Why you need to check sugar levels after a meal

check sugar levels

Planning for a dinner at a restaurant? Looking forward for that festival meal? Then, keep a glucometer handy because measuring your postprandial blood sugar level is now part of diabetes treatment at home.

Hunger is the body’s response telling you it’s time to refuel. This means nourishment. Nourishment includes carbohydrates and sugars which are required to provide energy. For a person with diabetes though, this means every meal can either increase blood sugar levels or maintains diabetes control.

What is postprandial blood sugar level?

Digestion procedure starts within ten minutes of starting a meal.  Correspondingly, blood sugar levels also start rising. These levels peak in about two hours and are known as postprandial sugar levels.

In a non-diabetic, sugar levels go down due to hunger, start rising from starting a meal, peaks after two hours and gets back to normal again.

In a person with diabetes, the pattern is the same till starting a meal. Problem arises when glucose levels spike and there is insufficient insulin to transfer them to the tissues.

Insufficient secretion of insulin makes sugars to accumulate in blood. It is therefore very important to monitor blood sugar levels regularly. Uncontrolled sugar spikes can cause irreparable damage to the organs especially eyes, heart and kidneys.

Why is it important to measure postprandial blood sugar level?

  • Your blood sugar level after a meal determines overall diabetes control
  • It has a huge impact on HbA1c levels (long term sugar levels)
  • High post-meal blood sugar levels increases risk of heart problems
  • High post-meal sugar levels also increases the risk of diabetes complications like diabetic retinopathy
  • In women with gestational diabetes, controlling post-meal sugar levels improves the chances of a delivering a healthy baby
  • It gives insights to your diabetes doctor or endocrinologist to readjust treatment
  • You would know how various foods act on your body with respect to sugar levels

Who needs to measure postprandial blood glucose levels?

  • People with a history of high postprandial levels
  • People who have diabetes for more than 5 years
  • Have high BMI (obese)
  • Difficulty controlling diabetes
  • Are prediabetic
  • Pregnant women with type 1, type 2 or gestational diabetes
  • People who take multiple medications and are at risk for high or low blood sugar

If you are seeking better diabetes control, it is important to measure both fasting and postprandial blood sugar levels. This can be done at the comfort of your home with advanced glucometers that transmit data immediately to your diabetes doctor.

With tech advances like smartphone glucometers, your diabetes treatment at home is well guided because your care team knows your sugar levels in real time and they can respond with immediate advice. Enquire Now.