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Normal Range for Blood Sugar Two Hours After Eating

by
author image Sharon Perkins
A registered nurse with more than 25 years of experience in oncology, labor/delivery, neonatal intensive care, infertility and ophthalmology, Sharon Perkins has also coauthored and edited numerous health books for the Wiley "Dummies" series. Perkins also has extensive experience working in home health with medically fragile pediatric patients.
Normal Range for Blood Sugar Two Hours After Eating
A man is testing his blood sugar levels. Photo Credit IPGGutenbergUKLtd/iStock/Getty Images

Your blood glucose levels can determine whether you have or are at risk for developing diabetes, a condition in which your body no longer effectively processes and absorbs glucose from the bloodstream. Blood glucose levels fluctuate during the day, particularly after meals. Postprandial -- which means after eating -- glucose levels that rise beyond a certain level may mean you have diabetes or prediabetes. However, two-hour postprandial blood sugar testing is not recommended to screen for or diagnose diabetes.

Normal Rise and Fall

Two to 3 hours after eating a meal, blood glucose levels typically fall to normal fasting levels. For people without diabetes, this is typically 125 mg/dL or less, according to criteria established by the American Diabetes Association. If your 2-hour postprandial blood glucose level is higher than 125 mg/dL, your doctor will likely order one of the ADA-recommended blood tests for diagnosing diabetes. The options include a hemoglobin A1c test and an oral glucose tolerance test.

Prediabetes

Before developing type 2 diabetes, many people go through a phase called "prediabetes." With this condition, postprandial blood sugar levels are typically abnormally high -- but not elevated enough to meet the criteria for a diagnosis of diabetes. Modest weight loss, increased physical activity and dietary changes can often prevent prediabetes from progressing to type 2 diabetes.

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