Low energy with diabetes

Posted by dorisena @dorisena, May 14, 2019

Eating a low carb diet is supposed to force the body to burn stored fat instead of depending on carbs for the job. I think my body just doesn’t want to do that anymore, so I don’t have energy in the cells for the basic living chores during the day. I also sleep a lot more. My mind wants to do the work, however. I am really puzzled about my “get up and go.” Dorisena

@dorisena Can you think of any other things that could be contributing to your fatigue? I am tired a lot but my husband says it's because I do so much. I know I do exercise a lot, particularly on the days I go to the pool, but I am sure another contributing factor to my fatigue is very frequent bathroom calls during the night. I average almost one an hour and even if I do get back to sleep fairly quickly it does disrupt your sleep. I am presuming that those are the contributing factors for me. I actually think carbs make me more tired!
JK

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Yes, I have recognized for years that lots of carbs will put me to sleep right after a meal. Yes, I agree the getting up at night affects my ability to stay awake during the day. But the low carb diet is supposed to make me feel more energetic which it did when I was first diagnosed. I lost 19 pounds. Now, I drag around and nothing happens, so I am still looking for the tricks to keep myself going reasonably well at 83. Perhaps I expect too much because my mind is way ahead of my body, it seems. I get up early, take my thyroid pill and go back to sleep a little longer or I must take a nap after breakfast in order to begin my day. I am a careful breakfast eater. My family doesn't mind that I am doing less each day, but I am worried about it all. I have an appointment with an attorney to discuss estate matters next week, so I need to be alert and not taking a nap after lunch. My daughter is accompanying me. I am considering going back to midmorning small snacks and afternoon snacks and a later dinner. I feel pretty well in the evening. Right now I do the day work at night if necessary. My metabolism is obviously very slow. I am working on it. Evening is when I play the piano or talk on the phone. Dorisena

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Dorisena: you didn’t mention how long you’ve wrestled with diabetes. I’ve had it over 16 years and still do not take insulin. If you’re just starting off, you may only need small changes to your normal diet, like avoiding bread, donuts, pancakes, etc. and limiting starches. (You will learn a small amount of noodles/spaghetti is not necessarily bad.) Try just limiting the volume of your meals as this has as much effect as what you eat.

I try to limit my carbs to 30-40 grams per meal. Exercise is important, even just walking after meals makes a big difference. But there are many side effects to a very low-carb diet, and my diet is higher than many of the popular fad diets. I have lost weight simply by following the above.

You may also want to look at some of the side effects of the low-carb diets at livehealthy.chron.com/negative-side-effects-lowcarb-diet-1602.html.

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@dorisena

Yes, I have recognized for years that lots of carbs will put me to sleep right after a meal. Yes, I agree the getting up at night affects my ability to stay awake during the day. But the low carb diet is supposed to make me feel more energetic which it did when I was first diagnosed. I lost 19 pounds. Now, I drag around and nothing happens, so I am still looking for the tricks to keep myself going reasonably well at 83. Perhaps I expect too much because my mind is way ahead of my body, it seems. I get up early, take my thyroid pill and go back to sleep a little longer or I must take a nap after breakfast in order to begin my day. I am a careful breakfast eater. My family doesn't mind that I am doing less each day, but I am worried about it all. I have an appointment with an attorney to discuss estate matters next week, so I need to be alert and not taking a nap after lunch. My daughter is accompanying me. I am considering going back to midmorning small snacks and afternoon snacks and a later dinner. I feel pretty well in the evening. Right now I do the day work at night if necessary. My metabolism is obviously very slow. I am working on it. Evening is when I play the piano or talk on the phone. Dorisena

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@dorisena It sounds as if you are doing all of the right things. Your fatigue may simply be the same as mine — the frequent interruptions to sleep at night. Are you doing a lot? I actually find that if I get moving fairly soon after breakfast I do have more energy. The last time I went to my PCP I mentioned that I am tired a lot and often end up taking a nap in the afternoon. His response was "what's wrong with that?".
If your metabolism is slow maybe you need more activity to get it cranked up a bit, that's a possibility also. My husband is 83 and has always been much younger than his years but this past year he has found that he has slowed down a lot. He does still go to the gym three times a week and he works two days a week, but he often falls asleep in front of the TV at nighttime.
JK

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@contentandwell

@dorisena It sounds as if you are doing all of the right things. Your fatigue may simply be the same as mine — the frequent interruptions to sleep at night. Are you doing a lot? I actually find that if I get moving fairly soon after breakfast I do have more energy. The last time I went to my PCP I mentioned that I am tired a lot and often end up taking a nap in the afternoon. His response was "what's wrong with that?".
If your metabolism is slow maybe you need more activity to get it cranked up a bit, that's a possibility also. My husband is 83 and has always been much younger than his years but this past year he has found that he has slowed down a lot. He does still go to the gym three times a week and he works two days a week, but he often falls asleep in front of the TV at nighttime.
JK

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yes, I need more activity, but the body doesn't seem able to do it. I know I have not had a stroke. There is a condition called muscle wasting which happens after surgery. Everyone told me to rest instead of pushing my body to recover. I think that was being kind but was not particularly good advice. No more surgery for me. My granddaughter is coming to stretch me and push me to walk more.
I will not quit without a fight with this old body. Exercise is supposed to make it work better. If I am to have a normal future, I must try.
I am not ready for a wheelchair and added weight gain. Dorisena

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@dorisena

yes, I need more activity, but the body doesn't seem able to do it. I know I have not had a stroke. There is a condition called muscle wasting which happens after surgery. Everyone told me to rest instead of pushing my body to recover. I think that was being kind but was not particularly good advice. No more surgery for me. My granddaughter is coming to stretch me and push me to walk more.
I will not quit without a fight with this old body. Exercise is supposed to make it work better. If I am to have a normal future, I must try.
I am not ready for a wheelchair and added weight gain. Dorisena

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@dorisena I agree with you completely. I will do everything I can to continue to be able to get around unassisted.

Another advantage to getting as active as possible is that is supposedly helps your mind. I also do not want to eventually have dementia so I will continue to do as much as I can. When I first started out I did much less than I do now. Now I generally go to my health club 6 days a week, three days for water exercise and three days in the gym. Frankly I do not love going but I consider it to be essential for both my body and mind. I was much, much heavier a number of years ago. I don’t ever want that to happen again
JK

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Water aerobics is my favorite thing to do, and I have had more poor instructors than good ones, so I know the difference in good effort. Incontinence keeps me out of the water now, although I did work alone in the pool before my second knee replacement. The cool chill, despite towels, getting to the locker room just makes matters worse, and I do not want to leave the hot shower afterward. I no longer think I should try the locker room without assistance. If I had someone with me, that would help with the issue of getting warm, dry, and dressed. I must not fall on wet floors, or anytime! I can afford the Y, but should I go and just allow the bladder to dribble everywhere? I loved spending a week at a little country spa but they moved too far away. I found another that is out of my price range and too far for driving, even with my granddaughters accompanying me. I want to continue to urge my athlete granddaughter to "train" me as she is certainly capable, if I can convince her that she won't hurt me at this point. The other thing I am thinking of doing is changing when I take the Metformin because it may be one of the reasons I am not sleeping well at night, besides the bathroom trips. If I can work hard, I will sleep at night. Dorisena

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@dorisena

Water aerobics is my favorite thing to do, and I have had more poor instructors than good ones, so I know the difference in good effort. Incontinence keeps me out of the water now, although I did work alone in the pool before my second knee replacement. The cool chill, despite towels, getting to the locker room just makes matters worse, and I do not want to leave the hot shower afterward. I no longer think I should try the locker room without assistance. If I had someone with me, that would help with the issue of getting warm, dry, and dressed. I must not fall on wet floors, or anytime! I can afford the Y, but should I go and just allow the bladder to dribble everywhere? I loved spending a week at a little country spa but they moved too far away. I found another that is out of my price range and too far for driving, even with my granddaughters accompanying me. I want to continue to urge my athlete granddaughter to "train" me as she is certainly capable, if I can convince her that she won't hurt me at this point. The other thing I am thinking of doing is changing when I take the Metformin because it may be one of the reasons I am not sleeping well at night, besides the bathroom trips. If I can work hard, I will sleep at night. Dorisena

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@dorisena I understand your concerns. When I was first doing water aerobic classes I could barely make it to the toilets in the locker room but I went for Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy and that has helped a lot.

Fortunately our locker room is quite clean and there are rubber rugs for any water to go through so it is not slippery. My usual routine is after I get out of the water I take a shower, put on my underwear, and then relax for a short time in the sauna. I do not do the hot tubs, I am afraid of UTIs. In the process of doing all of that I do make a number of trips to the toilets. I find that I am pretty good in the water but after I get out I need to "go" a number of times. Apparently there is a physical reason for that.

You are right, instructors can vary a lot. Right now my health club has almost all good instructors. I don't care for the Monday morning one, but I like all of the others and they give a good work-out.
JK

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@dorisena

Water aerobics is my favorite thing to do, and I have had more poor instructors than good ones, so I know the difference in good effort. Incontinence keeps me out of the water now, although I did work alone in the pool before my second knee replacement. The cool chill, despite towels, getting to the locker room just makes matters worse, and I do not want to leave the hot shower afterward. I no longer think I should try the locker room without assistance. If I had someone with me, that would help with the issue of getting warm, dry, and dressed. I must not fall on wet floors, or anytime! I can afford the Y, but should I go and just allow the bladder to dribble everywhere? I loved spending a week at a little country spa but they moved too far away. I found another that is out of my price range and too far for driving, even with my granddaughters accompanying me. I want to continue to urge my athlete granddaughter to "train" me as she is certainly capable, if I can convince her that she won't hurt me at this point. The other thing I am thinking of doing is changing when I take the Metformin because it may be one of the reasons I am not sleeping well at night, besides the bathroom trips. If I can work hard, I will sleep at night. Dorisena

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@dorisena Has your pcp checked your B-12 levels? Also, vitamin D is very important.

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I take lots of vitamin D per instructions from the endocrinologist and feel better in Florida in the sun in the winter. I am just now getting weather for outside work so that helps to be in the sun. My primary care people do not listen or care about my nutrition status because they know I am a fresh food, nutrition nut and they only dispense prescriptions for pain and such. Oh, yes, the doctor loves prescriptions for elevated BP. It drugs me. I have been thinking about taking more B-12 but when I took it previously I didn't notice any improvement. I study my blood reports and fine comb every little detail that I can understand. The pharmacist says their computer system red flags prescriptions that don't work well together, and that is enough. With prescriptions I think less is better if you are eating high quality vegetables. I am going to eat more whole wheat bread because I feel awful without the B vitamins in my diet. I keep studying.
This old body is wearing down and I don't want to give up my lifestyle. I don't believe in the word retirement. I did not sleep last night until 4:30 a.m. My blood sugar was 99 at that time and I had a shaky feeling which I do when it gets that low. I finally slept until 10:15 and am looking forward to planting some flowers while sitting down. My eating is off schedule but I plan to eat less more often and see if that helps. It could be that my daughter's mother-in-law, terrible auto accident and near death experience and slow recovery is affecting me more than I realize because my daughter described it and I am such a compassionate person that I suffer when others are suffering. Today is going to be better but I don't last long when I work. Tomorrow we are going to socialize and get pedicures. My family really notices my physical decline, but my mind is doing very well. I must not stumble and fall. Dorisena

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@dorisena

I take lots of vitamin D per instructions from the endocrinologist and feel better in Florida in the sun in the winter. I am just now getting weather for outside work so that helps to be in the sun. My primary care people do not listen or care about my nutrition status because they know I am a fresh food, nutrition nut and they only dispense prescriptions for pain and such. Oh, yes, the doctor loves prescriptions for elevated BP. It drugs me. I have been thinking about taking more B-12 but when I took it previously I didn't notice any improvement. I study my blood reports and fine comb every little detail that I can understand. The pharmacist says their computer system red flags prescriptions that don't work well together, and that is enough. With prescriptions I think less is better if you are eating high quality vegetables. I am going to eat more whole wheat bread because I feel awful without the B vitamins in my diet. I keep studying.
This old body is wearing down and I don't want to give up my lifestyle. I don't believe in the word retirement. I did not sleep last night until 4:30 a.m. My blood sugar was 99 at that time and I had a shaky feeling which I do when it gets that low. I finally slept until 10:15 and am looking forward to planting some flowers while sitting down. My eating is off schedule but I plan to eat less more often and see if that helps. It could be that my daughter's mother-in-law, terrible auto accident and near death experience and slow recovery is affecting me more than I realize because my daughter described it and I am such a compassionate person that I suffer when others are suffering. Today is going to be better but I don't last long when I work. Tomorrow we are going to socialize and get pedicures. My family really notices my physical decline, but my mind is doing very well. I must not stumble and fall. Dorisena

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I did pelvic floor therapy after bladder surgery and had no improvement. The pills make me constipated so I only take them occasionally.
After my back surgery I could not do the simplest core muscle exercises directed by a very good therapist. It has taken three years for me to be able to do them so I remember to try them often. I huff and puff if I walk very far, and feel like I am carrying a brick on my back. My doctor listens to my heart and says nothing. Actually he says nothing every time I visit. I feel discarded and unentitled or something.
My life and ability is important to me. I don't have time or interest in Bingo. Well, it's out to the flower planting today. I will need to quit and rest a lot, but the days are longer now. Thanks so much for everyone's interest. Dorisena

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@dorisena Please be careful with B12, it is possible to get too much of it. This happened to me and even after I stopped taking it, it took several months to get my levels back to within normal limits. Frequent night time trips to the bathroom can be very annoying and zap your energy. I have this problem as well and find that what I eat for a late night snack affects my trips. I love fresh blueberries and eat 1/2 to 1 cup every night for their melatonin-like properties but I will get up more if I eat them after 9pm. Have you been tested for sleep apnea? This will affect your sleep as well.

I try to stay as busy as my body will let me and I tend to overdo on the days when I feel energized. I pay for it the next day because I am too tired to do anything. Fortunately I don't have diabetes but do have hyperparathyroidism, osteopenia, fibromyalgia and degenerative disc disease to name a few. I came inside a little bit ago from cutting the grass on my 1 1/2 acres. It will soon be nap time.

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Thanks for the advice. I am trying to not overdo in my efforts to get enough nutrients but my body doesn't seem to want to convert food to energy. I must continue to push and then rest, push, and rest. I slept 10 hours last night, with trips to the bathroom. Dorisena

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@dorisena

I did pelvic floor therapy after bladder surgery and had no improvement. The pills make me constipated so I only take them occasionally.
After my back surgery I could not do the simplest core muscle exercises directed by a very good therapist. It has taken three years for me to be able to do them so I remember to try them often. I huff and puff if I walk very far, and feel like I am carrying a brick on my back. My doctor listens to my heart and says nothing. Actually he says nothing every time I visit. I feel discarded and unentitled or something.
My life and ability is important to me. I don't have time or interest in Bingo. Well, it's out to the flower planting today. I will need to quit and rest a lot, but the days are longer now. Thanks so much for everyone's interest. Dorisena

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@dorisena It actually sounds as if you are doing great. You may be expecting too much of yourself. I know, I sometimes do the same thing. When we get up here in age we really need to pace ourselves.

Regarding pelvic floor exercises, I went to a physical therapist who specialized in the pelvic floor, and she stressed doing quite a few each day, and to not skip more than one day. So far, it has really helped me tremendously. She has me doing about 8 variations of kegels. I said to her at one point I think the only reason for so many variations is because it keeps the person doing more than they would do if they just had one way of doing them. She did not disagree with that.

Enjoy your planting. That is one thing I have never gotten into. I am not much of an outdoors person, I don't like bugs.
JK

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JK, I plant flowers in pots so I don't have to bend over so far, and sometimes I can sit down. Today I picked lettuce, radishes, beet tops, and onions for a little salad for dinner. I like scavenger picking. It's a start but the tomatoes don't come on until August. Once I had some the end of June. Not this year!
My mother used to dig dandelions and fix them for my father. They cause diarrhea but my father insisted on them every spring. Doirisena

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