a woman slumped over tired

Is Fatigue a Type 2 Diabetes Indicator?

There are many reasons you might be fatigued. The possibilities are vast, from not getting enough sleep to being sick or having another medical condition. But is fatigue a type 2 diabetes indicator? Here is more on what you should know if you're feeling more tired than usual.

My experiences with fatigue

I have to admit, I've always loved napping. Growing up, we took a nap after church, and maybe that's when my love of napping started. Besides, who doesn't love getting a midday rest? But something I noticed before I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes is that I would fall asleep at my desk at work.

I worked from home for years because it gave me the flexibility to take a nap whenever I wanted. I also stayed up as long as I wished to and slept in if needed. But after taking a part-time job outside of the home, I'd nod off at my desk. Luckily, I have a very casual job, and my boss is super cool, but it's not normal to do it often.

Connection between type 2 diabetes and fatigue

After I was diagnosed correctly with type 2 diabetes and started on medication (in my case Ozempic), I noticed I was no longer falling asleep at my desk. I finally realized that my blood sugar was too high in the past, which caused my fatigue. After controlling my diabetes, the midday sleepiness I used to experience disappeared, yet my sleep patterns stayed the same.

According to the American Diabetes Association, fatigue is a common symptom of high blood glucose (hyperglycemia). Approximately 61 percent of people newly diagnosed with type 2 diabetes experienced fatigue.1

There are quite a few reasons why fatigue is connected with type 2 diabetes. It's possible to feel fatigued when your blood sugar levels are out of balance. Your energy levels can fluctuate depending on your physical activity levels. Other reasons for fatigue may include emotional and mental struggles with accepting and living with diabetes. Your sleep may be interrupted by waking up to use the bathroom or needing a glass of water frequently.

The difference between feeling tiredness and fatigue

And it is important to point out that there is a difference between tiredness and fatigue. When it comes to tiredness, a decent night of rest can improve feelings of tiredness. However, fatigue doesn't work that way, meaning the amount of sleep one has does not relieve fatigue.

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I recently saw a close friend's post on social media. She asked why she might be nodding off at her desk and wondered if others had the same issue. I immediately thought of my own experiences with type 2 diabetes and fatigue. While I'm not a doctor, I mentioned that it might be a good idea to visit her doctor and ask about diabetes.

Along with type 2 diabetes comes many symptoms, and fatigue is a symptom you shouldn't ignore. In fact, you should never overlook fatigue that isn't normal for you. Type 2 diabetes is just one factor of many reasons you may be experiencing feeling malaise.

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