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From Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA:

My 11 year old son was just diagnosed. We are adjusting to testing but have a question about the importance of timing the "after meal" test. When does blood sugar usually peak after eating? What would the result of testing say, 50 minutes after a meal or 70 minutes after a meal mean to the test results? When my son's lab tests were done, he was tested 2 hours after eating. Why 2 hours, compared to the 1 hour as we are now instructed to do?


I don't know why you were told to test after eating, unless it's to see the effect of certain foods on your son's blood glucose level. It has been my experience that most people use the system of blood glucose testing before Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner and Bedtime snack to evaluate the effectiveness of the insulin program, because testing between meals one might miss the "peak" effect of the insulin.


[Editor's comment: I agree that it's very unusual for patients with diabetes to be advised to test after meals, unless there's a very special reason (such as the need for super-strict control during pregnancy). Ask your son's physician or diabetes nurse educator or diabetes dietitian to explain why your son is being asked to check after eating.

The timing of the peak blood sugar after meals depends on what was eaten and the form of the food (for example, liquids with sugar will be absorbed faster and have blood sugar peaks sooner than would a meal of mostly fat and protein). As such, I'm not fussy on whether my few patients who are checking after meals check 60, 90, or 120 minutes after they eat; but I do ask them to choose one of these times, and stick with the same timing each meal. WWQ]

Original posting 29 Mar 1998
Posted to Blood Tests and Insulin Injections


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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:08:58
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