Type 2 Diabetes Guide

Normal Postprandial Blood Sugar Levels - Why It Matters

Postprandial blood sugar refers to blood sugar levels after eating. In non-diabetics, are between 90 to 140 mg/dL (5.0 to 8.0 mmol/L), measured at two hours after eating (slighter higher levels are sometimes considered normal for people over 50 years of age). The target range for people with is around 90 to 180 mg/dL (5.0 to 10.0 mmol/L). But why worry about postprandial glucose levels?

This article may contain affiliate links. When you purchase through links on this site, I may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.

In diabetics, there is an increased risk of vascular disease, or problems with blood vessels or blockages in the arteries. Keeping blood sugar levels as close to normal as possible, as much of the time as possible, helps to minimize the risk of this . Testing only takes a "snapshot" of how well blood sugar is controlled in that particular situation; it doesn't take into account how tightly controlled sugar levels are throughout the rest of the day.

The A1C Test

An A1C test is an indicator of your average blood sugar levels over the last 3 months. In diabetics, the recommended target level is often set at 7% (6% in non-diabetics) - but many people struggle to stay under this target. Taking steps to control postprandial blood sugar levels and keep them within normal range helps to also lower A1C. Tightly-controlled blood sugar that stays as close to as possible helps to prevent or delay the onset of diabetes-related complications.

Factors That Affect Blood Sugar

Many different things can affect blood sugar levels. These includes the amount you ate for the meal, whether or not you exercised, how long you exercised, stress, and illness. Some medications and health conditions can also affect blood sugar. Any pattern of high blood glucose readings or significantly abnormal readings should be discussed with your doctor and a diabetes educator. , or adjustments to medication, can help to prevent postprandial (high blood sugar).

On the other hand, some people experience reactive hypoglycemia, which is low blood sugar after eating, typically occurring within 3 hours. Symptoms of include weakness, dizziness, confusion, and sudden hunger. A pattern of low blood sugar after eating should be discussed with your doctor. Often times a change to your diet or meal planning can minimize episodes of reactive hypoglycemia.

It is helpful to record your glucose readings in a log book. Make notes next to any abnormal or unusual readings, indicating what may have caused them. This log can be an invaluable tool to spotting trends or patterns. Bring it with you when you go to see your doctor or diabetes educator.

Even though typical bloodwork doesn't include checking for normal postprandial blood sugar levels, it can be done at home with a diabetes blood glucose monitor. It may take some time before you figure out how to manage postprandial blood glucose. Your doctor will be able to help you figure out how often you should check and what adjustments (if any) need to be made.



The information on this website is based on our own research and personal experience, and is not a substitute for medical advice. Questions about your health and individual situation should be directed to your doctor.