January 23, 2014

Chronic Fatigue and T1D

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chronic-fatigueChronic fatigue is a slippery slope to diagnose. Poorly controlled T1D can sometimes mimic the symptoms of chronic fatigue. The inability of the body to produce energy is hindered by hyperglycemia. Diabetes Care published a study investigating the mechanisms and correlation between T1D and chronic fatigue.

For those of us esteemed individuals with T1D who are members of the legal “mile high club” (we’ve run high and felt lethargic, thirsty, and tuckered-out), researchers wanted to observe the relationship between chronic fatigue and diabetes.

As seemingly unfair as it is to double-dip one condition with another, what is the prevalence, impact, and potential determinants of chronic fatigue in people with T1D?

Over 5 days, 66 T1D participants were followed with a CGM. Their HbA1c values, diabetes control, other medical conditions relating to chronic fatigue were evaluated. These factors were compared with an electronic fatigue diary.

Compared with control subjects without T1D, patients with T1D were significantly more often chronically fatigued. Both control and T1D chronically fatigued participants had significantly more functional impairments , including: depression, pain, sleeping problems, low self-efficacy concerning fatigue, and physical inactivity. Chronically fatigued patients spent slightly less time experiencing low blood sugar.

The incidence of chronic fatigue is highly prevalent and clinically relevant in T1D. The study found that the chronic fatigue fallout was mores related to mental health and not so much blood sugar control. This indicates that the chronic fatigue answer may lie in behavior intervention or black beauties?

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