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Can food from the stomach breach blood brain barrier?

Gastroenterology

Hi, I've only been drinking water and have not eaten complete meals for the past week. Sometimes, I get acid reflux whereby consumed food goes backward via the oesophagus into the mouth.  Yesterday, when I had a heavy meal (fried noodles, sugary beverage and cheese biscuits), my stomach felt bloated and uncomfortable. Approximately an hour after the meal, I felt tired and slept. I think I may have a weak stomach and was wondering if there's a possiblity that the food I ate could have breached the blood brain barrier when I'm in a supine or prone position. Thank you. 

DOCTOR’S ANSWER (1)

The straightforward answer is yes. The food we eat is digested into its various elements, e.g. water, glucose, amino acids, and crosses the blood-brain barrier to supply our brains with the nutrients it needs. However, I suspect that is not the question that you are concerned about.

The drowsiness you experience after taking a heavy meal, especially one with a lot of carbohydrates and sugars, is also known as post prandial drowsiness. This is due to the effect of the insulin produced by the body to absorb the sugars in the meal. This is effect is common in most people.

Coupled with your complaints of reflux, I would advise you to take regular smaller meals, instead of infrequent large meals, to avoid both the acid reflux and post prandial effects experienced. It would also help if you do not recline or lie down for at least 45 mins after each meal.

As always, if this does not help, please see your physician for a more detailed consultation. Hope this helps.


Dr Jason Lim
MBBS, MRCS (Ed), M Med(Surg), FRCS (Ed), FAMS

JASON LIM ENDOSCOPY & SURGERY (NOVENA)
38 IRRAWADDY ROAD
MOUNT ELIZABETH NOVENA SPECIALIST CENTRE
#05 - 49 Singapore 329563

480 views 10 Jun 2018
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Disclaimer: Any answers provided are for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment.

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