Just Diagnosed, Feeling Exhausted

Checking with TuDiabetes again because the doctor’s office said, “Well, it’s not her blood sugar.” Because those levels are OK. But Samantha, 14 & diagnosed Type 1 at Thanksgiving, is feeling VERY tired. No energy. She has missed a couple days of school & is missing basketball practices and games. We are really watching what she eats & I got her the MultiBetic vitamin to see if it would help. We have a regular doctor appt in 2 weeks. Samantha has always been active & felt fine pre-diagnosis. Does it take the body a while to adjust to insulin & what is probably a lower glucose level than before diagnosis?

I have a couple thoughts on your post, samsmom. If she had been very high for awhile before diagnosis, yes, it does take the body awhile to recover and adjust. Also, some people, when they are used to being very high feel as if they are low, when their actual blood sugar is, in fact in the normal range. It’s just in comparison to the highs it feels low and that can make you tired.

But my other thought is that it might be emotional and mental as well as physical. Being diagnosed as a type 1 diabetic is a stressful piece of news to receive, especially for a normally healthy and active 14 year old. Then there are all the things she had to learn to do right away which is also stressful. Stress is often experienced as fatigue. I’m a lot older than your daughter but I just switched from shots to the pump which is a stressful/lots to learn experience and I feel exhausted, despite staying home and doing nothing but reading manuals…lol.

If she continues to feel exhausted beyond the time that she seems to need to adjust to all this than it might be worth it to check in with a therapist to see if she is suffering from Depression. But it doesn’t sound like you’re there. It sounds to me like a natural reaction to the stress and the emotions she must be going through

Poor Sam, she is only 14, and I was 16 when diagnosed… beside being scary, you can feel different, and by that I mean different than the other kids. So, my experience was I tucked the fear and shame inside, it sure was depressing, and I had no one to tell nor notice…I slept alot…and wanted to sleep all day and night, It was then that I didn’t feel or know I was the only one with Diabetes, Its a big scary word… and it might be good to have Sam find kids with Type 1 and they can share there feelings.
Just think as her Mom it was a shock and the care of her has gotten scary to, having to wathc her BS and the not knowing is so difficult. So you can just imagine how Sam might feel…

O I feel for her, it just takes me back to my childhood and that was 39 yrs ago, but it feels like yesterday…

I hope you can talk to her and see if she needs xtra help, or Type 1 friends or any other help.

Can she come on here and use this site, there are lots of very young people she could get support from.

My Thoughts are just to help, Debbie

My son was much younger than your daughter at Dx, only 18 months, but I will say this: for the first 10 months, we had him on shots using diluted insulin (because he needed such small amounts, we couldn’t give him full units – it’s impossible to measure out 0.1 units in a syringe). His BG was always in the 200s or even low 300s, and subject to wild swings. When at last our insurance situation changed and we were able to get him on a pump, and his BG levels stabilized within the 100-200 range the doctor prescribed, I thought the kid had gone hyperactive. He was running all over the place, bouncing off the walls. I couldn’t understand why it was happening till someone at the clinic said, “He probably feels good for the first time in almost a year.” So yeah… give the insulin some time to work. But also Zoe is right, it may not just be about the way she feels physically, so keep that in mind as well.

Hi Samsmom: I was older when I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, but I was hospitalized in DKA and it took months for me to regain my strength and energy after that extreme trauma. I did go through some emotional stuff, too, but there was definitely a physical exhaustion that receded with time. Just my experience, I hope it is helpful. Good luck to you both, Samantha is lucky to have such a caring Mom.

Not accurate for the doctor to say it’s not her blood sugar because he doesn’t know her daily readings. The fluctuations are quite exhausting. I felt worn out for a while as my body readjusted. Hope Sam is back to her active self again soon.

How does the Doctor know it is not her blood sugars?

Has her thyroid been checked? Thyroid disease is very common in Type 1’s because it is also an autoimmune disease. Low thyroid makes you feel exhausted all the time. Adrenal failure (also auto-immune) can do the same thing.
I think it’s better to check out the possible physical causes before ascribing it to depression.
Good luck!
Natalie ._c-

It does take awhile to get to normal. It took me about 6 weeks and i was in DKA, but with a blood sugar that was really not all that high (~320). Is she still in the honeymoon phase? If so, her basal insulin may need to be backed off. That’s what happened to me and it killed my energy. The other thing that comes into this is puberty and it’s related hormones and then dealing with insulin. I know that right after I was dx my testosterone levels plummeted to that of an 80 year old and have barely recovered. I don’t know a whole lot about this, but it’s something that I would bring up to your endo. The thyroid is another big one, but the addition of the synthetic insulin can disrupt a lot of different processes including hormone secretion. There is a great scientific explanation to this, but I won’t bore everyone talking about alpha and beta helices of the releasing hormone families.

Tell her to keep her chin up, it will get better and to not push herself too hard. She will need her rest and recuperation time as her body tries to adjust to the addition of a HUGE amount of stress and learning to get used to “normal” blood sugars again.


Hismouse, I just got Sam to put a profile on here so she can talk to other teens & people with diabetes. She is the only Type 1 student at her high school, so I know that is adding to the stress. I’ve met another mom through a friend & I’m working on getting Sam together with her teenage son who has diabetes. I think everyone who replied is right – it’s probably a combination of physical and mental things.

I gave the CDE a list of her recent readings (80-140 or so). So she said that’s ok & didn’t offer any other help.

I was just reading about thyroid problems last night! I will definitely bring this up to the doctor, because my husband has a deficiency also.

You guys are great! I go to sleep with questions on my mind & I wake up to multiple answers to choose from! Sam was diagnosed after Thanksgiving, wasn’t feeling well, slight fever, drinking & going to the bathroom. Went to doctor, he sent us to the hospital, went into the ICU in DKA. Blood sugar was about 450. So it has only been about a month since that, plus adjusting to insulin & everything else. Her Lantus is down to 5 units at night & she takes 1 unit for every 10 carbs as a shot. She is honeymooning still - her numbers will jump up & down. I think the mental stress is definitely part of the picture, but she seems to be doing pretty well so far. I do need to get her feeling better before softball season starts, or we will be dealing with depression! My active girl cannot sit on the sidelines or be sleeping on the couch when others are out on the field. I’m really working on getting her some other kids with diabetes to talk to. We do not have diabetes in our family, so this is all a shock & we’re learning on the fly.

80-140 is pretty good. Actually that’s about as good as you can get w/o having major problems with hypogycaemia

She will get better. The best way is just to encourage and help her find things to do to pass the time. Not to just sit on the couch. She may be tired but encourage her to go out and walk or go with friends to the mall and be a normal kid. That’s the biggest thing. If she feels isolated and alone, it will really zap her energy. I went though that for about 3 months and it’s no fun at all.

That is good. I feel constanly exhausted but I am approaching 60. Most diabetics don’t feel as zoomy as before. But other physical problems should be looked at.

It could also be that her diabetes was triggered by some virus and that that is not completely resolved yet. In addition there is the physical and mental strain of using insulin that does not help. This should all get better in time.

I never felt any physical or mental strain with using insulin. Just a massive relief that my diabetes was treatable, and I wouldn’t be feeling so horrible forever.

I felt very tried for awhile after being dx’ed and felt like my bs was low at normal(?).
One thing if you would like her to meet other Type 1’s and talk try juvenation.org it’s a site for us Club 1’s. LOL 14 I can’t image it happened at 52 for me!
Welcome to Tudiabetes!!!
Oh, one last thing that low feeling, not good at all!!! and is kind of hard to know how it feels without going through it. You know when you get REALLY hungry and that funny butterfly, shaky feeling,… X10. It will make anyone feel worn out and like poop(forgive). It can also put you in a very bad mood, me I get silly. No fuel brain get dumb!!! LOL

Thyroid was my first thought as well.

Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism is an autoimmune disease like type 1 and they often come in pairs. I’ve got both.