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Strong fatigue after eating may indicate illness

Strong fatigue after eating can show blood sugar dilation

Many people are aware of the phenomenon: after eating, a permeable fatigue occurs, which is also called "snakeskin coma". Usually this is not a cause for concern, but a normal reaction of the body. Sometimes, however, serious illnesses can be responsible for fatigue. In particular, diabetics should be alert if they are constantly tired and unfocused after a meal.

Fatigue after eating is mostly harmless and explainable

Our digestion costs the energy of the body. More blood falls into the digestive organs, the stomach and the intestines absorb the valuable parts of the food in the body, the stomach muscles and the intestinal wall transport the stomach. We do not have unlimited blood in the body, and the blood that is now flowing into the digestive system is absent in other parts of the body – including the brain. Now this leads to less oxygen and we get tired. Everything is so harmless. But sometimes fatigue after eating can also hide a serious cause.

Too tired and tired after eating? It may be something serious behind it. (Image: katie_martynova /

Caution may be type 2 diabetes

Those who suffer from diabetes should be particularly sensitive. In fact, it may be that blood sugar levels rise excessively after eating. This has lasting health consequences. Very few patients with type 2 diabetes measure their blood sugar levels after eating, says Johanna Sandner, a diabetes advisor and head of the Nutrition and Diabetes team at the University of Mainz. For this reason, high or even very high values ​​remain hidden for a long time. Because such blood glucose peaks are not noticeable when measured in the family doctor's checks.

Health implications

If high blood sugar is not treated after eating, it has long-lasting devastating health effects. According to the diabetes advisor, cardiovascular diseases are getting worse, blood vessels in the eye are damaged, and older diabetics have problems with their perception and memory.

"To monitor blood sugar levels between doctor visits, people with type 2 diabetes should regularly check their blood sugar levels after a meal," Sandner recommends. The doctor then decides whether the treatment will be adjusted accordingly.

It is often advisable, for example, to take so-called nutritional insulins that mimic the natural insulin secretion after a meal. They ensure that sugar in the blood reaches the tissue cells more quickly.

Measure your blood sugar two hours after a meal

So, if you get tired quickly after eating, you feel too relaxed and unfocused, you have to measure your blood sugar levels two hours after eating and discuss all anomalies with the doctor who then corrects the treatment.

It is also possible for those affected not to know about their diabetes. Again, a doctor's check is required to rule out a metabolic disorder. (Sb)

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