Can High Sugar Make You Tired?

Medically Reviewed By: Dr. Damanjit Duggal, MD, MBBS January 6, 2022

Last updated on January 31st, 2022

Individuals with type 1 or 2 diabetes are usually alert of the signs that follow high blood glucose. For a person with a recent diagnosis of diabetes or an individual with standard or prediabetic levels, on the other hand, those signs might not be as noticeable. It might be hard to distinguish between the signs of high blood glucose and other illnesses as few may be nonspecific. One of these nonspecific signs of high glucose levels in the blood that diabetics often experience is fatigue. Here in this article, you can read about the correlation between blood sugar and exhaustion and does diabetes causes fatigue.

Causes of Tiredness or Fatigue

Many factors can make a person feel fatigued. The most common one is deficient sleep. The majority of adults need between 6-8 hours of sleep every day, but this may differ a lot from individual to individual. Also, it’s significant to remember that most individuals need less sleep with age.

Can high sugar make you tired?

Other common causes of tiredness can be:

  • Diabetes: unexpected and excessive tiredness is one of the major signs of diabetes.
  • Cancer: most tumor types result in fatigue to a certain extent.
  • Anemia: a condition that happens when a person does not have sufficient red blood cells. It’s simple to get tested for anemia. And if a person is diagnosed with such a problem, then it’s generally because of a lack of iron, vitamin B12, or folic acid, or because of heavy menstrual bleeding in females (which brings about an iron deficiency).
  • Depression: continuous weariness is the main sign of depression or mental stress. Most depressed individuals feel tired, even though they don’t feel sad.
  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: a condition that brings about inexplicable exhaustion or fatigue.
  • Coeliac Disease: an autoimmune health problem in which inflammation in the intestinal lining impacts the body’s capacity to absorb nutrients in a proper manner.
  • Infections: exhaustion can also occur due to various infections including flu (influenza).
  • Low thyroid (hypothyroidism): diabetics are more expected as compared to others to suffer from thyroid problems. If a person’s thyroid level is low, he or she is expected to feel tired, sleepy, or depressed.
  • Undiagnosed heart ailment: If a person feels fatigued after carrying out tasks that he or she used to do well, it might be a good time for a heart evaluation.
  • Low levels of testosterone, particularly in males. Males with diabetes are much more expected to have low testosterone.
  • Drug side effects: a majority of medicines for diabetes, depression, blood pressure, or pain can bring about fatigue.
  • Lack of sleep or poor sleep: many individuals are too agitated or too busy to sleep.
  • Shift work, rotating shifts, or working nights: may also cause fatigue directly by messing with a person’s body clock or indirectly by interrupting sleep.
  • Diet: excess carbs, particularly refined carbs may make a person feel tired, particularly with diabetes. Excessive caffeine can also result in diabetes fatigue syndrome. Also, dehydration, or not drinking enough liquid, is the main reason behind fatigue.

Also Read: Zinc Rich food for diabetics

Can High Sugar Make You Tired?

Is fatigue a symptom of diabetes? Fatigue is the most common sign of high blood glucose. In diabetics, it is also termed diabetes fatigue. The majority of individuals having diabetes feel tired all the time irrespective of how well is their sleep pattern, how healthy is the diet, or how much people exercise frequently. Research has found that up to 61% of individuals who are recently having diabetes experience fatigue. On the other hand, fatigue does not just happen in people with diabetes. It may also occur in individuals with normal or prediabetic blood glucose levels if they experience an instant spike in their blood glucose.

When a person’s body experiences raised levels of blood glucose, it goes into overdrive of producing an adequate amount of insulin to balance it out. If there is no sufficient level of insulin or the body fails to react to the insulin as it is ought to, then the body would begin pulling from fat to produce the energy it requires. When this occurs, energy is utilized from the breakdown of a molecule called adenosine triphosphate, or ATP. One of the three phosphates gets expelled out from ATP for energy and gets converted to another molecule called adenosine diphosphate, or ADP. In the absence of energy sources to pull from, the ATP fails to recover the phosphate it gave away, causing diabetes weakness or fatigue.

Can high sugar make you tired?

Also Read: Normal Sugar Range

What Causes Fatigue in Diabetes?

Why does too much sugar make you tired? With diabetes, tiredness can result as a result of several factors such as:

  • Can insulin resistance cause fatigue? High levels of glucose in the blood, either due to a lack of insulin or due to insulin resistance, can have an effect on the body’s capacity to get sugar from the blood into body cells to meet a person’s energy requirements.
  • Individuals who are on stronger anti-diabetics including insulin might also experience tiredness as a sign of low blood sugar levels.
  • Blood sugar testing is a great way to determine whether high or low glucose levels can be the reason behind fatigue.

Identifying Fatigue

Signs of fatigue can be:

  • Deficient or no energy
  • Trouble while doing simple daily tasks
  • Feeling low or unhappy (mental fatigue)

Regular exercise along with a healthy diet plus a good night’s sleep may frequently improve any person’s energy levels. Also, mindfulness as well as other meditation-based approaches are just perfect for mitigating stress and depression as well as improving mental health.

Also Read: Can High or Low Blood Sugar Cause a Seizure?

Detecting Blood Sugar Spikes

Fatigue is related to a numberless of other conditions, along with day-to-day life as well as other stressors, so it alone does not tell an individual whether he or she is experiencing a raised level of glucose. Diabetics are encouraged to keep checks over their blood glucose levels to sense any abrupt alterations. This can be a very common way by which people can detect blood sugar spikes.

Also, the most common reason behind hyperglycemia is inappropriate insulin production. Insulin is the hormone that plays a key role in regulating blood glucose levels, and if it is not being formed at sufficient levels or at all, it may cause high glucose levels.

Some reasons why insulin levels in the body become insufficient, including:

  • Consuming in excess
  • Not exercising
  • Not receiving a sufficient amount of insulin from treatment
  • Being stressed all the time
  • Having a broken diabetes pump
  • Using insulin that is unsuccessful at managing blood glucose levels

Other risk factors that must be considered are age, weight, history of smoking, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels. These may add to diabetes.

For an individual without diabetes, insulin levels are not likely to be considered at all. For this reason, it may be useful to keep a food log as well as note levels of fatigue or other signs following each meal. If fatigue usually sets in after consumption of food, it may be an indication that it’s credited to blood glucose levels. If this occurs, it may point toward a follow-up session with their healthcare provider and get their sugar levels checked.

is it hard for diabetics to lose weight

Preventing Blood Glucose Spikes

Blood glucose spikes that bring about fatigue can be prevented by making use of some strategies like:

  • Consumption of a balanced diet: By balancing macronutrients like carbs, fat, and protein, a blood glucose spike can be prevented. Research has found that the quality of the macronutrients, and the amount, play a key role in determining how well the body breaks down the food as well as how well insulin reacts to the food. The best foods that can be chosen that are digested slowly may include nuts, dairy products, quinoa, legumes, and fresh fruits. By consuming these kinds of foods, blood glucose levels would rise gradually and more evenly.
  • Regular exercise: Exercise helps in keeping the glucose levels in check if done on a regular basis. The exercise type doesn’t matter much, and both high-intensity, as well as moderate-intensity exercises, deliver similar outcomes.
  • Replacing simple carbs with complex carbs: Consuming refined carbs like table sugar, white bread, or breakfast cereals all may result in spikes in blood glucose as they are quickly digested. Complex carbs, alternatively, are not. By selecting complex over refined carbs, a person might avoid blood glucose spikes.
  • Taking vitamins and minerals: Making sure a person is getting all the nutrients his or her body requires can help in regulating blood glucose levels, in particular when it comes to chromium as well as magnesium. Research studies have found that combining magnesium with chromium could improve insulin resistance and therefore, help in increasing blood sugar levels.
  • Relaxing: Stress plays a significant role in blood sugar levels. To prevent such spikes in blood sugar brought by elevated stress levels, a person can practice stress management approaches like yoga, meditation, or journaling.

exercise for diabetes at home

When is it Good to See a Healthcare Provider?

It’s usual to feel exhausted now and again, but if fatigue persists longer than 2 weeks, it can be a good time to visit a healthcare provider. For people who also experience signs of blood glucose spikes like an enhanced thirst, urinating often, nausea, drowsiness, or fatigue could be an indication that they have developed or are at risk of developing diabetes. For people who already are diabetic, regular appointments for regulating their blood glucose and managing their diabetes are very vital since these signs can indicate that their current treatment plan is no longer effective.

Diabetes fatigue management is very important for those with both type 1 and types 2 diabetes. It might be troublesome to manage the condition, particularly at first, but not unfeasible. The best approach to manage signs or complications of the medical condition is to book an appointment with a diabetes specialist as they can aid in tacking fatigue and other signs by including certain lifestyle changes.


High glucose levels in the blood can have dangerous consequences if left untreated. Diabetics already are aware of the outcomes of high blood sugar all too well, but for those who are unaware, it may be difficult to pin down the risk of developing the condition or illnesses that follow it like fatigue.


What can a person with diabetes take to provoke his or her sleep?

The research studies found that short-term usage of prolonged-release melatonin helps in improving sleep maintenance in individuals with type 2 diabetes and insomnia without having an effect on the blood glucose and lipid metabolism.

What does diabetes fatigue feel like?

A majority of diabetics describe themselves as feeling exhausted, lethargic, or drained at times. It can be because of stress, hard work, or diabetes sleeplessness but it can also be associated with having too high or too low blood sugar levels.

Does type 2 diabetes make you tired?

With this type of diabetes, poor blood glucose control classically results in hyperglycemia or high blood sugar, which may bring about fatigue among other signs.

What is the suggested amount of sleep for a person with diabetes?

To keep your blood sugar in balance, try to get at least 7 hours of sleep each night. If you work at night or have rotating shifts: Try to maintain regular meal and sleep times, even on your days off, if you can.



Last Updated on by Dr. Damanjit Duggal 


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