their diabetes, managing fatigue can be an ongoing balancing act. These simple tips will help you to avoid the post-meal slump and give you your afternoons back.

Exercise
Make sure you stay active. Choose an activity you enjoy and make sure you participate both frequently and regularly. Take a 30 minute walk every day, join a dancing class or take up swimming. Whatever you do, try to be ‘actively’ active for 30 to 60 minutes every day. Geralyn Spollett of the American Diabetes Association suggests wearing a pedometer to track your steps. Try adding 500 steps each day until you are taking 10,000 steps per day on a regular basis.

Diet
Managing your diet is the easiest way to keep your blood sugar levels stable. Make sure you have three healthy meals every day, plus one or two healthy snacks. Keep your carbohydrates healthy by eating fruit and vegetables, as carbohydrates can cause fatigue if you eat too many of them. Make sure there is enough lean protein in your diet. It is important you speak to your GP or a dietician when you find out you have diabetes, as certain foods can make managing your diabetes easier or more difficult. It is also important to make sure you stay hydrated throughout the day.

Vitamin B
The B vitamin group can help with your nerve health, so if you have nerve problems from your diabetes, it is important to ensure you are getting enough B vitamins, either through your diet or through supplements.

Sleep
Diabetes has been linked with an increased risk of sleep apnoea. Sleep apnoea is a condition in which you stop breathing for a few seconds while you sleep. Symptoms can include snoring, feeling sleepy during the day, difficulty concentrating and waking up with a headache or sore throat. Sleep apnoea can be treated, so talk to your doctor about visiting a sleep clinic.

The best person to help manage your diabetes with you is your doctor, so make sure you get some help to create a diabetes management plan (and stick to it).

Do you have any tips for the newly diabetic? How do you manage your blood sugar? And have you found ways to avoid tiredness?

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