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Question
Posted by: BMJ | 2010/03/05

After lunch slump

Dear Diet Doc

I experience extreme tiredness about 20 min after eating lunch - regardless of what I eat and not after every meal, just after lunch. I find it so strange but I can literally not keep my eyes open. And my body feels like lead. I know we all go through an afternoon dip, but I have certainly noticed this much more in the last 2 weeks.

Can you shed some light?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageDietDoc

Dear BMJ
There are two main reasons why people tend to feel so sleepy after lunch: a) After eating most of the blood supply is rerouted to the digestive system and the brain is 'starved' of blood (it is a golden rule to avoid presenting a lecture after lunch at a conference because the entire audience is fast asleep!)b)Reactive hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar) could be causing the symptoms although one would expect them to occur a bit later. I would suggest that you have a medical checkup to determine if you do have problems with your sugar and insulin levels. If you should suffer from hypoglycaemia and/or insulin resistance (IR), then it is essential to consult a clinical dietitian, because the correct diet is one of the most important factors in treatment. Visit the Association for Dietetics in SA Website at: www.adsa.org.za and click on "Find a Dietitian" to find a dietitian in your area. The dietitian will take your IR or hypoglycaemia, into account when working out a diet for you, which will be based on low-fat foods with a low glycaemic index (GI). Click on 'Diet' and 'Weight loss' and 'The Glycaemic Index' and read the articles on the GI. Also click on ‘Food as Medicine' on the Diet Site and then on ‘Type 2 diabetes’. Regular daily aerobic exercise for at least 30 min per day can also help you to improve your insulin and glucose levels, so start doing an aerobic exercise (running, jogging, skipping, cycling, swimming, join a gym or Walk for Life).
Best regards
DietDoc

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

1
Our users say:
Posted by: DietDoc | 2010/03/06

Dear BMJ
There are two main reasons why people tend to feel so sleepy after lunch: a) After eating most of the blood supply is rerouted to the digestive system and the brain is 'starved' of blood (it is a golden rule to avoid presenting a lecture after lunch at a conference because the entire audience is fast asleep!)b)Reactive hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar) could be causing the symptoms although one would expect them to occur a bit later. I would suggest that you have a medical checkup to determine if you do have problems with your sugar and insulin levels. If you should suffer from hypoglycaemia and/or insulin resistance (IR), then it is essential to consult a clinical dietitian, because the correct diet is one of the most important factors in treatment. Visit the Association for Dietetics in SA Website at: www.adsa.org.za and click on "Find a Dietitian" to find a dietitian in your area. The dietitian will take your IR or hypoglycaemia, into account when working out a diet for you, which will be based on low-fat foods with a low glycaemic index (GI). Click on 'Diet' and 'Weight loss' and 'The Glycaemic Index' and read the articles on the GI. Also click on ‘Food as Medicine' on the Diet Site and then on ‘Type 2 diabetes’. Regular daily aerobic exercise for at least 30 min per day can also help you to improve your insulin and glucose levels, so start doing an aerobic exercise (running, jogging, skipping, cycling, swimming, join a gym or Walk for Life).
Best regards
DietDoc

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