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I will open by stating that the digestive system requires a lot of blood to digest meals, particularly those high in carbohydrate, starch and protein
To achieve this, increased blood flow, nervous input (the parasympathetic nervous system), and hormones are required.
This can also be worsened by digestion of foods that contain certain types of proteins, such as those contained in higher amounts in Turkey. This is why we hear about fatigue after eating Thanksgiving dinner.
All three of those responses to eating can cause your feeling tired. This does not represent something that I would consider emergent to your health and may be normal for you. It may be worth discussing with your primary care provider to investigate for anemia, which could be more concerning. However, I bring this up only as a suggestion and is merely a remote possibility.
What can I do to prevent or minimize it?
If your meals are typically very wholesome, I would suggest eating more frequently
Do you typically have a long break between your previous meal and dinner? And is it typically a nice, wholesome meal?
If so, I would recommend "priming" the GI tract by eating small meals throughout the day so that there is not a substantial shift to your GI tract.
Additionally, as redundant as it may sound, exercise is a good way to increase your reserve energy.
This can begin with just increased activity at a level that is not daunting. Once you have done this increased activity (such as walking around the block) for a while you will then become board with it and will have no difficulty gradually increasing your activity.
Typically advancing the activity level each week or so
If you have any further questions on regarding this topic, please don't hesitate to ask them and I will be happy to respond to your satisfaction. If you have no further questions, kindly rate our interaction as positive. I am happy to assist you today and wish you the very best in improving your postprandial fatigue.
Activity before meals- after? Doesn't stand out as a blood sugar thing?
Have you had a history of low blood sugar?
and do you notice increased heart rate, clamminess to your hands, or any other symptoms with your fatigue?
The low blood sugar issues usually don't improve with just sleep. They typically require more food, although it is a rare possibility. To be sure, I would suggest testing your blood sugar when you are feeling another of these episodes. A glucometer can be purchased at lowest cost at your local Wal-Mart, although most drug stores supply them.
No-I have never had blood sugar issues but have experienced hypoglycemia before---this is not like that
OK great. I did not get any of those details in your initial report, which is why I did not address hypoglycemia. Good thought though!
I would state that activity daily will help in the global picture, but it is not going to affect one day's fatigue.
If you have any further questions on regarding this topic, please don't hesitate to ask them and I will be happy to respond to your satisfaction. If you have no further questions, kindly rate our interaction as positive.