Which is More Important, Blood Sugar Levels Before Or After Eating?
Most of the time you probably monitor your blood sugar levels before you take your first bite, since the levels at this time are fairly stable and give a good picture of your general blood sugar control.
However, recent research by the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists suggests that the blood sugar levels after a meal are as crucial as fasting levels in determining the success of your blood sugar regimen… and perhaps more so.
Although blood sugar can fluctuate rapidly after a meal as the food and its carbohydrates and sugars are processed by your body, there are certain levels sugar in your bloodstream should never reach… even after eating. This level is around 140 mg/dL (7.8mmol/L), varying slightly by individual metabolic factors. An exceptionally high level may happen on very rare occasions, but these should be so rare that they are almost never detected.
In particular, BSL’s following a meal can be very important in detecting a pre-diabetic condition… and if you can catch type 2 diabetes before it blossoms into its full form, then you stand a good chance of heading it off early and keeping yourself from undergoing the dozens of issues it brings with it.
This fact alone means that BSL’s after eating are crucial for non-diabetics who are potential pre-diabetics… which is why testing for pre-diabetes is done by administering a fixed amount of glucose and testing your blood to see what the effects of this dose are.
If you actually have type 2 diabetes already, then the situation is somewhat more complicated, and you should ask your doctor, nurse, or dietitian what levels are safe for you. In this case, testing before and after meals is the best course of action. You should wait two hours after eating to let the glucose from your meal work fully into your bloodstream, and also to avoid the rapid fluctuations that might occur in your blood sugar level immediately after a meal, (which surprisingly enough aren’t caused by the food itself, as it takes a few minutes for the first carbs in a meal to get absorbed).
Both pre and postprandial (before and after meals), BSL’s are part of the overall picture of your glucose situation. You will never get a clear picture of how effective your treatment is, or decide if you need any new treatments or changes in your dietary regime, without knowing how both hunger and satiety affect your BSL’s.
In short, blood sugar levels before and after eating are both highly important for successfully managing your health, so you should take care to measure both regularly if you are a type 2 diabetic, and occasionally if you are at risk for pre-diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is a more stable diabetes than type 1, so you do not have to check your BSL’s after every meal, sparing your fingertips constant jabs and making it possible for you to move farther from your blood sugar meter.
However, you should remember that both measurements are important… and only one tells you part of the story of how stable your blood sugar levels are.
Would you like more information about alternative ways to handle your type 2 diabetes?
To download your free copy of my E-Book, click here now: Answers to Your Questions … its based on questions many diabetics have asked me over recent months.
Beverleigh Piepers is a registered nurse who would like to help you understand how to live easily and happily with your type 2 diabetes. http://drugfreetype2diabetes.com/blog
Beverleigh Piepers is the author of this article. This article can be used for reprint on your website provided all the links in the article are complete and active. Copyright (c) 2010 – All Rights Reserved Worldwide