How to Deal with Diabetes Fatigue

Diabetic Stephanie Wittbrodt (right), with endocrinologist Mary Kate McCullen.

Diabetic Stephanie Wittbrodt (right), with endocrinologist Mary Kate McCullen.

In the universe of illnesses a person can get, a diagnosis of diabetes may not seem so bad. It’s not usually life threatening, and can be managed by careful monitoring, diet, and exercise. However, doctors are beginning to realize that patients with diabetes can experience “diabetes fatigue,” which can impact a patient’s ability to manage his or her condition.

“Knowing that you always have to care for a condition that has no end point can lead to emotional fatigue and a kind of hopelessness,” Andrea Braverman, a clinical associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral medicine at Jefferson University Hospital told the Philadelphia Inquirer in a story that appeared this weekend.

For Stephanie Wittbrodt, who is a diabetes patient and a clinical coordinator in the pharmacy division of Methodist Hospital, “fatigue is when I look at the number that pops up on the meter and I just don’t care,” she told the Inquirer. “I stop weighing out food. Or I’ll go exercise or go out to run but won’t bring anything to cover a low blood sugar.”

When Stephanie feels that she can’t take one more finger stick, she works with her endocrinologist or with her diabetes educator, Cheryl Marco, to take a break while still maintaining her health. She calls these mini-breaks her “diabetes vacations.” For more tips on helping battle diabetes fatigue, read the full article at philly.com.

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