New Time to Test Glucose Levels

by David Mendosa Patient Advocate

If your blood glucose is under good control, it's still better to check it after meals rather than before breakfast, as I wrote here recently. But new research presented at the American Diabetes Association's 66th Scientific Sessions that I just attended in Washington indicates that it might make sense to check your blood glucose levels sooner after eating than we previously thought.

Both the American Diabetes Association and the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists have said that its best to check our levels two hours after the first bite of a meal. They haven't changed that recommendation yet and they might not change it. But we know now that people with either type 1 or type 2 diabetes reach a peak 72 minutes after eating with a variation of 23 minutes either way.

Dr. Sandrine Daenen from Paris, France, and four associates made "Use of the CGMS To Assess the Optimal Time to Measure Postprandial Glucose" and presented their findings on June 10 in their oral presentation 70-OR. The CGMS is Medtronic MiniMed's first continuous glucose monitoring system.

A study by German researchers last year found that pregnant women with diabetes reached peak blood glucose levels 74 minutes after a meal. Until now, that was the only study that tried to measure when people with diabetes following their usual diet reach peak glucose levels.

Knowing when we peak is especially important for people with either type 1 or type 2 diabetes who use rapid-acting insulin. If the peak is too high 74 minutes after starting a meal - 140 mg/dl (7.8 mmol/l) to 180 mgl/dl (10 mmol/l) depending on whose recommendations you follow - you can take corrective action sooner than the official recommendations.

Learn more about managing type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

David Mendosa
Meet Our Writer
David Mendosa

David Mendosa was a journalist who learned in 1994 that he had type 2 diabetes, which he wrote about exclusively. He died in May 2017 after a short illness unrelated to diabetes. He wrote thousands of diabetes articles, two books about it, created one of the first diabetes websites, and published a monthly newsletter, “Diabetes Update.” His very low-carbohydrate diet, A1C level of 5.3, and BMI of 19.8 kept his diabetes in remission without any drugs until his death.