Get up and beat fatigue with awareness
When your get up and go has gotten up and left, consider your blood sugar. November is National Diabetes Awareness Month. An understanding of diabetes is the first step in combating chronic fatigue.
The number of people with diabetes is increasing at an amazing rate. To quote the numbers just makes people a statistic. The fact is that if your life hasn’t been affected by diabetes by now, there is an overwhelming chance that you or someone you love will be affected by this disease during your lifetime.
Improved ways of detecting diabetes and the growing number of conditions that lead to uncontrolled blood sugar is causing the number of cases discovered each year to skyrocket. Being tired all of the time is one of the red flags that may signal a blood glucose abnormality.
Ironically one of the best remedies for being tired all of the time is to not sit and rest but to get up and move. Sluggishness can be corrected with activity. Think of a salad dressing bottle. When all the tasty spices fall to the bottom, the only way to return the concoction to its original goodness is to shake it. When all of the good energy has been zapped from the body and everything has settled into the couch or bed, putting your feet on the ground and shaking out the cobwebs in your muscles activates energy again.
Moving not only wakes up unused leg and arm muscles, it stimulates the brain with feel-good hormones. I once tried to motivate a woman into moving and changing her lifestyle but she misunderstood me and declared that she “liked where she lived.”
Moving and becoming more active doesn’t necessarily involve changing your address, but if that’s what it takes to excite your body into movement, do it. Chronic fatigue takes so much energy to endure that it is worthwhile to at least try to make every movement meaningful.
People with elevated blood sugars have too much energy floating around in their bloodstream. When gasoline is close to $4 per gallon to move a car, why not use an available and relatively inexpensive source of energy to move your body, that is, blood sugar.
When people tell me that they walk to stay in shape, I question the level of this activity. Daily movement of the muscles is important to the health of the body and the level of blood sugar. I’ve known weight lifters that live in wheelchairs and grandmas in their 90s that still exercise every day. They are not plagued with chronic fatigue.
Diabetes is National Diabetes Awareness Month. Become aware of your family history of diabetes. Having a relative with diabetes increases the risk for you. This means that grandparents can become role models for their children and grandchildren by talking about diabetes and showing them how to care for themselves through good example.
Taking a walk instead of driving to get ice cream is an excellent activity to teach loved ones about the use of blood sugar. It will make your get and go stay and even become stronger.
Bobbie Randall is a certified diabetes educator and a registered, licensed dietitian. She supervises a diabetes self-management training program at Aultman-Orrville Hospital, Orrville. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or 330–684-4776.