Friday, July 19, 2024
HomeNewsIs Feeling Sleepy After Eating A Sign Of Diabetes

Is Feeling Sleepy After Eating A Sign Of Diabetes

Early Signs Of Diabetes

Both types of diabetes have some of the same telltale warning signs.

  • and . Your body converts the food you eat into glucose that your cells use for energy. But your cells need to take in glucose. If your body doesn’t make enough or any insulin, or if your cells resist the insulin your body makes, the glucose can’t get into them and you have no energy. This can make you hungrier and more than usual.
  • Peeing more often and being thirstier. The average person usually has to pee between four and seven times in 24 hours, but people with diabetes may go a lot more. Why? Normally, your body reabsorbs glucose as it passes through your kidneys. But when diabetes pushes your blood sugar up, your may not be able to bring it all back in. This causes the body to make more , and that takes fluids. The result: You’ll have to go more often. You might pee out more, too. Because you’re peeing so much, you can get very thirsty. When you drink more, you’ll also pee more.
  • Dry mouth and itchy skin. Because your body is using fluids to make pee, there’s less moisture for other things. You could get dehydrated, and your may feel dry. Dry skin can make you itchy.
  • Blurred vision. Changing fluid levels in your body could make the lenses in your swell up. They change shape and canât focus.

Do You Have Any Of Those Symptoms

If you experience any of those early signs of diabetes, visit your GP to test your blood sugar levels.

They can even do a non-invasive finger prick test first to get a general idea, followed by a HbA1c test.

An early diagnosis can stop these temporary symptoms from becoming permanent.

About Joe Leech, Dietitian

Joe Leech is a university-qualified dietitian from Australia.

He graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in exercise science, followed by a Master’s degree in Nutrition and Dietetics in 2011.

Learn more about him on the About page

Joe Leech, Dietitian

about us here

Recent Posts

The Hidden Epidemic: Insulin Resistance

Fact: You or someone you know is suffering from an acute and serious medical condition.

Fact: More than one in three adult Americansapproximately 88 millionhave the condition, but 90% dont realize it.

Fact: Your dietary habits can drastically influence whether or not you will be susceptibleand even shorter-term deviations from a healthy diet can have a long-term effect.


Are you plagued by fatigue, pain, insomnia, depression, anxiety, weight gain, or intense sugar cravings? Insulin resistance could be to blame. Learn more about this underreported and widely misunderstood condition.


While big holiday parties may not be happening this year, an abundance of sweet temptations still abounds. From candy and cookies to eggnog and peppermint mochas, overindulging is a seasonal tradition for many. Maybe you think, Ill just get back on track in January. But unfortunately, the damage it does to your body isnt always easy to reverse. Just a few weeks of added sugar and alcohol can shift your cellular metabolism toward insulin resistance.

What is insulin resistance?Blood sugar, also referred to as glucose, is what fuels all cells of the body. When we eat, the food consumed is converted to glucose and carried via our blood to our cells. Insulin is the hormone necessary to carry glucose into these cells. But sometimes, the cells dont allow insulin to do its job and glucose isnt delivered into the cell. This condition is termed insulin resistance.



Overcome The Food Coma

You know the feeling. Its that post-lunch slump or the after-dinner dip, or whats commonly called food coma.

You can avoid this drowsy state, which doctors call postprandial somnolence, without a jolt of caffeine.

Why am I so tired?

There are multiple systems in the body contributing to this effect, says Dr. Mark Nash, Associate Scientific Director for Research at The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis. He also specializes in physical medicine and rehabilitation at the University of Miami Health System.

After you eat, theres a rise in blood sugar and a corresponding output of insulin from the pancreas that brings blood sugar levels back to baseline. When blood sugar is still very high after excessive food intake, it permits more tryptophan, which is renowned for causing drowsiness, to cross from the circulation into the brain. Once in the brain, tryptophan can be converted to serotonin and then melatonin, which encourages sleepiness.

Sometimes the pancreas overshoots the insulin need, which causes blood sugar to drop to deficient levels . This will also cause lethargy and symptoms of fatigue, he says.

While this doesnt mean your body is shutting down after you eat, its still struggling to digest your food and regulate your blood sugar. Thats why food coma is even more of a problem for people with diabetes and those with pre-diabetes or resting hyperglycemia.

What causes food coma?

Can I avoid it?


Unusual Fatigue And Feeling Very Weak

Diabetic Sleepy After Eating

Unmanaged diabetes will leave you feeling lousy, tired and lazy.

It can even be described as fatigue or extreme lethargy, where you are feeling too weak to do your regular everyday activities.

Why does this happen?: With sugar remaining in the blood rather than entering the cells for energy, you literally have less energy. The body is also expending additional energy to compensate for its irregular sugar levels. Kidneys in overdrive, coupled with regular sugar crashes and poor sleep starts to take its toll.

Added Thirst And Urination

Learn More

People with diabetes may also experience high blood sugar, or hyperglycemia, after meals due to excess glucose build up in the blood. When this happens, your kidneys attempt to filter and absorb the excess sugar. When glucose levels are extremely high, the kidneys may be unable to keep up. Thus, excess sugar is excreted through urine, leading to frequent urination. As this happens, your thirst increases, causing further increased urination. According to the National Institutes of Health, excess thirst and frequent urination are some of the most common diabetes symptoms and are often the first symptoms people experience prior to diagnosis. In severe cases, excess or frequent urination is a symptom of ketoacidosis, a potentially life-threatening complication of diabetes. For this reason, if your thirst and urination symptoms are severe, or if you experience additional symptoms such as excessively dry mouth, difficulty breathing, nausea, or vomiting, seek emergency medical attention.

  • People with diabetes may also experience high blood sugar, or hyperglycemia, after meals due to excess glucose build up in the blood.
  • In severe cases, excess or frequent urination is a symptom of ketoacidosis, a potentially life-threatening complication of diabetes.

When To See A Doctor

A person with diabetes should see their doctor regularly to monitor and manage their diabetes.

They may also wish to consult a doctor who specializes in treating new or worsening fatigue that interferes with daily life.

People should seek medical attention for fatigue that occurs alongside other symptoms, such as , chills, or malaise, as these could indicate an infection.

Why Do I Fall Asleep After Breakfast

Blood flow to the small intestine dramatically increases after a person eats, says Dr. Tomonori Kishino, a professor of health science at Japans Kyorin University. And as blood is pumped into the gut to fuel digestion, a corresponding drop in blood flow to the brain could trigger feelings of sleepiness, he says.

Managing Tiredness And High Blood Sugar After Meals

If tiredness is accompanied by high blood glucose levels after meals, it can indicate one or more of the following:

  • The you are eating is too quick acting for you medication to cope with
  • You are eating too much carbohydrate for your medication/dosage
  • Your medication/dosage is not strong enough

You should only change your medication dosage if your doctor has approved you to.

Putting on weight is a common indication that ones insulin levels are too high. People who are overweight and experiencing tiredness as a result of high blood glucose levels may be able to combat tiredness by reducing their carbohydrate intake.

A doctor or dietitian should be able to help you with how to reduce your blood glucose levels whilst achieving a healthy weight.

How Your Body Gets Energy From Food

Your body needs energy for functioning and survival. This energy is derived from the food you eat. The digestive system breaks down food into glucose which your body utilizes as energy. Then it triggers various responses within the body. It secretes hormones such as cholecystokinin, amylin, and glucagon to increase a feeling of fullness, produces insulin, and raises blood sugar to transfer glucose into cells and throughout the body for energy.

As the digestive system is the major energy production center, your overall health largely depends on its healthy functioning. When the digestive cycle is not functioning properly, it can trigger several unpleasant symptoms including feeling fatigue after eating. Various factors such as unhealthy food choices, chronic infections, and stress can affect digestive health. Excessive stress can negatively impact various systems of the body including the digestion.

Diabetic Symptoms After Eating

Diabetes, or diabetes mellitus, is a condition that affects how your body reacts to and utilizes glucose, or blood sugar–the body’s main energy source derived from food. Numerous diabetes symptoms occur after eating, when glucose levels are directly affected in response to food. According to the National Diabetes Association, 5.7 million Americans have diabetes and don’t realize they have it. If you experience symptoms of diabetes, seek guidance from your doctor.

What Causes A Sudden Increase In Appetite

In some cases, an increase in appetite can be a sign of an abnormal condition, such as some endocrinologic conditions, including diabetes, hyperthyroidism, and Graves disease. Increased appetite may also be seen in certain emotional or psychiatric conditions, as well as a response to stress, anxiety, or depression.

Is It Okay To Sit After Eating

What exactly is fatigue? Is it just being tired after ...

Summary: Your posture can affect how quickly you digest food. Digestion is slowest when youre lying down and quickest when youre standing up and moving. However, there seems to be little difference between sitting and standing immediately after a meal .

You might be interested: Breakfast red potatoes recipe

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.

Increased Urination Is Arguably The Most Common

A significant increase in how often you urinate  is a tell-tale symptom of high blood sugar.

As a point of reference, the average person pees 4 to 7 times in a 24-hour period.

Waking up during the night to go, even though you already went right before bed, is a common red flag.

Why does this happen?: Your kidneys are working overtime to expel the excess sugar in your blood. Sugar that the kidneys are unable to absorb must be urinated out. Therefore high sugar levels leads to more urination.

Why Do I Feel Tired After Eating: The Scientific Facts You Need To Know

Most of us have experienced the temptation of a short afternoon nap after eating a large meal and you may be wondering why you feel tired after eating.

So, why do some meals make us feel sleepy? And what can we do to avoid that feeling of exhaustion during the middle of the day? 

You may be interested to know there are scientific reasons behind our bodys desire to fall asleep after eating.

If you are concerned that you sometimes feel tired after eating, here are some of the most common causes and what you can do to avoid that fatigue. 

How Is Hypoglycemia Diagnosed

A doctor who thinks a person might have hypoglycemia will ask about the patient’s medical history and diet, in particular about the timing of the symptoms, whether they tend to happen after eating high-sugar meals, and if the symptoms go away quickly with eating sugar.

The only way to tell for sure whether someone’s symptoms are related to hypoglycemia is to test the blood sugar while the person is having the symptoms. If the test shows that the blood sugar is truly low, the doctor may do other tests to diagnose specific diseases that can cause hypoglycemia.

Why Do I Keep Falling Asleep After Food

An amino acid called tryptophan, which occurs in many protein-rich foods , helps the body produce serotonin. Carbohydrates help the body absorb tryptophan. For these reasons, eating a meal rich in both protein and carbohydrates may make a person feel sleepy . Tryptophan occurs in foods that are rich in protein.

Early Signs Of Diabetes You Must Know

» Type 2 Diabetes » 9 Early Signs of Diabetes You Must Know

Diabetes is sneaky.

The early symptoms can go unnoticed for months or years.

In fact, 1 in 3 people with type 2 diabetes dont know they have it.

1 in 3.

Most actually do experience the early signs but dont realise or understand what they are.

Early detection and treatment can have a profound impact on your long-term health. A 3-year delay in diagnosis increases your relative risk of heart disease by 29% .

Therefore by knowing what to look for, you can take control of the situation before it takes control of you.


What Is Diabetes Fatigue

As it was mentioned above, diabetes fatigue is an extreme tiredness that individuals with diabetes can experience. It is a tiredness that disrupts a persons life and makes it difficult to function. It is very common, and studies have shown that 85% of those with diabetes experience fatigue.

Some signs of fatigue include:

  • Dizziness

Reactive hypoglycemia, a term used to define the crash that a person gets after eating a lot of sugar and carbs, can be an early sign of diabetes. In order for the body to use the sugars and carbs that are consumed for fuel, each molecule must be paired with insulin to get into the cell. If there isnt enough insulin available, then the sugar molecules stay in the bloodstream and cause high blood sugar.

What happens is that over time, eating a lot of sugar and carbs causes your body to have to produce a lot of insulin. Eventually, you develop insulin resistance and the insulin stops working as well which causes your body to make even more to keep the blood sugar under control. So after eating a large meal of sugar and carbs, the body starts producing a lot of insulin to try to use the food for energy. The problem is that after the food is digested, there is still insulin floating around and it causes the sugar to drop.

Signs of reactive hypoglycemia are:

  • Difficulty concentration
  • Dizziness
  • Palpitations

How Is It Beneficial For Me As A Person With Diabetes To Reduce/prevent Fatigue

Why does having diabetes cause fatigue?

It is beneficial for someone with diabetes to reduce and prevent fatigue because it can lead to a happier and healthier life and less diabetes complications in the future. Fatigue can cause lack of motivation which can lead to a person not taking care of themselves. For an individual with diabetes, not taking care of their body can lead to complications that arent reversible. These include:

  • Kidney damage
  • Infections
  • Poor circulation

These complications are big problems and can lead to a very difficult life. It is much easier to keep fatigue to a minimum or eliminate it all together.

Relation Between Adrenal Fatigue And Post

Your body is equipped with a natural stress-fighting mechanism called the NeuroEndoMetabolic Stress Response system. It is an intricate network of various organs and six circuits, including the bioenergetics circuit, which function in close coordination to help fight stress. A pair of walnut-shaped adrenal glands, located above the kidneys, are also part of the response system.

During stressful situations, the NEM signals your adrenal glands to secrete the anti-stress hormone cortisol. However, when stress is constant, the adrenals can get overburdened and are no longer able to secrete adequate cortisol. This can affect the natural stress-fighting ability of your body, which can lead to adrenal fatigue.

Frequently experiencing extreme fatigue along with symptoms such as low energy levels, difficulty in waking up, insomnia, brain fog, anxiety, stubborn weight gain, constipation, low concentration levels, and craving for salty and fatty food indicate signs of Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome .

As the adrenals get more and more overworked with consistent stress, the result is a cortisol imbalance which can disturb the entire NEM stress response system. As the NEM connects various organs and circuits, the function of related organs is also affected.

Probably You Are Diabetic

If you feel tired every time you have your meals, you should not assume the feeling because sometimes, it is diabetes that contributes to the feeling. Diabetes is associated with high sugar levels in the blood and this is what makes you feel tired after eating. Some sugars are very difficult to breakdown and this is what causes the body to feel exhausted.

Similarly, you need to undergo necessary tests in order to determine whether it is high levels of sugar in the blood, in this case diabetes, which is making you tired after eating. It is only when the diabetes test is negative that you can conclude any of the other probable reasons for why you feel tired after eating.

Can Having Gestational Diabetes Make You Tired

Gestational diabetes is a condition that approximately 4% of women experience during pregnancy. Due to the hormones, insulin resistance occurs, and causes higher blood sugar levels. This can be a problem because it causes babies to be born larger and have difficult births. It can also cause birth defects and it makes the first few days difficult for the newborn to maintain their blood sugar. It usually can be controlled with a change in diet, but sometimes insulin may be required.

Some women show no signs of gestational diabetes, while other have extreme fatigue, elevated thirst, and an increase in urinating. The problem is that most pregnant women experience all of these symptoms anyway. For this reason, all women are tested for gestational around 24 weeks of pregnancy. Women at a higher risk may be tested earlier.

If fatigue does become worse during pregnancy, the expectant mother should seek help from their physician to rule out gestational diabetes or other complications such as low blood pressure or anemia .

Further reading:

What Are The Symptoms

Some symptoms of hypoglycemia are caused when the body releases extra adrenaline , a hormone that raises blood sugar levels, into the bloodstream to protect against hypoglycemia. High blood levels of adrenaline can make the skin become pale and sweaty, and a person can also have symptoms such as shakiness, anxiety, and heart palpitations .

Other symptoms of hypoglycemia are caused when not enough glucose gets to the brain; in fact, the brain is the organ that suffers most significantly and most rapidly when there’s a drop in blood sugar. These symptoms include headache, extreme hunger, blurry or double vision, fatigue, and weakness. At its most severe, insufficient glucose flow to the brain can cause confusion, seizures, and loss of consciousness .

Fatigue In Diabetes: A Vicious Cycle

Fatigue is a frequently encountered symptom in the general practice management of diabetes. Fatigue may be the presenting symptom of diabetes, or it may present as one of a constellation of complaints. It may even persist after glycemic control is achieved. All of these clinical situations, irrespective of causality or association, may be grouped together as DFS. Fatigue has been reported to be prevalent in patients with type 1 diabetes or type 2 diabetes . Its association with inflammation, body mass index, insulin treatment, and depression has also been studied . The lack of correlation between fatigue on the one hand and hyperglycemia and glycemic variability on the other is also known . The unique features of fatigue in persons with diabetes have also been recognized, prompting the development of disease-specific diagnostic tools , as opposed to generic ones .

Diabetes and fatigue seem to have a bidirectional relationship, both feeding and worsening each other, thereby creating a vicious cycle of DFS . This relationship is strengthened by biochemical, psychological, and lifestyle factors.

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.

How To Identify Blood Sugar Spikes

Fatigue is associated with a myriad of other conditions, as well as just day-to-day life and other stressors, so it alone cannot tell you whether you are experiencing a blood sugar spike. People with diabetes are encouraged to keep tabs on their blood sugar levels to detect any sudden changes. This is one of the ways they can identify when blood sugar spikes happen.

The most common cause of high blood sugar is improper insulin production. Insulin is the hormone that is tasked with regulating blood sugar levels, and if it is not being produced at high enough levels or at all, it can lead to high blood sugar levels.

There are few reasons why insulin levels in the body are inadequate, including:

  • Eating too much
  • Not receiving enough insulin from treatment
  • Having a malfunctioning diabetes pump
  • Having insulin that is ineffective at managing blood sugar levels

Other risk factors that should be taken into consideration include weight, age, history of smoking, cholesterol levels, and blood pressure levels. These can all contribute to diabetes.

For a person without diabetes, insulin levels are unlikely to be considered at all. This is why it can be helpful to keep a food log and note levels of fatigue or other symptoms following every meal. If fatigue generally sets in after eating, it could be a sign that its attributed to blood sugar levels. If this does happen, it may indicate that a person should follow up with their doctor and have their blood sugar levels checked.

Adverse Effects Of Diabetes Medication

Always Tired After Eating Diabetes

Certain medications that a person might use to treat the complications of diabetes and other health problems may also cause adverse effects that contribute to fatigue.

Medications that can lead to fatigue :

Corticosteroids: A person with diabetes might need to take corticosteroids, such as prednisone, to treat the inflammation, pain, and discomfort that develop due to other conditions and diseases.

  • Statins: A doctor might prescribe statins to reduce levels of low-density lipoprotein , or bad , in the blood.
  • Diuretics: People mainly use diuretics to treat high blood pressure. These lead people to pass more urine than they normally would.
  • Diabetes sometimes increases urinary frequency, so this side effect can be particularly potent for people who have the condition.
  • Beta blockers: Doctors recommend beta blockers for people who have high blood pressure and . However, their slowing effect on a persons heart rate might lead to chronic fatigue as an adverse effect.

Alongside the diabetes symptoms that contribute to fatigue, beta blockers can have particularly potent side effects in people who have diabetes.

Living with diabetes can often impact a persons mental and emotional health.

According to a 2016 study of 90,686 participants, people with diabetes may be around two to three times more likely to experience than people who do not have the condition.

The same study found that anxiety was more prevalent in people who were aware they had diabetes due to their health concerns.


Popular Articles