What is postprandial blood sugar (PP)?

Introduction to Postprandial Blood Sugar

If, you are, diagnosed with diabetes, your doctor must have told you the importance of monitoring your blood sugar levels. A spike in blood glucose level that comes after you eat something is called “postprandial” blood glucose; this sudden rise in sugar levels can be taken care of by following some simple steps, and help avoid health problems.

postprandial blood sugar

Why is Postprandial Blood Glucose Important?

The American Diabetes Association (ADA) has recommended that you check your blood sugar levels right before mealtime with a blood sample from a finger stick. Then do it again 1 to 2 hours after that first bite of food.

You need to keep this up for a week or so. Write down the time and the blood sugar number. Make a note about anything you think might affect your levels, like medicine or exercise. And don’t forget to write what you ate, the portion sizes and (if possible) the number of carbs.

A postprandial plasma glucose test is a blood test that measures blood glucose levels following a meal consisting of a set amount of carbohydrate. The tests show how tolerant is your body towards glucose.

How is the Test Performed?

A set amount of glucose is taken orally. According to the IDF (International Diabetes Federation), the blood glucose targets are based on taking 75g of glucose. Following the intake of carbohydrates, a blood test is taken two hours after ingesting the glucose.

When is Diabetes Diagnosed?

The following results of postprandial sugar level are based on the IDF guidelines for diagnosing diabetes.

  • Normal: Under 7.8 mmol/l (140 mg/dl)
  • Impaired glucose tolerance: Between 7.8 and 11.1 mmol/l (140 and 200 mg/dl)
  • Diabetes: Equal to or above 11.1 mmol/l (200 mg/dl)

Other conditions, for example, certain medications or recent illnesses may also affect the results which will be taken into consideration for diagnostic purposes.

Therefore, in such cases, the test may be repeated at a later date.

How Should You Take Care of After-Meal Spikes?

If you’re trying to manage diabetes, you must have been told how do you handle a spike in blood glucose that comes after a meal? Rapid-acting oral insulin secretagogues, rapid-acting insulin analogs, and alpha-glucosidase inhibitors help to reduce postprandial glucose. They also reduce HbA1c, but to what extent HbA1c is lowered is yet to be studied.


postprandial blood sugar

Why Should You Keep an Eye on Postprandial Blood Glucose?

When your blood sugar level is high, you can get symptoms like a foggy-headedness. Such symptoms make it hard to concentrate or think clearly. You may feel nervous or mood. Even your energy may also take a dive.

If the sugar level goes too low, that is not healthy either. In the long run, if your blood sugar stays up, you could be at risk for stroke, heart disease, kidney disease, or other physiological problems.


Blood glucose levels vary at different times throughout the day over a period of weeks, as the experts say. Therefore, it’s important to check your blood glucose at regular intervals to provide accurate information to your physician. Wash your hands before testing. Else any residue on your hands, such as juice from a fruit you ate, will affect be test results of that sugar as well.

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