Normal Range for Blood Sugar Two Hours After Eating

A man is testing his blood sugar levels.
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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.

Is This an Emergency?

If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, please see the National Library of Medicine’s list of signs you need emergency medical attention or call 911. If you think you may have COVID-19, use the CDC’s Coronavirus Self-Checker before leaving the house.
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