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How Long After Eating To Test Blood Sugar


How To Improve Blood Test Results

Identifying the foods or meals that regularly spike your blood sugar too high, too fast, or too long can help you to individualize your diet for longevity.

After a few weeks of testing your blood sugar levels after eating various types of food, you should have a clear record of how your body responds. 


A balanced blood sugar results in a greater sense of wellbeing, having more energy, preventing the afternoon crash and feeling hangry , and getting a better nights rest. 

Heres what It feels like to have normal blood sugar:

  • No extreme hunger between meals
  • No sleepiness after meals or mid-day
  • Balanced mood

When Should I Check My Blood Glucose Level

When you should check your blood glucose levels and how often you should check varies depending on each individual, the type of diabetes and the tablets and/or insulin being used. Your doctor or Credentialled Diabetes Educator will help you decide how many checks are needed and the levels to aim for. Possible times to check are:

  • Before breakfast
  • Before rigorous exercise
  • When you are feeling unwell

Even though your meter may have a memory, it is important to keep a record of your readings in a diary and to take this with you to all appointments with your diabetes health team. This will provide both you and your diabetes health team with important information in deciding if and how your treatment may need to be adjusted.


Most meters on the market have software which allows you to download your records in different formats such as graphs and charts. Even if you can do this, it is still helpful to keep a diary, not only for your checks but also details of your daily activities, the food you eat and other relevant information. There are some apps that record all of this information in one place. Ask your doctor or diabetes educator how you can use a diary to help you to better manage your diabetes.

Checking four times a day is usually recommended for people with type 1 diabetes. However many people check more often, such as those using an insulin pump .

Blood Sugar Lows: Follow These Rules To Rebound Quickly

When hypoglycemia hits, you may find yourself panicking and reaching for anything you can get your hands on to bring your blood sugar back up to normal levels. This strategy can backfire though. If you grab anything in sight and eat it, you will reverse the low blood sugar episode you are experiencing, but can end up with , or high blood glucose levels. Having high blood sugar levels can bring on many of the same symptoms that low blood sugar does as well as damage overall health.


So how can you prevent and correct an episode of low blood sugar without overdoing it and spiking your blood sugar levels in the process. It all comes down to the 15/15 Rule. This simple strategy brings your blood glucose levels back up into a normal range, but prevents them from rising so rapidly that they get out of control.

Whats the secret? Its all about pacing your intake of carbohydrates.  When blood sugar drops, which is defined as a blood glucose level less than 70mg/dL , you want to consume fast acting carbohydrates to prevent your levels from continuing to fall to dangerous levels. This is when you start to implement the 15/15 Rule.

What About Fasting For A Blood Test During Pregnancy

There are several blood tests you may need if youre pregnant. These are designed to assess any potential health concerns that you or your baby might experience during pregnancy or after you give birth. Some of these tests will require you to fast beforehand. Your doctor will advise you how to prepare for each test.


Fasting is usually safe if youre pregnant, provided youre in good health and arent having a high-risk pregnancy. For your overall comfort, your doctor may advise you to drink extra water or to remain indoors, especially if the weather is very hot or humid.

Fasting may increase heartburn in some pregnant women. If you experience uncomfortable or concerning symptoms of any kind while youre waiting to have your blood drawn, let your doctor know immediately.

If youre seeing a doctor other than your obstetrician-gynecologist, make sure they are made aware of your pregnancy before your blood test.

Times To Check More Often

Postprandial Blood Glucose


There will be times when you need to check more often, however you should first discuss this with your doctor or Credentialled Diabetes Educator. Example of these times include when you are:

  • Being more physically active or less physically active
  • Sick or stressed
  • Experiencing changes in routine or eating habits, e.g. travelling
  • Changing or adjusting your insulin or medication
  • Experiencing symptoms of hypoglycaemia
  • Experiencing night sweats or morning headaches
  • A female planning pregnancy or are pregnant.
  • Pre/post minor surgical day procedures
  • Post dental procedures

Your Credentialled Diabetes Educator can help you work out self-monitoring approach especially for you.

Blood Sugar Level After 30 Minutes:

About half an hour after a meal, the digestive tract works in full swing to digest and absorb the nutrients taken during the meal. So, the proteins, carbs and fats are broken down by different digestive enzymes and are gradually absorbed in the body.


The blood is the carrier of these nutrients and it transports them throughout the body to supply energy to the different organs. The blood glucose level at this time is generally at its peak.

Why Is Blood Sugar Checking Important

If you live with diabetes, a blood sugar check is paramount to good control. Without knowing your blood glucose numbers, you cannot appropriately dose insulin, treat a low blood sugar, eat a meal, or exercise with ease. 

Think of a blood sugar check as a litmus test: the number isnt good or bad, it just gives a person with diabetes feedback on what they need to do next. 


If a number is too high , its telling you to take some insulin or get some exercise, whereas if a number is too low, youll need to treat with sugar or some other form of glucose. 

If your number is satisfactory, then you can proceed on with your day as planned. 

Checking your blood sugar is also important to track long-term goals, like an hba1c test, and to see if youre reaching or even exceeding those goals. 

Regularly checking your blood sugar also can give you feedback on whats working and whats not: maybe a particular food isnt working for your management goals, or a type of exercise, like yoga, has really helped to mellow out your blood sugar levels. 

Its a good time to check in with yourself and calibrate your management to find what will work best for you, knowing that this can and will change over time. 


What Else Can I Do To Help Manage My Blood Sugar Levels

Eating a healthy diet with plenty of fruit and vegetables, maintaining a healthy weight, and getting regular physical activity can all help. Other tips include:

  • Keep track of your blood sugar levels to see what makes them go up or down.
  • Eat at regular times, and dont skip meals.
  • Choose foods lower in calories, saturated fat, trans fat, sugar, and salt.
  • Track your food, drink, and physical activity.
  • Drink water instead of juice or soda.
  • Limit alcoholic drinks.
  • For a sweet treat, choose fruit.
  • Control your food portions .

How Soon After I Wake Up Should I Check My Blood Sugar

Work with your doctor to come up with a schedule for testing your blood sugar. Factors for you and your doctor to consider in developing your schedule include the medicines you take, when you eat and how well-controlled your blood sugar is. Many people with diabetes find that it works well for them to check blood sugar first thing in the morning, but talk with your doctor to find out what’s best for you.


Check your blood glucose immediately on awakeningbefore any morning activities, such as showering, shaving or putting on makeup. The reason for this schedule is that if your blood glucose is low, you can drink some juice or milk. If it is high, you can take your insulin immediately and allow it to work at least one hour before breakfast. It is important to get into this habit, because if you start the day with a normal blood glucose level before breakfast, keeping your blood glucose under control throughout the day is much easier. Monitoring your sugar immediately on awakening does not take a major change in lifestyle, but it is very effective in improving your blood glucose control.

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.

How To Deal With High Postprandial Blood Sugar Levels


Obviously, check your levels first meaning at least 90 minutes after a meal. Why? By that time rapid-acting analog insulin has reached its maximum effect  By the way, the blood sugar reminder in the mySugr app is a great way to check your glucose after a meal. After all, no one can be expected to remember everything! Just set the reminder for a specific time and youll automatically be reminded. If you have type 1 diabetes, your blood sugar should be between 5 and 9 mmol/liter at least 90 minutes after eating . Of course, your doctor may recommend another postprandial level according to your personal needs and state of health

Make It Easier For Yourself

I am a part of Hedia because I believe in it; I see every day how my family member thrives because of the app. Taking those postprandial considerations off your mind gives you time to think about other things, such as why a convoluted word like postprandial is used instead of using the perfectly reasonable after-meal.

So, here, I have to suggest again that you give Hedia a try. See how you can make life easier for yourself! Give it a go at the App Store or !


When Is The Best Time To Test Blood Sugar

The preferred time to test blood sugar isn’t before breakfast any more. Researchers looking at studies of hundreds of people with type 2 diabetes suggest that high blood glucose levels after meals has a greater effect on A1C levels among people who have their diabetes under good control than among those with poor control.

When A1C results are low – less than 7.3 percent – mealtime glucose contributes about 70 percent of the A1C. However, when A1C results are high – greater than 10.2 percent – fasting blood glucose contributes 70 percent of the A1C value.

If your A1C levels are above 7.0 percent, you run a much greater risk of complications. That means getting your diabetes under control needs to be your top priority. After you do that, you can concentrate on testing after meals.


But do we start counting from the beginning, the middle, or the end of the meal? And should we test one, two, or more hours after eating?

There is a great variation in the length of a meal. So it is more precise to start counting from the time of the first bite. Another reason to start counting from the beginning of a meal is because our glucose levels begin to rise about 10 minutes after the start of a meal.

Both organizations recommend that most of us test two hours after eating. While your blood glucose level could be highest one hour after a meal, there are good reasons to wait until two hours after the first bite. Writing on a diabetes mailing list, someone called Helen said it best:

How Can I Check My Blood Sugar

How to have a lower glucose level and a higher insulin ...

Use a blood sugar meter or a continuous glucose monitor to check your blood sugar. A blood sugar meter measures the amount of sugar in a small sample of blood, usually from your fingertip. A CGM uses a sensor inserted under the skin to measure your blood sugar every few minutes. If you use a CGM, youll still need to test daily with a blood sugar meter to make sure your CGM readings are accurate.

Are The Test Times Youve Been Given Going To Help You Enough

One question to ask yourself is are the test times and targets youve been given going to help you manage your gestational diabetes the best you possibly can?

If you have only been asked to test your blood sugar levels before all meals one day and after all meals the next, is this giving you enough information to be able to understand how and where to adjust your diet to achieve the best possible blood sugar levels?

Likewise, if you have only been asked to monitor your blood sugar levels once a week, is this going to be sufficient enough for you to see whats happening and your tolerance to different foods. Or does it encourage you to follow a strict diet on the day you know youre testing on and to be less strict when you know you are not testing?

When You Are Sick

Blood sugars are more difficult to manage when youre sick, so its more important than ever to check your blood sugar frequently if youre under the weather with anything from the common cold, to a nasty flu, to even fighting off an infection. 

Its often recommended to check as often as every 4 hours when sick, and to if: 

  • Your blood sugar has been over 250 mg/dL for several hours and you have mild or moderate ketones 
  • You cannot get your blood sugar above 70 mg/dL for several hours 
  • You cannot keep liquids down 
  • You have a temperature above 101 F 
  • You have diarrhea and/or vomiting 

Blood Sugar Level Immediately After Eating:

Blood sugar level changes rapidly according to the intake of the meal. The normal blood sugar level before eating or during fasting is between 3.5 to 6.1 mmol/L.

Normal blood sugar right after eating rises drastically as the digestive tract acts quickly to digest the food through mechanical actions, digestive enzymes and different hormones. So the blood glucose rises sharply during this time. The rate at which the blood sugar rises depends on the type of food, the amount is taken, the metabolic condition of the individual, etc.

High Calorie Foods May Or May Not Cause The Blood Sugar Level To Rise

Many people think that all high-calorie foods raise blood sugar level, but this is not always the case.

In general, foods that cause blood sugar level to rise the most are those that are high in carbohydrates, which are quickly converted into energy, such as rice, bread, fruits and sugar. Next are foods high in protein, such as meats, fish eggs, milk and dairy products, and oily foods. However, even though carbohydrates affect blood sugar levels, if you don’t eat them your diet will be unbalanced and you won’t feel satisfied after your meal, which can lead to excessive consumption of foods rich in protein and fat.

Food containing three major nutrients

Carbohydrates

Not Understanding Your Meter

Today’s glucose meters are more sophisticated in their accuracy yet easier to use than ever before. Still, you need to check your meter’s accuracy periodically and you should follow the manufacturer’s instructions for doing this correctly. You also need to know the fine points on how to use it and care for it, and what the error messages mean.

The solution for better diabetes control: If you’re confused about the ins and outs of your meter, ask for help from your doctor, diabetes educator, or pharmacist.

What To Do If Your Blood Sugar Levels Are Lower Than Normal

Blood sugar levels that are below 70 mg/dL are known as hypoglycemia. Symptoms of hypoglycemia include heart palpitations and feeling lightheaded, jittery, irritable, fatigued, or sweaty.

Low fasting blood sugar levels can occur if you have diabetes and your medication does not match your carbohydrate intake. So its very important to let your healthcare provider know youre following a low-carb diet so they can adjust your medication to match your carb intake.

In people who do not have diabetes, low fasting blood sugar levels may be the result of a serious underlying medical condition such as an eating disorder or a tumor. If your fasting blood sugar is low and you do not take diabetes medications, see your healthcare provider.

Low blood sugar levels after eating are often called reactive hypoglycemia. This can occur in people with diabetes, as well as those with normal fasting blood sugars. How it should be treated depends on what the underlying cause is. But if you have low blood sugar and experience symptoms, you can remedy this in the short term by eating something with carbs or sugar.

High-carb intake may cause reactive hypoglycemia in people who are very insulin sensitive or have experienced massive weight loss. A low-carb, high-protein diet has been found to improve reactive hypoglycemia in adults who have undergone weight-loss surgery.

How To Tell If Its Safe To Exercise

Before you begin your workout, start by measuring your blood sugar, Dr. Hatipoglu says.

When you initiate exercise, your body releases stress hormones, which can briefly raise your blood sugar.

If you have diabetes and your body doesnt manage blood sugar well, it can increase too much during the first half hour of exercise before it begins to lower.

If you start exercising with very high blood sugar, it might be dangerous, she says. You might need to wait for it to go down a bit before starting your workout.

She offers four tips for ensuring that your glucose levels are safe for exercise:

  • If your blood sugar level is between 150 and 180, you are in a healthy range.
  • If your level is lower than 140 and you take insulin, you may need to eat 15 grams of carbohydrates prior to exercise so the level doesnt drop too low.
  • If your level is really high 300 or more postpone exercise for a bit and try taking a little insulin before starting.
  • If you take insulin, check your blood sugar level after exercise to ensure that you have enough fuel. This is particularly important if you are starting a new exercise program.
  • The American Diabetes Association recommends about 150 minutes of moderate exercise or 75 minutes of rigorous exercise weekly.

    What You Can Drink With Meals

    normal glucose levels after a meal

    Add a low-calorie, low-sugar drink or choose water. Proper hydration is essential to helping your body remove excess sugar.  

    Some drinks that are good for keeping your blood sugar level low include:

    • Unsweetened tea
    • Unsweetened coffee
    • Sparkling water or club soda
    • Flavored water or sparkling water without added sugar
    • Diet soda or other diet drinks

    The Insulin Injection Technique Is As Follows:

    Insulin comes in an airtight bottle that is labeled with the insulin type and the concentration. Before using, mix the contents. It says on the label to roll it gently, not shake it. The reason for this is to prevent foam formation which will make accurate measuring difficult. Some of the types of insulin used in dogs have a strong tendency to settle out of suspension. If it is not shaken properly, it will not mix well, and dosing will not be accurate. Therefore, the trick is to shake it vigorously enough to mix it without creating foam. Since bubbles can be removed , it is more important to mix it well than to worry about foam formation. When you have finished shaking it, turn the bottle upside down to see if any white powder adheres to the bottle. If so, more shaking is needed.

    Insulin is a hormone that will lose its effectiveness if exposed to direct sunlight or high temperatures. It should be kept in the refrigerator, but it should not be frozen. It is not ruined if left out of the refrigerator for a day or two and not exposed to direct sunlight, although this is not advisable. Insulin is safe as long as it is used as directed, but it should be kept out of the reach of children.

    Before And After Meals And Snacks

    If you eat first thing in the morning, your first blood sugar check of the day can also count as your pre-meal check, but if you dont, youll need to check again before breakfast. 

    This can inform you as to how much insulin youll need for your meal . If youre running a little high, youll need to bolus extra, but if your blood sugar is on the lower end, you can take a little less insulin for any carbohydrates eaten. 

    Checking before every meal and snack can help curb postprandial glucose excursions, otherwise known as the stubborn high blood sugars you sometimes can experience after eating a meal and not adequately bolusing for said meal. 

    Ideally, you should also be checking 2 hours after all meals as well, to determine if your meal bolus was adequate, if you took too much insulin, or if you need to adjust and take more insulin. 

    Two hours is the recommended time frame, because by then most carbohydrates have been absorbed into the body and most fast-acting insulin has already peaked. 

    When checking before snacks , make sure youre calculating any active insulin on board so you dont overtreat a high and end up going low. 

    Blood Sugar Measurement & Goals

    The exact timing of blood sugar spikes can vary from person to person and meal to meal.  However, on average, the post-meal peaks tend to be about one hour and 15 minutes after starting a meal.  But the best way to measure post-meal patterns is by using a continuous glucose monitor .  These systems, available from Medtronic, Dexcom, Abbott and Senseonics, provide glucose readings every couple of minutes so you wont miss the peak, whenever it happens to occur.

    So exactly how high is TOO High?  There is no universal answer.  The American Diabetes Association recommends keeping blood sugar below 180 mg/dl 1-2 hours after eating.  However, no specific guidelines are provided for type-1 vs. type-2 diabetes, insulin users vs. non-insulin users, or children vs. adults.

    Based on my experience, I usually recommend the following:

    Post-meal readings that are consistently above these levels should be addressed by you and your healthcare team .

    How To Do A Finger

     

    Your healthcare team will show you how to do it the first time, but these are the key steps:

    • Wash your hands with soap and warm water. Dont use wet wipes as the glycerine in them can affect the test result. Make sure your hands are warm so its easier to get blood and wont hurt as much.
    • Take a test strip and slot it into the meter to turn it on. Some meters will have tests strips built in. 
    • Remove the cap from your finger prick device and put in a new lancet. Then put the cap back on and set the device by pulling or clicking the plunger.
    • Choose which finger to prick but avoid your thumb or index finger . And dont prick the middle, or too close to a nail. Place the device against the side of your finger and press the plunger. Use a different finger each time and a different area.
    • Take your meter with the test strip and hold it against the drop of blood. Itll tell you if the test strip is filled, usually by beeping.
    • Before you look at your reading, check your finger. Use a tissue to stop bleeding, then use it to take out the lancet and throw it away in your sharps bin.
    • You can use the same tissue to take out the test strip and throw that away too. Taking out the strip will usually turn the meter off.

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