Is falling asleep immediately after eating really a sign of diabetes? In this article, I will be exposing the common connection between falling asleep after eating and diabetes, and shedding more light on the possible causes of falling asleep immediately after meal, and recommending when it is necessary to seek medical attention.
For many people, quickly falling asleep after a rich meal is a common occurrence especially during those holiday feasts and cozy Sunday afternoon gatherings. However, study has shown that this post-meal drowsiness for some individuals can be more than just experiencing a food coma; it might be a potential warning sign of an underlying health condition such as diabetes.
Sign of Diabetes: What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a long-lasting chronic health challenge that affects the way your body turns food into energy for daily activities. When diabetes is present, your body either cannot make enough insulin or will not be able to use it as required.
Normally, your body is equipped to break down higher amount of the food you eat into sugar (glucose) and forward the sugar into your bloodstream. In a situation where your blood sugar rises, it signals your pancreas to release and deploy insulin. To enable the blood sugar into your body’s cells for use as energy Insulin functions like a key.
But when diabetes hits you, your body’s ability to make enough insulin or use it is required is paralyzed. Too much blood sugar gets deposited in your bloodstream when there isn’t enough insulin or cells stop responding to insulin. When this lingers for too long, it causes serious health crisis such as kidney disease, heart disease and vision loss.
Sign of Diabetes:Types of Diabetes
Still talking about, is falling asleep after eating a sign of diabetes? It is important we understand that diabetes has varieties. As of today, there are three major types of diabetes, and they are namely:
• Type 1 Diabetes
• Type 2 Diabetes
• Gestational Diabetes (diabetes pregnant women)
1. Sign of Diabetes: Type 1 Diabetes
The Type 1 Diabetes is believed to be caused by the body mistakenly attacking itself in self defense; this situation is known as autoimmune reaction. When this occurs, it stops your body from making insulin. Reports show that approximately 5-10% of persons with diabetes have the type 1. We must also understand that the Type 1 Diabetes can be diagnosed at any age level, and its symptoms often develop rapidly. Anyone suffering from Type 1 diabetes must take insulin on a daily basis to be able to survive.
2. Sign of Diabetes:Type 2 Diabetes
Your body fails in using insulin as required, and will be unable to keep blood sugar at normal levels when Type Diabetes occurs. The Type 2 Diabetes develops over the period of many years and is usually found in adults; approximately 90-95% of people with diabetes have the Type 2.
With Type 2 Diabetes, you may not notice any symptoms at the initial stage; this is why it is important to get your blood sugar tested as often as you can. The good news is that with healthy lifestyle changes such as Losing weight, eating healthy food and engaging in regular exercises, the Type 2 diabetes can be prevented or delayed.
The Role of Insulin
The main role that insulin plays in the human body is to interact with glucose (sugar) thereby allowing the cells of the body to use glucose as energy. In response to a spike in blood sugar levels as it occurs after eating a meal, the pancreas usually produces more insulin to open up the cells in the body to swallow in this glucose to be used as an energy source.
In addition, whenever there is excess glucose in the bloodstream, (a condition known as hyperglycemia), insulin encourages the storage of extra glucose as glycogen in the muscle, liver and fat cells. This reserved glucose can be used at a later date when your body will be in need lots of energy. When this happens, there will be less insulin in the bloodstream, and blood glucose levels are restored to normal.
Falling Asleep After Eating
Now, let’s explore why some people may experience drowsiness immediately after a meal. Please note that it is a natural physiological response for many to fall asleep after eating, and the following may be the reasons:
1. Digestive Processes
The first reason you may fall asleep after eating is the process of digestion that occurs. This is the way your body acts after each meal, significant amount of blood is deployed to the digestive system to break the food down and absorb its nutrients. You can feel tired and sleepy as a result of this redistribution of blood.
2. Carbohydrate Content
Another reason you may feel tired and sleepy after eating is caused by the carbohydrate content of the food you just ate. Drowsiness can occur as a result of fluctuation in blood sugar level because foods that are very rich in carbohydrates causes a rapid spike in blood sugar levels, followed by a drop.
3. Parasympathetic Nervous System
The third culprit feeling sleepy immediately after eating is the reaction of parasympathetic nervous system. The parasympathetic nervous system in your body, which is also known as “rest and digest” system becomes more operational immediately after eating which makes your body to feel relaxed and sleepy.
However, excess of drowsiness or reoccurring of it regularly may indicate an issue that needs further investigation.
The Connection to Diabetes
There is the possibility linking excessive drowsiness after eating to diabetes through various mechanisms as listed below:
1. High Blood Sugar
Post-meal blood sugar levels can soar in individuals with poorly managed diabetes, when this occurs; it leads to feelings of fatigue and drowsiness.
2. Hyperglycemia Symptoms
Due to the impact of food on blood sugar levels, some diabetes symptoms such as increased thirst, frequent urination, and fatigue can be more pronounced after meals resulting in general body weakness and drowsiness.
3. Nerve Damage
The autonomic nervous system can be affected by diabetic neuropathy, a common complication of diabetes which controls digestion leading to delayed gastric emptying and causes prolonged drowsiness after meals.