The 12th Invest in ME Conference, Part 1
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Tired after eating

Discussion in 'General Symptoms' started by matthewspuzzle, Nov 20, 2016.

  1. matthewspuzzle


    Does anyone else start to get tired after eating? Is this common?
    Webdog and Marco like this.
  2. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

    Logan, Queensland, Australia
    If you could supply more information about your issues and results you might be able to get more answers. You also need to supply more information about what you mean by tired after eating, as there are a number of different things that might cause this.
  3. Marco

    Marco Grrrrrrr!

    Near Cognac, France
    Yes but not until around 12 years into my illness. I'm medically retired now and for the last ten years I've had to sleep after lunch. For 7 years when I was still working I of course couldn't sleep but was pretty useless for a few hours after lunch. If I have to I can stay up but it catches up later in the day or the next day.

    I also have IBS and the additional IBS symptoms after eating seem to add to the fatigue.

    When I was still working and had to travel for business purposes I'd avoid eating altogether - sometimes for 24 hours.
    Webdog likes this.
  4. caledonia


    Cincinnati, OH, USA
    Yes I have it and I believe it's common. At a guess, it could be anything from reactive hypoglycemia to the body demanding more energy for digestion.
  5. PatJ

    PatJ Forum Support Assistant

    Two things cause fatigue after eating for me:
    1) Post-prandial hypotension - this means that blood pressure drops after eating because blood is moved to the gut as part of digestion.

    For someone with low, or very low blood pressure a normal size meal can be far too much for the body to handle all at once. I need to eat very small meals to avoid lower BP after eating. If I overeat by even a few mouthfuls then I can feel the difference in my energy levels.

    Before I realized the connection between food quantity and fatigue after eating, I would eat normal sized meals and wonder why I could barely stay conscious for the next three hours afterward.

    2) Low stomach acid - If I don't take BetaineHCL with Pepsin when eating any food with protein in it then I will be very tired after eating. The amount of BetaineHCL required increases for higher amounts of protein.

    Now that I eat very small meals and take BetaineHCL to help with protein digestion my life is much better. I used to spend so much time feeling like a zombie while my body tried to deal with digesting food. The only time I felt normal (for a person with CFS/ME at least) was first thing in the morning because I hadn't eaten anything at night.
    JasonUT and amaru7 like this.
  6. Gondwanaland

    Gondwanaland Senior Member

    Yes, histamine and tyramine from food make me tired after eating. Tyramine especially can cause fatigue. Even in my case where I eat only fresh foods (no gluten or soy) prepared from scratch and freeze leftovers immediately.
  7. PatJ

    PatJ Forum Support Assistant

    The mention of gluten just reminded me of another source of fatigue for me after eating. I think this would be rare for most people but I'll mention it anyway: LDN + gluten. Since I've been taking LDN I haven't been able to tolerate any gluten containing foods. If I eat gluten I can become extremely tired for up to 24 hours afterward.

    Both gluten and dairy are foods to avoid when taking LDN because they can interfere with LDN's effectiveness.

    Before LDN I was able to eat gluten foods without any problem, and sourdough bread was a staple food for me.
  8. taniaaust1

    taniaaust1 Senior Member

    Sth Australia
    Lots of us get tired after meals, you should aim to try to figure out why.

    1/ low blood volume (which will be the usually case if you have something like POTS or other dysautonomias with your ME/CFS)
    2/ food intollerances or allergies
    3/ insulin or glucose issues - hyperinsulinemia, hyperglycemia or hypoglycemia (A 2 or 3 hr glucose tollerance test with the insulin tested at same time can help rule that out)
    4/ something else
    ryan31337, Mij and Valentijn like this.
  9. Skippa

    Skippa Anti-BS

    Yes and I've never been able to figure out why.

    I bought a pin prick finger blood test thing for blood sugars I think, and pricked myself when it happened and found I was within normal range, although I could have sworn that was the problem. I did find myself borderline low (3.5) when fasting once but still considered normal.
  10. PatJ

    PatJ Forum Support Assistant

    I've read several books about hypoglycemia and they usually point out that the rate your blood sugar drops during a hypoglycemic episode is more important than being near, or below, the low end of the range. And, your low level may be higher than the average low.

    When I was certain that I was having hypoglycemic episodes I tested my blood sugar using a pin-prick tester and found that the meter could be off by a full point when using the same drop of blood for multiple samples. There is a quite a difference between 2.5 and 3.5.

    Eventually I just learned to trust my symptoms and the remedy, not the meter. If my symptoms match those of a hypoglycemic episode, and eating quickly relieves my symptoms, then I'm pretty sure I was having low blood sugar and the food raised it. This is something that I have confirmed thousands of times by now.

    I've also tested different foods to see how I feel after. If I eat an apple then I'll get a blood sugar high, with a blood sugar crash within 30-45 minutes. If I eat something that takes longer to digest then I can go for up to 2 hours before the hypo symptoms start again.

    If I take apple cider vinegar before eating (often suggested to help increase stomach acid, and to slow the rate of blood sugar increase after eating) then I'll feel very tired. I think it slows the blood sugar increase too much in my case, so that my blood sugar takes a much longer time to rise to a normal level. This may be another cause of fatigue after eating for some people.
    Skippa likes this.
  11. helperofearth123

    helperofearth123 Senior Member

    Yes, my POTS doctor said its because they detected low blood volume in me and eating causes the blood to go to the gut and away from the brain, causing more fatigue. I often feel a little bit better when I'm hungry.

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