Sandra’s 82-year-old mother, Eliza, has had diabetes for years.
It was usually well controlled, so Eliza was able to continue an active life. When Eliza began to complain about feeling tired and stopped doing some of the things she loved, Sandra becomes concerned. She didn’t think fatigue could be caused by diabetes, so she worried that perhaps her mom had developed another medical condition. Sandra scheduled a doctor appointment for Eliza to discuss her fatigue. Both were surprised when the doctor suggested that the fatigue could be caused by Eliza’s diabetes and might signal a need for a change in treatment.
Fatigue caused by diabetes is a common problem. In fact, 61 percent of people who have type 2 diabetes say that they experience fatigue. Understanding what causes diabetes fatigue and what to do about it is an important step in allowing your aging relative to live a better, more active life.
Diabetes Fatigue Causes and Symptoms
Fatigue is different from simply being tired. People who are fatigued aren’t merely sleepy, they feel extremely tired, even exhausted. The feeling doesn’t go away when they rest.
When your older family member is fatigued, you may notice the following symptoms:
- Having little or no energy.
- Trouble completing even easy tasks.
- Feeling down or depressed.
Diabetes affects the body’s ability to use sugar in the blood to create energy.
Cells in the body need insulin to absorb sugar from the blood to turn into energy. When a person has diabetes, their body may not produce enough insulin or be unable to use insulin efficiently. Because the body can’t use sugar to create energy, your older adult may not have the energy they need. Conversely, having low blood pressure can also cause fatigue since there isn’t enough sugar to convert into energy. Low blood sugar can be a side effect of some diabetes medications.
The best way to manage fatigue with diabetes is to manage the diabetes itself. The older adult needs to check their blood sugar regularly to make certain it stays within the acceptable range. Taking medications according to the doctor’s instructions is also important. The senior should also follow the guidelines their health care team has set for eating, which usually involves limiting refined carbohydrates and sugar.
Elderly care providers can help older adults to better manage diabetes. An elderly care provider can remind them when it is time to check their blood sugar or take medication. Elderly care providers can also cook healthy meals and snacks that help to control blood sugar. When your loved one does feel fatigued, an elderly care provider can allow them to rest while they take care of things around the house, like cleaning and laundry.
If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring professional Senior Care in Homewood, AL, call and talk to the staff at Lipford Home Care (205) 623-5700.
They have three teenage children and are actively involved in their church and community – both teach high school Sunday school while Dennis coaches youth sports and Kelly leads a women’s Bible study. Dennis & Kelly personally manage the daily activities of the company.
It is their passion and commitment to providing quality and responsive service that has made their company the fastest growing home care agency in Birmingham.
They believe that being an independently owned and operated company gives them the flexibility to manage their business in a way that better serves their clients.
They understand you have a choice in care providers and they will do their utmost to earn your trust.
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