Severe tiredness after eating can indicate a blood sugar derailment
Many people are familiar with the phenomenon: after eating, leaden fatigue sets in, which is popularly also jokingly referred to as "schnitzel coma". Usually this is not a cause for concern, but a normal body response. However, sometimes serious illnesses can be responsible for fatigue. Diabetics, in particular, need to be alert if they are constantly tired and unable to concentrate after eating.
Fatigue after eating is mostly harmless and explainable
Our digestion costs the body energy. More blood gets into the digestive organs, the stomach and intestines take the parts that are valuable for the body from the food, the stomach muscles and the intestinal wall carry the gastric pulp on. We don't have an unlimited amount of blood in the body, and the blood that is now flowing into the digestive organs is missing in other parts of the body - including the brain. This gets less oxygen now and we get tired. So everything is quite harmless. But sometimes there can be a serious reason for being tired after eating.
Warning, it could be type 2 diabetes
If you have diabetes, you should pay particular attention to it. It could be that blood sugar levels skyrocket after eating. This has long-term consequences for health. Very few patients with type 2 diabetes measure their blood sugar levels after eating, reports Johanna Sandner, diabetes consultant and head of the nutrition and diabetes team, University Hospital Mainz. For this reason, high or very high values remain hidden for a long time. Because such blood sugar peaks are not noticeable when measuring during the checks at the family doctor.
Consequences for health
Failure to treat high blood sugar after eating can have devastating long-term health consequences. According to the diabetes consultant, cardiovascular diseases worsen, the blood vessels in the eye are damaged, and older diabetics have problems with perception and memories.
"In order to keep an eye on the blood sugar level between visits to the doctor, people with type 2 diabetes should regularly measure their blood sugar levels after eating," recommends Sandner. The doctor then decides whether the therapy will be adjusted accordingly.
It is often advisable to take so-called meal insulins, for example, which mimic a natural release of insulin after a meal. They ensure that the sugar in the blood reaches the tissue cells more quickly.
Measure blood sugar two hours after eating
So if you get tired quickly after eating, feel excessively limp and lacking concentration, you should measure your blood sugar levels two hours after eating and discuss any abnormalities with the doctor treating you, who will then adjust the treatment accordingly.
It is also possible that those affected do not yet know about their diabetes. Here, too, a check-up with the doctor is necessary in order to rule out a metabolic disorder. (sb)