Why do I feel so tired af­ter food?

Kapi-Mana News - - YOUR HEALTH -

I of­ten feel tired af­ter I eat – why is this and what can I do about it? Thanks, Bryce.

Hi Bryce. The old adage you are what you eat isn’t quite cor­rect; in­stead, you are what you eat, ab­sorb and as­sim­i­late. There are a num­ber of factors that can af­fect our abil­ity to di­gest and utilise the nu­tri­ents from food in­clud­ing stress hor­mones, caf­feine and med­i­ca­tions such as an­tibi­otics to name a few.

Stress is par­tic­u­larly im­por­tant to con­sider when it comes to di­ges­tive func­tion, as too many peo­ple spend their days in Sym­pa­thetic Ner­vous Sys­tem (SNS) dom­i­nance – a con­stant state of ‘‘fight or flight’’, with high cir­cu­lat­ing lev­els of adren­a­line. This can have a dev­as­tat­ing ef­fect on our abil­ity to ef­fec­tively pro­duce stom­ach acid and thus can re­sult in re­flux, di­ges­tive dis­com­fort or lethargy af­ter eat­ing.

Ask Dr Libby

Email your ques­tions for Dr Libby to ask.dr­libby@fair­fax­me­dia.co.nz. Please note, only a se­lec­tion of ques­tions can be an­swered.

One in five women in Aus­tralia ex­pe­ri­ence Ir­ri­ta­ble Bowel Syn­drome (IBS), and of course food plays a ma­jor role in this, but so does the re­lent­less pro­duc­tion of adrenalin. From your body’s per­spec­tive, if it thinks you’re pre­par­ing to fight/ take flight, it di­verts blood flow away from what it con­sid­ers non­vi­tal pro­cesses such as di­ges­tion. All re­sources go into sav­ing your life from the dan­ger your body per­ceives you are in, due to the high lev­els of adrenalin.

If you are feel­ing tired al­most im­me­di­ately af­ter eat­ing/within the hour af­ter­wards, it’s usu­ally just be­cause of va­sodi­la­tion— widen­ing of the blood ves­sels sup­ply­ing your in­testines— as part of the nor­mal parasym­pa­thetic re­sponse or ‘‘rest and di­gest’’ re­sponse to the food en­ter­ing your stom­ach.

The body wants to max­imise nu­tri­ent ab­sorp­tion into the blood­stream as well as main­tain

Stress can have an im­pact on our di­ges­tive func­tion by in­ter­fer­ing with our abil­ity to pro­duce stom­ach acid. work at the mo­ment and strug­gling to bal­ance all that I’ve got on my plate. What’s some­thing I can in­cor­po­rate into my daily rou­tine to help me re­gain some bal­ance. With grat­i­tude, Sue.

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