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Does prediabetes make you tired?

Are you regularly feeling fatigued? If you find yourself persistently feeling tired throughout the day, it could be indicative of an underlying condition like diabetes. It’s a good idea to seek professional medical advice if you have chronic fatigue, as it could help you spot diabetes or another underlying condition you were unaware of. 

Those who have fatigue may also wonder if they have prediabetes. The truth is prediabetes often has no symptoms, and chronic fatigue may indicate it has already progressed to diabetes. Prediabetes is particularly important to catch early, as identifying it can help you prevent your condition from worsening to diabetes. In this blog, we’ll explore the link between prediabetes and fatigue and look at the other factors that could be contributing to your symptoms of fatigue. Read on to learn more!

What is prediabetes?

First, let’s define what we mean by prediabetes. Prediabetes is a diagnosable condition where blood sugar levels are higher than normal but not high enough to diagnose type 2 diabetes. It is, however, a warning sign that you may develop diabetes if you don’t make some changes. Many people are entirely unaware they have prediabetes since the condition doesn’t exhibit any symptoms. Some symptoms may indicate your prediabetes has progressed to diabetes, such as:

  • Fatigue
  • Increased hunger or thirst
  • Increase urination
  • Numbness in hands or feet
  • Frequent infections
  • Unexplained weight loss

The only way to know for sure is with blood sugar tests, which is why it’s important to regularly check in with your primary care provider.

If you've been diagnosed with prediabetes, it's crucial to take action now to prevent or delay the onset of diabetes. Lifestyle changes, such as adopting a healthy diet, increasing physical activity and maintaining a healthy weight, can greatly reduce your risk of developing diabetes. Your primary care provider will be able to help develop a treatment plan that will help you manage your condition.

Understanding this condition

As mentioned, prediabetes is often considered a warning sign from your body, indicating that changes must be made to avoid more serious health complications. 

It can also be helpful to understand your condition and what causes it, but unfortunately, the exact cause of prediabetes is unknown. Studies indicate that it could be linked to genetics. Regardless of the primary cause of prediabetes, those with the condition are unable to properly process glucose.

Those with prediabetes typically have insulin issues where their pancreas doesn’t make enough of the hormone, or their cells have become more resistant to it. When you eat, the insulin released by your pancreas allows the glucose, or sugar, from food to enter your cells and leave your bloodstream. If your body isn’t able to properly regulate your insulin, then your blood sugar levels can rise and lead to health complications such as diabetes. 

Fortunately, those who learn they have prediabetes can take several steps to help prevent their condition from progressing. These measures may include:

  • Eating a balanced diet — Eating a healthy diet, especially foods low in fat and high in fiber can help lower your risk of developing diabetes.
  • Losing weight — Those who are overweight or obese can drastically reduce their risk of developing type 2 diabetes by dropping five to seven percent of their body weight and maintaining a healthy weight afterward.
  • Exercise — Physical activity helps to keep your body healthy, use glucose and use insulin effectively, which can reduce your risk of developing diabetes.
  • Quit smoking — Smoking can affect your body’s ability to regulate insulin, so quitting smoking can help reduce your diabetes risk.
  • Medications — Your primary care provider may prescribe medications if you’re diagnosed with prediabetes. Make sure to take these as instructed.

It’s best to talk with your primary care provider about a preventive treatment plan, so you can be monitored by a health care professional and they can make adjustments to your treatment plan as necessary. Your health care provider will be able to conduct regular blood sugar tests to check if your treatment is progressing as expected.

The link between prediabetes and fatigue

As mentioned, prediabetes doesn’t have discernible symptoms, which is why it goes undetected in many people. However, it is possible that some of the facets of prediabetes could lead to you feeling more tired. Factors like high blood sugar levels, even if they’re not diabetes levels, could affect your body’s energy production. Your body may have difficulties turning your glucose into usable energy, making you feel more tired throughout the day.

Once your blood sugar levels have reached diabetes levels, there are more obvious links to fatigue levels. The above reason, with your body unable to regulate blood sugar and insulin levels, applies to diabetes as well. Those with diabetes may also have poor sleep quality, which can lead to them feeling fatigued throughout the day. Other factors like stress, weight loss and infections that are associated with diabetes can affect your energy levels, leading to feelings of tiredness.

Factors that may contribute to tiredness

If you’re experiencing chronic fatigue, it doesn’t necessarily mean you have prediabetes or diabetes. Chronic fatigue or tiredness can be a symptom of many different underlying conditions. If you’re experiencing chronic fatigue alongside some of the other listed symptoms of diabetes, it’s certainly possible that you could be diagnosed with the condition.

Regardless, chronic fatigue is a symptom that is always worth bringing up to your primary care provider. They will be able to ask the right questions and run the right tests to determine the base cause of your fatigue. It could be something as simple as a sleep disorder like insomnia, which can be treated with lifestyle changes, or it could be something more serious like type 2 diabetes which needs ongoing treatment. 

In any case, making an appointment with your primary care provider will be the quickest and easiest way to find out for sure.

Connect with a doctor or online provider

If you’re experiencing chronic fatigue or any other persistent symptom, it’s best to connect with an in-person doctor or an online care provider. A health care professional will be able to provide you with a diagnosis, a treatment plan and even prescription medication if necessary.

Today, there are more ways to get quality healthcare than ever. You can go to see your provider in person, or you can even get care through virtual telehealth providers if you prefer convenience. With Circle Medical, you can do both!

Book an appointment with a Circle Medical telehealth provider today!

Circle Medical is a full-stack primary care clinic that offers both in-person and online healthcare, so you can receive care the way you prefer. If you prefer the traditional in-person care experience, we have you covered. If you’d like to try the convenience and expediency of an online appointment to get started, you can book a same-day appointment today! Circle Medical provides primary care for a wide range of conditions, including prediabetes and diabetes. Make your appointment today to connect with one of our providers.

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