Postprandial Blood Sugar(pp) – How to Control Spikes after Meals

The blood sugar level is basically the amount of sugar or glucose that enters your bloodstream. Your blood sugar level changes after meals regardless you are a diabetic or non-diabetic. Therefore, track your blood sugar level is an important part of your diabetes management program. You should monitor your sugar level before and after meals. It gives an overview of your overall health. It also helps you to know how your body is handling diabetes.

Take the blood sugar test

Blood Glucose Chart

The most common blood sugar test includes fasting blood sugar test and postprandial blood sugar test. A fasting blood sugar test requires fasting overnight for around 8-10 hours. This gives a vital clue about how your body is maintaining blood sugar levels. Post Prandial test or PP test measures blood sugar levels after 2 hours of eating. Usually, your blood sugar levels increase and reach the peak of 1 after eating. PP test diagnoses you for prediabetes, type-1, or type-2 diabetes.

Need of PP blood sugar test

When you eat food, your blood glucose level rises sharply. This happens because the carbohydrates from your food start breaking into glucose within 10 minutes. Subsequently, your pancreas releases insulin to transport blood glucose into the cells of your muscles to give you energy. Your blood sugar increases when your body doesn’t produce or make use of insulin. The postprandial test, sugar test after food, checks how your body is responding to the increased blood sugar levels.

Why PP blood sugar test is done two hours after a meal?

Blood sugar graph Breathe

When you consume carbohydrates then your blood sugar level gets increases abruptly. However, insulin brings back it to the normal level within an hour. If you have diabetes then your insulin and blood glucose level will not return to the normal level. Therefore, a PP test is done to know if your insulin and glucose levels after meals are normal.

Symptoms that necessitate the need for PP test

PP blood sugar level test is done to know about your diabetes or insulin disorder. Your healthcare provider may suggest for this test if you have the following symptoms:

  • Frequent urination
  • Sores that heal slowly
  • Blurred vision
  • Tiredness
  • Feeling thirsty
  • Repeated infections

You may have to get this test done during your pregnancy to detect gestational diabetes. This type of diabetes develops during pregnancy. It may or may not continue after delivery. It is important to treat gestational diabetes to avoid health risks for you and your baby.

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Preparations for Postprandial glucose test

Your doctor often asks you for the fasting test before the postprandial glucose test. For a fasting glucose test, you need to fast for at least 8 hours before giving the sample for the test. After this, you need to eat a meal containing around 75 grams of carbohydrates. The healthcare provider takes your next sample for the PP blood sugar test 2 hours after the meal. Make sure you don’t anything else before the test. You just need to rest for 2 hours. Physical activities especially workouts can alter your blood sugar levels.

Interpretations of the PP blood sugar results

The test results of sugar level after eating depends upon age, gender, and medical history of the individual. According to the American Diabetes Association, the normal fasting and postprandial blood sugar levels are as follows:

  1. For non-diabetic person: The pp sugar normal range for non-diabetic person 1 hour after a meal is 90-130 mg/dL. The blood sugar value after two hours of a meal is between 90 and 110 mg/dL. If your blood glucose level lies in the normal range then you are safe.
  2. For prediabetic person: When your pp blood sugar value is between 140 mg/dL and 199 mg/dL then you have prediabetes. This doesn’t confirm you are a diabetic. It means that your blood sugar test values are slightly higher than the normal values. You can consult with your doctor and control your blood sugar levels.
  3. For diabetic person: A person with type-1 or type-2 diabetes has blood sugar pp the normal range of 200 mg/dL or higher. Type-1 diabetes tends to develop quickly than its symptoms. Therefore, your blood sugar will remain higher than 200 mg/dL. When you may be tested for pp sugar levels, probably, your normal sugar level after food will increase more than 400 mg/dL.

Immediately consult with your doctor after knowing the results of your fasting and pp blood sugar test. Starting timely medications and other measures to control your diabetes improves your health. It also helps you to live a long and healthy life.

Summary:

Sugar levels fluctuate in a body after every meal. In case of non-diabetic person it will remain between 90-130 mg/dL. However, for prediabetics and diabetics it will be more than 140 mg/dL.

Know your postprandial sugar level during pregnancy

Gestational diabetes or diabetes during pregnancy is getting common. It is important to start your treatment for gestational diabetes as soon as possible. It helps in avoiding pregnancy complications and keeps your baby healthy. Your doctor will ask you to get your diabetes range after meal check. The normal sugar range after food for the expecting women is 120 mg/dL or less. The higher values indicate gestational diabetes. The treatment for gestational diabetes includes a meal plan, physical activities, medications, and insulin therapy (if required).

Tips to prevent blood sugar spikes

There are people with diabetes who experience post-prandial spikes. It means their blood sugar level temporarily rises after meals. When the post-prandial sugar levels are too high, it can cause serious health problems. Therefore, it is important to keep your sugar levels in control. Here are some tips that help you to prevent blood sugar spikes:

  1. Stress management: You can control your blood sugar spikes through lifestyle management. Keep stress out of your life. Stress releases certain hormones in your body that disrupt the release of stored energy in the form of sugar. Thus, your blood sugar level spikes up.
  2. Adequate Sleep: Adequate and sound sleep is an important part of your diabetes management. Lack of sleep promotes insulin resistance. As a result, your blood sugar level increases. Therefore, you should take proper sleep of 7-8 hours per day. You can do meditation to enjoy a sound sleep. This will help in controlling your blood glucose levels. Also, it will keep you rejuvenated.
  3. Don’t skip your breakfast: You should always start your day with a healthy breakfast. Include a lot of fruits, low-carb food, and protein in your breakfast. This helps in keeping your blood sugar level after breakfast. When you skip breakfast, after some time, your body will make use of stored body glucose. This ultimately helps to increase your blood sugar levels.
  4. Exercise daily: Even moderate exercises like brisk walking, light household work, and yoga can help in controlling your blood sugar level. It also helps in improving your body’s response to insulin. This also helps in maintaining your weight so that your body can use insulin effectively.
  5. Eat more fibre: Soluble fibres help in controlling sugar spikes. Such fibres get dissolve in water and form a gel-like substance in your body. It, therefore, helps in the slow absorption of carbs in the gut. This helps in making you feel full and cutting down your carbohydrate intake. In this way, your blood sugar spikes can get in control.
  6. Reduce sugar intake: Your body easily absorbs sugar when you eat sugary foods. Such food contains simple sugar that breaks down easily. This causes an immediate spike in your blood sugar level. You should also be aware of the food labelled as “no sugar”, “sugar-free”, or “reduced sugar”. Such labels don’t mean carbohydrate-free. Therefore, please check on the nutritional facts and ingredient labels before buying grocery and packaged food items.
  7. Drink plenty of water: Dehydration negatively affects your blood sugar levels. Lack of water in your body promotes the release of a hormone called vasopressin. This encourages your kidneys to prevent flushing out of excessive sugar from your body through urine. Therefore, it is important to drink at least 3 litres of water per day to prevent a sugar spike.
  8. Include chromium and magnesium in your diet: There are several pieces of evidence that show chromium and magnesium together help in increasing insulin sensitivity in your body. The human body requires these two minerals in very small quantities. However, they are enough to enhance insulin action. Rich sources of these two minerals are almonds, broccoli, tomatoes, spinach, avocados, peanuts, and cashews.
  9. Manage your timings: Your meals and snacks timing affect your blood sugar levels. Sticking to the same schedule helps in keeping your blood sugar levels steady and consistent. Manage your timing for medication, insulin intake, and meals to prevent blood sugar spikes. For example, insulin works better when you take it 30 minutes before a meal. This enables insulin to go on work before glucose from your food enters your bloodstream.
  10. Track your glucose levels regularly: It is very important to monitor your blood sugar levels regularly. This helps you to know when your blood sugar levels rise and goes down. It is also a good way to track how different food is affecting your body. You will also figure out the effect of stress and exercise on your body. Use a glucometer for daily monitoring of your blood sugar levels.

You can easily control your blood sugar spikes. However, you should also know how long after eating does blood sugar return to normal and what should be your normal blood sugar level. These days, a variety of glucose level tracking app is available. They help you to monitor your calorie intake and blood glucose level over a period of time. Some of the apps even provide you a detailed report of your blood glucose level history. Therefore, it is convenient to start with the medications.

Summary:

Blood sugar spikes can be controlled by managing stress, getting enough sleep, eating more fibre and proteins, doing regular exercise, reducing your sugar intake, etc.

Treatment of the high PP blood glucose levels

In addition to the several tips mentioned above for sugar spike control, you should not ignore visiting a doctor. The doctor prescribes you suitable diabetes control medicines. These help in controlling your blood sugar levels. If your diabetes is beyond medicinal control, insulin therapy is suggested. In insulin therapy, insulin is injected into your body to replicate the function of natural insulin. This is the extreme treatment for diabetes control.

FAQ’s:

Can I monitor my blood sugar levels post-meal at home?

Yes, you can monitor your blood sugar levels after eating meals comfortably at home. You can use a glucometer to measure your blood sugar levels. You need to follow the instructions mentioned in the box of glucometer to monitor your readings.

What is the cost of the PP sugar test?

The cost of the PP sugar test is affordable. It may cost you around Rs 150 including your fasting glucose test.

Who can go for a postprandial glucose Test?

People with type-1 or type-2 diabetes, women with gestational diabetes, and individuals who are trying for the new insulin type or dosage should go for a postprandial glucose levels test. Along with this, people with multiple medications and who have a medical history of postprandial blood sugar level should also go for this test.

What are the other tests prescribed by your doctor if PP glucose test is not normal?

Your doctor may prescribe some additional tests if your blood sugar level after food is abnormal. You may need to go for Urine Glucose Test Blood Glucose – Fasting Glycosylated Hemoglobin Test or HbA1c Test, or Oral Glucose Tolerance Test.

Is a PP blood glucose test enough to detect diabetes?

Generally, PP blood glucose test and fasting blood sugar test are done together. This helps in monitoring the response of your body before and after a meal. If your blood glucose levels are higher than the normal but enough to detect diabetes then Oral Glucose Tolerance test can be done.

References:

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/blood-sugar-spikes

https://www.webmd.com/diabetes/how-manage-blood-sugar-spikes-after-meal

https://www.everydayhealth.com/hs/type-2-diabetes-management/control-blood-sugar-meals/

https://www.mysugr.com/en/blog/postprandial-glucose-why-your-blood-sugar-is-so-important-after-eating/

https://www.uhhospitals.org/health-information/health-and-wellness-library/article/lab-tests-v1/two-hour-postprandial-glucose

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