Tired, fatigued feeling after meals

After meals, especially morning and evening meals, I feel so tired and fatigued that I can hardly function and stay awake. I just noticed this a few weeks ago and it is getting worse.

I haven’t changed my routine, I inject meal time insulin (Novolog pen) and then eat. I always test 2 hours after eating and it’s within my goals, 130 to 145. Since I’ve been feeling this way I tried testing every hour after eating with this result: 1hrpp-130, 2hrpp-142, 3hrpp 130, 4hrpp- 114, 5hrpp-102, 6hrpp-94. I get the fatigued feeling within 30 minutes after eating and it lasts to about 5 hours after eating. It seems like it is while my insulin was working.

Does anyone know what could be causing this? It is bad after breakfast because I have to take the bus and go to school. I’ve fallen asleep on the bus and have to fight to stay awake in class.

Those bgs aren’t bad. Something else is going on and it’s not something we can dx from here.

I’ve been reading about insulin allergies. I don’t think I’m having an allergic reaction but no way to know for sure. About 2 months ago I switched from Humolog to Novolog insulin. The Novolog pens were easier to get here than the Humolog cartridges.

This fatigue/tired feeling started a month after I switched insulins. Is it possible the switch is the cause with a delayed reaction after changing insulins?

Hi Madison,

Maybe you also need your thyroid checked. thyroid being low can cause major fatigue. Diabetes and thyroid problems often go hand in hand.

I think you need to discuss this with your dr.
I used to get this fatigued feeling when I ate carbs, but now that I eat low carb, I don’t seem to get it any more…

A few things to look at…

I aim to eat 50-60 carbs and inject 6 units of Novolog. If I lowered the carbs I would have to lower the insulin too. Then if the fatigue feeling improved I wouldn’t know if it was lower carbs or lower insulin the caused the improvement.

My thyroid was checked at my physical 2 months ago, it was within the normal range.

I’ll ask the Dr. about it, I have an appointment next month.

Are you getting enough B vitamins and iron?

Possibly an allergic reaction to something you are eating.

I get very tired a lot too. The cholesterol medicine does it some. Also I like to escape my fears by sleeping. It feels good to sleep. And it is good to sleep. If you are too tired can you stay home from school, eat breakfast after the bus ride and take a nap between classes? I start working a new nine hour job with a short car ride only 15 minutes. So I can lay down for 14 hours with an hour for dinner and instead of sleep I can exercise for two hours and still get 11 hours sleep. And I get paid for the nine outlets I work. So after work I try to get ready to work every day the next day.

I had a lot of trouble using Liprolog (high readings, very slow correction/ high correction ratio), and switched instead to Humulog, and that seems to work better for me.

Also, and this may not really work with a school schedule, I stopped eating breakfast first thing - I drink tea or decaf coffee, and then have a snack at 10 am or even wait until lunch, and that seems to work better for my body. I just figured that my body is too lazy to handle food until it has been active for a while.
I also noticed it was worse if i had food like bread for breakfast, i don’t know why. My mum suggested gluten issues, but i don’t believe that is the problem, as i can eat it at other times of the day.

At first i was worried that i would go low if i skipped breakfast, but it seems to work fine so far- even when i cycle to my morning job and back. It’s just annoying if I’m out all day and have to carry food everywhere with me (I have three jobs in three different places, so sometimes it’s complicated).

I used to get very tired after meals, even when my BGs were in top control and with moderate exercise.

What I wasn’t getting was enough vitamin D, which may have been a cause for my fatigue. Of course, when I started vitamin D, I also started a multivite- making sure I was getting enough B vitamins.

Like some other people have said, something else might be going on. For myself, vitamin D wasn’t enough, but it was an improvement. I eventually went to get my breathing checked by an ENT and he found that I had a deviated septum! Correcting it with some OTC medicine has made my breathing much better, and I rarely doze off after meals.

(I should mention, I forgot to take all of my vitamins and my nasals sprays today and I passed out after lunch…)

Good luck!

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Agreed re: maybe you should consider allergies or such. Fatigue/brain fog can be a sign of that kind of thing. Might be worth trying some limited meals where you only eat one thing and then shifting it a few times to see if changing the meal content makes a difference. Off the top of my head, things like gluten, high histamine foods, common allergens, might all be things to consider avoiding and seeing how that affects it.

Maybe blood sugars could be causing it. Your blood sugars are great and right on target, but 130 is still probably higher than non-diabetics go after a meal and maybe it’s affecting you. I know before I got my CGM I felt exactly how you are describing after lunch every day and learned I was going above 200 an hour after meals. I know that is very high and much higher than you are, but maybe some people are very sensitive. I can tell you now that I regularly keep my BG between 80 and 120 most of the day, I definitely am more sensitive to BG in the 130s and above and feel a bit more lethargic or get headaches.

I had a beer and a high-carb meal with a non-diabetic friend once, and he was feeling as you described. I checked his BG and he was about 124 (if I’m converting from Cdn to American in my head properly), so maybe even slight elevations from what is normal can cause fatigue.