Fatigue is most common and unfortunately the most overlooked complications that come along with Diabetes. It is a constant problem that takes toll on the stamina to perform the daily tasks of the life. Moreover, managing diabetes and other complications, itself is tiring. Result is your stamina has decreased and you feel exhausted all day blaming the disease and not looking for the exact reasons behind the tiredness.
There is a strong association between diabetes and fatigue and the association can have following explanations:
- Imbalanced insulin or oral medication leading to Hyperglycemia
- Diabetic patients often have low thyroid and testosterone levels, kidney disease, depression, medication side effects and other health complications all of which can cause you to become very tired.
- Blood sugar levels that are too high or too low will cause fatigue.
- Less or poor sleep
- Common sedentary lifestyle: Sitting, reading, watching T.V., playing video games, mobile phones, and computer use for more time with no vigorous physical activity makes you more tired
- Eating a diet high in refined sugars or over eating: more blood sugar-more fatigue
- Eating less also cause fatigue as low blood sugar along with insulin therapy cause low energy thus fatigue
- Daily stress due to work and fast life leading to physical and emotional exhaustion
So to improve your stamina you need to pin point the cause of fatigue and tiredness and work on it. There are certain ways to improve you stamina while effectively managing Diabetes.
Nutrition is an important key to energy level. So here are few tips to improve your stamina while on diabetes.
- Avoid refined carbs: Refined carbs such as white bread, white rice have very high gycemic index gives you initial instant energy resulting in rapid increase in blood glucose ultimately causing fatigue in some time. Avoid junk foods rich in bad cholesterol.
- Cut down on your intake of these foods is likely to result in a swift improvement in energy levels.
- Replace these foods with foods high in fiber, antioxidants, and vitamins and minerals and foods with a low to moderate glycemic index (a measure of how rapidly a food raises your blood sugar or glucose). These foods also slow the digestion and absorption of the food thus giving constant stamina.
Here are some foods that improve stamina in diabetic patients:
- Asparagus: It can help keep blood sugar levels in check and increase insulin production.
- Apples, oranges, pears, cherries and grapefruit have a low GI and are better sources of energy for you
- Lean meats
- Whole grains
- Unprocessed foods
Thus eat a healthy, nutritious diet and don’t skip meals for the required stamina in diabetic conditions.
Sedentary lifestyle makes you more tired so it gets harder and harder to move. To feel better, you need to keep moving. Exercise is a great help in keeping the body active, improving the stamina and also builds muscle which is great for increasing your energy levels. Exercise also helps to improve insulin sensitivity.
Some types of exercise that can keep you going well with your energy levels up:
- Weight training: Muscles play an important part in glucose metabolism and so weight training can improve blood glucose levels which will improve the stamina.
- Cardio: Exercises like pushups, pull-ups, sit-ups are advisable for diabetic patients to improve stamina as it gets your blood pumping and moves oxygen through the body keeping you active.
- Yoga and Meditation: Yoga is beneficial to both mental and physical health. It improves strength, flexibility, health, blood pressure and also in reducing depression and stress thus leading to have better stamina in body. Meditation helps in reducing stress and thus relaxes the body.
- Other Aerobic exercises like Tai-chi and Zumba also improves strength and flexibility of the body.
- Swimming: Hit the pool for a great aerobic exercise to boost up your energy levels.
- Walking: A simple walk to lake side, dog walking or even a walk in a mall is a great contribution to your daily aerobic exercise.
The root cause of your low energy levels in diabetes is wrong diet, sedentary lifestyle, lack of motivation, work-related stress, depression and sleep deprivation or any other health condition.
- Sleep: Sleep is important as body needs sleep every night to stimulate your immune system. Lack of sleep or insomnia can have a negative effect on how your immune system functions, thus, your body can become lethargic and have low stamina. That’s why our body needs minimum 7-8 hours of sleep every day.
- Dealing with stress: All of us have some sort of work stress or other stress in our life which is unavoidable. But to develop good strategies to cope with the existing stress is important. Stress interferes with our immune system. Stress hormones reduce white blood cells making blood sugar levels high and body gets more susceptible to infections. These factors contribute to lack of stamina and fatigue.
- Exercise: Yoga, deep breathing and meditation can minimize stress and lower your blood pressure. Also try to create balance between work and personal life. Take out time for family & friends. This will help a lot to reduce stress and improve stamina.
- Supplements: Supplement your daily routine with natural ingredients which improve blood glucose control and help manage their conditions that causes fatigue in diabetic patients. Some herbal supplements have been shown in some clinical research studies to have anti-diabetic properties like aloe vera, bilberry extract, bitter melon, cinnamon, fenugreek seed extract (such as clinically approved supplement Fenfuro, ginger and okra.
Bottom line is that once you’ve made the choice to be healthier, you’ll find yourself less fatigued and more energized.