High blood sugar levels (or hyperglycemia) are a symptom of diabetes mellitus. They are also a precursor to this disease, which can be life-limiting. When you ingest sugar or any food high on the Glycemic Index (GI), your blood sugar levels quickly increase. They peak within 45 minutes of eating. In a normal person, the blood sugar then begins to decrease. Within 2 hours, it’s back to normal levels. When you eat foods that are low on the GI, your blood sugar rises and stays level for an extended time before declining again.
In a diabetic person, the blood sugar levels cannot be managed by the body and do not lower. These constant high blood sugar levels place an enormous strain on the organs and cells of the body. After a prolonged period of not addressing high blood sugar levels, permanent damage is possible. That is why most diabetics have to use insulin. Our bodies produce insulin in the pancreas. A normal body produces enough insulin to control blood sugar levels. A diabetic’s pancreas cannot produce enough insulin. So, people with diabetes must supplement the insulin supply in their bodies.
Another way to manage and minimize blood sugar levels is to eat foods that are low on the glycemic index. That way the body’s blood sugar levels are not on a rollercoaster ride of ups and downs. Therefore, most diabetics have to be careful about what they eat and drink. They avoid sugary drinks and foods rich in bad carbohydrates.
Studies suggest that many people have high blood sugar levels but aren’t even aware of it. They are a ticking time bomb because their bodies are becoming more and more damaged. If they aren’t aware of their condition, they won’t change their eating habits and seek help. If you display some of these symptoms, you may have high blood sugar levels. A simple blood test can determine this. It may not yet be diabetes, and dietary changes and exercise will be treatment enough.
Extreme fatigue can be a symptom of high blood sugar levels. When you have too much glucose (sugar) in your blood, you will feel tired. Blood that contains a lot of sugar moves more slowly than blood with normal sugar levels. The circulation of blood around the body slows down. When this happens, organs and cells are not getting the oxygen that they need from the blood. This is what causes them long-term harm if high blood sugar levels are not treated.
The fatigue brought on by high blood sugar levels is also related to inflammation. The high sugar levels cause inflammation of the blood vessels. Research shows that when blood vessels are inflamed, monocytes are released into the brain. Monocytes are immune cells. They cause fatigue.
Fatigue may also be caused by low blood sugar levels. If there is not enough sugar in the blood, the body is not receiving enough energy. This will result in feelings of listlessness and exhaustion. The fatigue brought on by high blood sugar levels will be accompanied by dizziness and irritability. No amount of sleep will make it go away. Your quality of life is affected by the fatigue as you can no longer do the things you want to.
Sometimes, just getting out of bed and getting ready for work can leave you exhausted. The fatigue may be brought on by poor sleep quality. Studies show that up to 31% of type 1 diabetes patients report poor quality sleep. With type 2 diabetes, the number goes up to 42%. A fatigue survey conducted on people with diabetes and those without was interesting. There were more of the 37 diabetic subjects who complained of fatigue than the 31 non-diabetic subjects.