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Why Do We Feel Sleepy After We Eat?

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"I feel like I am falling down in the afternoon most of the time. I feel so tired after lunch that I cannot keep my eyes open." My friend told me this as we sipped coffee at Starbucks one Sunday. I looked at the empty Splenda packets and the bottle of honey in front of her. Besides that she had a half-eaten bran muffin which she picked at in between the sips of coffee. She is not a known diabetic and she is not on any medications. She is a bit overweight which she claims she got from heredity. Over the years I haven't seen her eat really bad or junk food. Once in awhile she indulges in fast food or partying at night on weekends like any other person. So what's wrong with her? Why does she feel sleepy after eating?

"When was the last time you had your blood tests done?" That was the first question that came to my mind. I was afraid she might get angry at me because most people don't like to be asked about their health related issues. "Well, about a year and half ago", she said defiantly. "Maybe you should go for a complete blood test including HbA1c, fasting and postprandial blood sugars", I said. Now that did it. She looked at me as if I was asking her to hang herself to death. After that she avoided meeting with me for a long time. I cursed myself for running my mouth and ruining a good friendship. But how would I become a good friend without wishing well and giving good advice, right?

Most people, diabetic or non-diabetic, do feel sleepy after eating meals depending on the kinds of food they eat. For normal people even though the blood sugars come up immediately after intake of food they tend to become normal soon but diabetics do not have that luxury of eating whatever they want and keeping sugars under control. They have to watch what they eat for every meal. Unfortunately, there is so much food that is high in carbohydrates that tempt us wherever we go: muffins in coffee shops, mashed potatoes at lunch hours, and barbecue sauce on steaks for dinner. Everywhere we go even the healthiest food like green salads contain dressings.

We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

Diabetes Type 2

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