Feeling Tired After A Meal Is Completely Normal
If you feel tired after a meal, theres a good chance its just your body responding to all of the biochemical changes caused by digestion. In other words, its completely normal.
However, if the symptom is disruptive or changing your lifestyle habits doesnt seem to help, it might not hurt to talk to your doctor or to seek help from a dietitian.
High Blood Sugar Causes Fatigue
Fatigue is one of the most common symptoms of high blood sugar. In people with diabetes, it is referred to as diabetes fatigue. Many people with the condition feel tired all the time regardless of how well they sleep, how healthily they eat, or how much they exercise on a regular basis. Research has shown that up to 61% of people who are recently diagnosed with the condition experience fatigue. However, fatigue doesnt just occur in those with diabetes. It can also happen in people with normal or prediabetic blood sugar levels if they experience a sudden spike in their blood sugar.
When the body experiences a spike in blood sugar levels, it goes into overdrive trying to create enough insulin to balance it out. If there isnt enough insulin or the body isnt responding to the insulin as it should, your body will start to pull from fat to create the energy it needs. When this happens, energy is used from the splitting of a molecule known as adenosine triphosphate, or ATP. When ATP expels one of its three phosphates for energy, it turns into another molecule known as adenosine diphosphate, or ADP. If there are no energy sources to pull from, the ATP cannot regain the phosphate it gave away, leading to fatigue.
Sleep Habits And Diabetes
While diet and obesity are big contributors to your odds of having diabetes, studies have found that sleep habits are, too, probably because over time, they can affect how well your cells respond to insulin.
In one study, more than 4,000 people reported the amount of sleep they got each night. Those who got less than 6 hours were twice as likely to have cells that were less sensitive to insulin or to have full-blown diabetes. This was true even after the researchers took other lifestyle habits into account.
Other sleep disruptions and disorders, such as sleep apnea, also seem to raise a personâs odds of having diabetes.
But the risk goes up at the other end of the spectrum, too. For reasons that arenât clear, people who sleep too much — more than 9 hours a night — might also have higher chances of getting diabetes.
/5all You Need To Know About It
It is regular for everyone to wake up once or twice at night to drink water or use the loo. After we are done with the work, we get under the sheet and within minutes we fall back asleep to complete our 8 hours of sound sleep. For those suffering from diabetes, things are a little different.
Most diabetic patients wake up almost every night at the same time, around 3 pm, not by some noise or anything else, but because of the sudden spike in the blood sugar level. It can happen due to two reasons – the Somogyi effect or the dawn phenomenon.
Popcorn: Mindless Eating Is Not Blood Sugar Friendly
We celebrated Toms 12th birthday yesterday . Tom didnt want a big party so we invited a few of his friends over for a movie and pizza. Jessica made popcorn, using coconut oil, instead of olive oil. Ive read that coconut oil is what makes movie theater popcorn taste so much better, she said. I thought it was the chemicals, I replied. Jessica and I havent been to the movies for years, so were not very up-to-date on movie theater food and I have to confess I dont remember much about movie theater popcorn. When Jessicas popcorn was ready I couldnt resist trying it. I dont usually eat popcorn, both because its not paleo and because I consider it mindless eating, but it was there, it smelled good, and I tried it. Jessica was right . It did taste better and did have the movie theater smell. The problem with popcorn is that you can keep eating it even when youre not hungry. Its hard not to. So I ate some popcorn, dont know how much, but I didnt think it was very much. I didnt bolus for it either . The kids watched the movie, played and ate pizza. At around 7:00 p.m. it was finally cake time . The cake was another one of Jessicas great ideas a Boggle cake that said HAPPY BIRTHDAY TOM. . I checked my blood sugar and was surprised by the result 217. I bolused and ate my low carb dinner. A couple hours later, while in bed reading I started to feel extremely tired, the kind of tired where you cant keep your eyes openContinue reading > >
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Learn More Healthy Holiday Tips Like This
Now that you understand the science behind why you always feel extremely tired after eating sugar, there is some other important healthy holiday advice you should follow as well.
Contact us to set up an appointment with one of our medical professionals to discover how you can achieve the healthiest feeling that your body is capable of.
Avoid The Roller Coaster Effect
Sugar consumption also spikes your blood sugar into a wild roller coaster ride, so remember, what comes up must come back down, and it comes down in a hard blood sugar crash. This roller coaster can be addicting to the body, as it starts to depend on the quick fix of sugar to have more energy, ultimately leading to more crashing.
The crashing happens when the pancreas releases more insulin to regulate the high amounts of blood sugar, as this happens, your blood sugar drops even more. the more frequently this happens, the more chances you have of developing insulin resistance, also known as Type 2 Diabetes.
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Issues To Watch Out For
As your blood glucose level increases, insulin rises along with it. Insulin is a hormone that drives glucose into your body’s cells to provide energy, according to the Endocrine Society.
Over time, however, “high levels of blood sugar circulating in the blood cause an increased demand on the pancreas to make insulin, and eventually the cells become resistant to the insulin,” explains Galvin. This can contribute to insulin resistance and prediabetes, notes the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.
If you’re experiencing frequent blood sugar crash issues, ask your doctor if you should get a blood test to check your fasting insulin, blood glucose and fasting hemoglobin A1C, says Galvin. “If they are elevated, that may indicate you’ll want to make some dietary changes,” she says.
Exercise will also help lower your blood sugar by using blood glucose for energy, and long-term it makes your body more sensitive to insulin. So don’t forget to get moving.
Changes In Blood Sugar Levels
Diabetes affects the way the body regulates and uses blood sugar.
When a person eats, the body breaks down food into simple sugars, or glucose. In people with diabetes, the pancreas does not produce enough insulin, or the body does not use insulin effectively. Cells need insulin to absorb glucose from the blood.
If the cells do not take in enough glucose, it can build up in the blood. The cells need glucose to provide energy.
Fatigue and weakness might result when the cells do not get enough glucose. Diabetes medications, such as insulin or metformin, help more of this sugar to move into the cells and prevent it from building to harmful levels in the blood.
A potential side effect of diabetes medications is low blood sugar, or hypoglycemia.
Low blood sugar can also cause fatigue, especially in people who do not get enough warning that their blood sugars levels are dropping. A person can also feel fatigued after treatment of low blood sugar.
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How Is Hypoglycemia Treated
The treatment of hypoglycemia depends upon its cause. If you’re otherwise healthy and you notice occasional hypoglycemia-like symptoms, try eating a diet that’s lower in simple sugars and/or try cutting down on your caffeine intake. If this doesn’t make the symptoms go away, be sure to talk with your doctor.
What Are Early Signs Of Diabetes
Both type 1 and type 2 diabetes can generate different physical symptoms. However, those afflicted with either type may experience these common occurrences:
Be on the lookout for any of these symptoms of type 1 or 2 diabetes and dont hesitate to consult with a healthcare professional. When left unattended, certain symptoms of diabetes can cause lifelong issues, even when type 1 or type 2 diabetes gets under control.
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How Does Diabetes Affect Sleep
Its estimated that one in two people with type 2 diabetes have sleep problems due to unstable blood sugar levels and accompanying diabetes-related symptoms, High blood sugar and low blood sugar during the night can lead to insomnia and next-day fatigue. As with many chronic conditions, feelings of depression or stress about the disease itself may also keep you awake at night.
When blood sugar levels are high, the kidneys overcompensate by causing you to urinate more often. During the night, these frequent trips to the bathroom lead to disrupted sleep. High blood sugar may also cause headaches, increased thirst, and tiredness that can interfere with falling asleep.
By contrast, going too many hours without eating or taking the wrong balance of diabetes medication can also lead to low blood sugar levels at night. You may have nightmares, break out into a sweat, or feel irritated or confused when you wake up.
Talk to your healthcare provider if you are experiencing fatigue, trouble sleeping, or any other worrying symptoms. They can help analyze the reason and work with you to keep your blood sugar levels more stable.
Food Intolerance Or Food Allergies
An intolerance of or an allergy to certain foods can be another cause of post-meal tiredness. Food intolerances and allergies can impact digestion or other bodily functions.
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Early Signs And Symptoms Of Diabetes
1. Frequent urination
When your blood sugar is high, your kidneys expel the excess blood sugar, causing you to urinate more frequently. One of the early warning signs of diabetes is frequent urination that is urgent enough to wake you up to go to the bathroom during sleep.
2. Increased thirst
While your kidneys are working overtime and youre urinating more frequently, valuable fluids will be pulled from your tissues. Frequent urination will make you feel constantly thirsty.
When your blood sugar is high, your body works hard to get rid of the excess sugar. Not only does this process take a toll on your body, but it also alters the way that your body uses glucose for energy. Excessively high blood sugar, or hyperglycemia, has fatiguing effects among other symptoms. Additionally, the dehydration that accompanies more frequent urination is a common cause of fatigue in diabetics.
4. Blurred vision
High blood sugar can cause damage to the small blood vessels of the eye, resulting in a swollen lens that can cause blurred vision. As blood sugar levels rise and lower, your vision may return to normal or worsen, respectively.
5. Increased hunger
When you have high blood sugar, your body is actively looking to get rid of it. Because your body expels so much of the glucose you’re getting from your food, you may have increased feelings of hunger.
6. Unexplained weight loss
7. Slow healing cuts and wounds
8. Tingling or numbness in the hands or feet
9. Skin discoloration
Low Sleep High Blood Sugar
Maarouf says high blood sugar is a red flag for sleep problems among people with diabetes for another reason. âPeople who are tired will eat more because they want to get energy from somewhere,â she says. âThat can mean consuming sugar or other foods that can spike blood sugar levels.â
âI really push people to eat properly throughout the day and get their blood sugars under control so they sleep better at night,â Maarouf says. âIf you get your blood sugar under control, you will get a good night sleep and wake up feeling fabulous with lots of energy.â
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How Does Poor Sleep Affect Blood Sugar Levels
Just as diabetes can cause sleep problems, sleep problems also appear to play a role in diabetes. Getting poor sleep or less restorative slow-wave sleep has been linked to high blood sugar levels in people with diabetes and prediabetes. However, its not entirely clear whether one causes the other or whether more variables are at work. Researchers believe that sleep restriction may affect blood sugar levels due to its effects on insulin, cortisol, and oxidative stress.
One-quarter of people with diabetes report sleeping less than six hours or more than eight hours a night, which puts them at a higher risk of having elevated blood sugar. In addition to raising blood sugar levels in people who already have diabetes, sleep deprivation also raises the risk of developing insulin resistance in the first place. This link becomes apparent as early as childhood.
Studies have also found that later or irregular sleeping schedules are correlated with higher blood sugar, even in non-diabetic people. However, there may be other variables that explain this, such as the fact that people with irregular sleeping schedules are more likely to follow an erratic diet.
Sleep deprivation raises levels of ghrelin, the hunger hormone, and decreases levels of leptin, the hormone that makes us feel full. To compensate for lower energy levels, people who sleep poorly may be more likely to seek relief in foods that raise blood sugar and put them at risk of obesity, which is a risk factor for diabetes.
Symptoms Of A Low Blood Sugar Level
A low blood sugar level can affect everyone differently. You’ll learn how it makes you feel, although your symptoms may change over time.
Early signs of a low blood sugar level include:
- a fast or pounding heartbeat
- becoming easily irritated, tearful, anxious or moody
- turning pale
If a low blood sugar level is not treated, you may get other symptoms, such as:
- unusual behaviour, slurred speech or clumsiness
- feeling sleepy
- seizures or fits
- collapsing or passing out
A low blood sugar level, or hypo, can also happen while you’re sleeping. This may cause you to wake up during the night or cause headaches, tiredness or damp sheets in the morning.
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How To Treat A Low Blood Sugar Level Yourself
Follow these steps if your blood sugar level is less than 3.5mmol/L or you have hypo symptoms:
You do not usually need to get medical help once you’re feeling better if you only have a few hypos.
But tell your diabetes team if you keep having hypos or if you stop having symptoms when your blood sugar level is low.
Preventing A Low Blood Sugar Level
If you have diabetes, you can reduce your chance of getting a low blood sugar level if you:
- Check your blood sugar level regularly and be aware of the symptoms of a low blood sugar level so you can treat it quickly.
- Always carry a sugary snack or drink with you, such as glucose tablets, a carton of fruit juice or some sweets. If you have a glucagon injection kit, always keep it with you.
- Do not skip meals.
- Be careful when drinking alcohol. Do not drink large amounts, check your blood sugar level regularly, and eat a carbohydrate snack afterwards.
- Be careful when exercising eating a carbohydrate snack before exercise can help to reduce the risk of a hypo. If you take some types of diabetes medicine, your doctor may recommend you take a lower dose before or after doing intense exercise.
- Have a carbohydrate snack, such as toast, if your blood sugar level drops too low while you’re asleep
If you keep getting a low blood sugar level, talk to your diabetes care team about things you can do to help prevent it.
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Poor Quality Of Sleep And Falling Asleep Later Are Associated With Poorer Control Of Blood Sugar After Meals
Embargo: 2301H UK time Tuesday 30 November
A new study published in Diabetologia ) finds that later bedtime routines and poor quality of sleep are associated with higher blood glucose levels and poorer control of blood sugar following meals.
The research was conducted by Neli Tsereteli, Lund University Diabetes Centre, Malmö, Sweden, and Professor Paul Franks of both Lund University Diabetes Centre, Malmö, Sweden and Harvard Chan School of Public Health, Boston, MA, USA, and colleagues.
The authors examined whether night-to-night fluctuations in sleep duration, efficiency, or timing affect postprandial glucose response to breakfast the following day.
The authors note: While there have been numerous large prospective cohort studies focused on the relationship between self-reported sleep, disease and wellbeing, objective data on sleep and postprandial glucose metabolism typically comes from small studies conducted in tightly controlled settings and in specific population subgroups such as those suffering sleep disturbances owing to pregnancy, sleep apnoea, depression, obesity or diabetesBecause of this, there is a need for greater evidence of the effects of sleep on glucose metabolism in healthy individuals.