If you have diabetes and hypoglycemia, the two most common forms of blood sugar disorders, you may feel tired much of the time. In fact, chronic fatigue is a common feature of people with blood sugar problems because sugar is the fuel that runs the brain, the muscles, and other body cells. Without adequate blood sugar regulation, the function of many-body systems goes awry and the result is low energy.

Hypoglycemia

Hypoglycemia occurs when blood sugar levels rise and fall at irregular rates and affect the metabolism of energy. It generally means low blood glucose. With low blood glucose levels, it comes low energy, sleepiness, tiredness, difficulty concentrating, poor memory and irritability.

Diabetes

Diabetes is a problem of insulin production or utilization. Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas that regulates the amount of glucose circulating in the blood. Diabetics have a problem with elevated blood glucose. When blood glucose is too high, a very dangerous situation exists in which the body’s metabolism can be severely disrupted.

In sum, both, diabetes and hypoglycemia, can cause blood sugar disorders which in turn result in fatigue. Both are also closely related to the status of minerals in your body.

Overconsumption of sugar causes blood sugar abnormalities

Dr. Michael A. Schmidt gives us a good example. An 8-year-old boy has about one teaspoon of glucose circulating in his blood. If this boy drinks a can of pop which has about eight to nine teaspoons of sugar, its blood gets hit with a dose of sugar that is 8 to 9 times higher than its normal level.

In response, the body has to mobilize large amounts of adrenaline and insulin to clear the sugar from the bloodstream. If this practice is repeated day after day, which in this culture is very much the case, the result is blood sugar disorders and chronic fatigue.

Magnesium is a vitally important mineral in the production of energy

If you recall from my article “What is Fatigue”, ATP is a molecule inside the body that produces energy. Magnesium is needed to produce ATP molecules, but at the same time, ATPs are needed to get magnesium into the cells, so that ATP can be produced. A vicious circle!

Bear in mind that the brain uses magnesium for many of its functions and that many of the symptoms of fatigue are manifested as behavioral or psychological.

Colas deplete the magnesium from your cells

Colas cause blood sugar disorders by depleting the body from magnesium. Because sodas are very acidic, manufactures add phosphoric acid as a buffer; unfortunately, phosphoric acid binds to magnesium. If you consume one can of cola containing phosphoric acid, it can cause you to lose 36 milligrams of magnesium.

As we have seen, magnesium is vitally important in energy metabolism and a magnesium deficiency can cause chronic fatigue. If you don’t replace this magnesium loss, you will cause a gradual depletion which can lead to a variety of health problems such as:

  1. Fatigue
  2. Insomnia
  3. Irritability
  4. Confusion
  5. Rapid and irregular heartbeats
  6. Anxiety
  7. Muscle spasms and cramps
  8. High blood pressure

Although not an exhaustive list, the table below shows those foods that have a higher content of this mineral.

Fruits Kiwis, raspberries, watermelons, strawberries
Vegetables Swiss chard, spinach, summer squash, mustard greens, broccoli, cucumbers, celery, collard greens, green beans, kale, tomatoes, beets, Brussels sprouts, green peas, eggplant, asparagus,  cauliflower, cabbage, carrots,
Fish Halibut, salmon, scallops, tuna, shrimp
Dry beans Black beans, soybeans, navy beans, pinto beans, lima beans, kidney beans,
Grains Quinoa, buckwheat, spelt, brown rice, wheat, bulgur, oats, millet, rye,
Nuts and seeds Almonds, cashews, flaxseeds,

Chromium deficiency aggravates blood sugar disorders

Many doctors do not give adequate attention to the status of chromium in people with blood sugar disorders. For years, chromium deficiency has been associated with poor insulin regulation and diabetes and as a result of chronic fatigue.

Back in 1968, Dr. K. Hambridge showed that diabetic children had significantly lower chromium levels than normal children. An article that appeared in the Southern Medical Journal in 1977 entitled “Chromium Depletion in the Pathogenesis of Diabetes and Atherosclerosis” showed that a deficiency of chromium was a prime factor in the cause of these disorders.

One reason why eating sugar may trigger blood sugar problems is that it may increase the amount of chromium that is spilled into the urine and therefore lost.

Where do you find chromium?

You can find small quantities of chromium in most foods. However, the foods with the highest concentrations are:

  1. Beef
  2. Brewer’s yeast
  3. Calves’ liver
  4. Chicken, eggs
  5. Dairy products
  6. Fish and seafood, oysters
  7. Potatoes with skin
  8. Whole grain products
  9. Walnuts
  10. Apples
  11. Lettuce, onions, broccoli

Bottom line?….

While it is true that diabetes and hypoglycemia cause blood disorders that may trigger chronic fatigue, there are many factors that can aggravate the situation and make you quite tired. For example, if you are in the habit of consuming sodas, you may want to start by not drinking them as it will help you dramatically in your fight against fatigue.

At the same time, you may consider increasing your diet the foods listed above so you can boost your intake of magnesium and chromium. It will put you ahead of the game.

Author

I am Andy Carpenter and I would start by saying that I have a Bachelor Degree in Nutrition Science conferred by California State University, Los Angeles and that I am certified as a Registered Dietitian.

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