Can sleepiness after a meal indicate illness?
Hello, I am 37 years old and have a rather unusual problem. For a few months now I have noticed that after a meal even one that is not heavy I get drowsy. This hasn’t happened before, so I’m starting to wonder if drowsiness after a meal is a symptom of illness. It’s been a long time since I had a checkup, maybe I should go to my GP and ask for a referral for a blood count. After a meal, in addition to the drowsiness, I occasionally get abdominal pain, like pressure, which goes away after a diastolic pill.
My friend advised me to ask my general practitioner for a referral to a gastrologist, because I may need specialist tests, for example colonoscopy or gastroscopy, is that a good idea? I don’t take any medications, occasionally, when the discomfort after a meal is too great, I make myself a herbal tea for digestion and sometimes the effect is positive. I also have problems with bowel movements for a long time, that is, I suffer from constipation. This problem is getting worse and it bothers me because I often eat out and it is a big discomfort for me to feel sleepy after a meal in a public place. Please give me some advice on what I should do.
Doctor explains causes of drowsiness after eating
Many people feel sleepy after eating. This is most often the result of physiological processes related to digestion. After a meal, the digestive system works at top speed. Therefore, the blood circulating in the body goes largely to the intestines. Because of this, less blood is delivered to the brain and hence drowsiness after eating results. This is usually not a cause for worry. The occurrence of fatigue after a meal depends largely on what we have eaten, in what quantity, how quickly and how tired we are.
Usually, drowsiness manifests itself after a larger meal. A meal consisting largely of simple carbohydrates that cause a rapid insulin release will more often than not cause post-meal fatigue. An additional contributor to the onset of post-meal drowsiness is alcohol. Not getting enough sleep lately causes additional fatigue, and a meal eaten further compounds this.
Symptoms such as abdominal pain after a meal, pressure can be symptoms of diseases of the digestive system. Such symptoms, among others, occur in inflammatory bowel diseases, irritable bowel syndrome. Drowsiness and constipation are symptoms of many diseases, including endocrinological disorders, e.g. hypothyroidism. Persistent high level of sugar in blood may result in sleepiness after a meal. It is one of the symptoms of diabetes. Excessive sleep iness may be a symptom of depression. Pathological excessive daytime sleepiness is called hypersomnia.
It is an ailment that significantly interferes with daily functioning. It is a dangerous symptom because the ill person sometimes does not control where and in which situation he falls asleep. It may happen for example while driving a car. In order to make an accurate diagnosis it is necessary to perform diagnostics. I suggest consulting your primary care physician. After taking a full medical history and examining the patient, the doctor will decide on further treatment. If necessary refer to specialist gastroenterologist.