Peninsula Integrative Cardiology

Lingering Fatigue: Is It Fibromyalgia or Diabetes?

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There are many causes of fatigue, and it often seems to persist. Learn whether it could be fibromyalgia or diabetes.

Feeling tired and rundown often seems to be the modern condition. There are many reasons why we could occasionally feel that way unless we take care of our habits, which are easy to let slip.

Many diseases and conditions come with lingering fatigue as a symptom. The fatigue is often almost like the flu in how persistent it is. Dr. Daniel Rieders at Peninsula Integrative Cardiology explains how to differentiate between two specific diseases that can cause fatigue: diabetes and fibromyalgia.


Diabetes is on the rise, especially type 2 diabetes. Currently, 11% of the US population is diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, but an estimated additional 22%  are undiagnosed. In addition, 38% of the adult population has prediabetes. 

Type 2 diabetes tends to happen slowly over time, which is partly why so many people are still undiagnosed. Some of the signs of diabetes include the following:

  • Increased hunger 
  • Increased thirst
  • Fatigue
  • Frequent urination
  • Blurred vision
  • Dry mouth
  • Itchy skin
  • Slow-healing cuts
  • Pain or numbness in your feet
  • Yeast infections

Even if you only have one or two of the above symptoms, it’s still worth getting a test; a simple blood test is what we need initially.


Fibromyalgia makes your body hurt all over. You may feel like you’ve been in an Ironman competition when you walk across the house. Common symptoms of fibromyalgia include the following:

  • Widespread pain
  • Fatigue
  • Cognitive difficulties, including the inability to pay attention

Certain other conditions can also exist with fibromyalgia, including the following:

  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Migraine and other headache disorders
  • Postural tachycardia syndrome
  • Temporomandibular joint issues
  • Interstitial cystitis and other bladder disorders

We don’t know yet why these conditions tend to be related. We also acknowledge that women are more likely than men to have fibromyalgia. 

Although there’s no blood test to confirm fibromyalgia, we can often arrive at a diagnosis together.  

Treatments for diabetes

Once you’ve been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, you need to pay attention to your health on an ongoing basis, which includes regular checkups with a general physician as well as a podiatrist. 

You are given nutrition guidelines and should test your blood sugar several times a day. In addition, we recommend beginning any physical activity. It doesn’t matter if you’re walking around the neighborhood or joining a gym, just as long as you do it regularly.

Treatments for fibromyalgia

If you have fibromyalgia, we’ve already done a lot of blood tests. We’ve already ruled out other common causes of chronic pain and fatigue, such as lupus and rheumatoid arthritis. And unfortunately, we conclude that you are likely suffering from fibromyalgia.

The medical community doesn’t yet fully understand the causes of fibromyalgia. But we do know that many things can help, including the following:

  • Healthy nutrition
  • Regular, gentle exercise, such as tai chi or yoga
  • Stress management, such as prayer or journaling
  • Antidepressant medications
  • Pain relievers
  • Anti-seizure medications
  • Physical therapy
  • Occupational therapy
  • Counseling
  • Acupuncture
  • Spiritual medicine

If you’re experiencing lingering fatigue and aren’t sure why, you should make an appointment with Dr. Daniel Rieders. Contact his office in San Ramon or request an appointment online.