Postprandial Hyperglycemia



An exaggerated rise in blood sugar following a meal. In people who don’t have diabetes, the pancreas secretes some insulin all the time. It increases its output as blood glucose rises after meals. In people with Type 2 diabetes[1], the pancreas can be sluggish about secreting insulin in response to a meal, leading to postprandial hyperglycemia. Postprandial hyperglycemia may account for high hemoglobin A1C[2] (HbA1c) levels in people with otherwise satisfactory blood glucose control.

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Postprandial hyperglycemia presents a challenge to people with diabetes who are striving to maintain near-normal blood sugar levels. Insulin regimens of one or two injections of slow-acting insulin each day handle this challenge clumsily: the person must eat when the insulin is peaking, both to avoid hypoglycemia[3] (low blood sugar) and to avoid postprandial hyperglycemia[4]. Multiple injection regimens and insulin pumps provide more flexibility. A person can take regular insulin half an hour to one hour before eating so that the insulin peak and glucose rise coincide. Taking a rapid-acting insulin analog such as insulin lispro (brand name Humalog), insulin aspart (Novolog), or insulin glulisine (Apidra) can allow for even more flexibility and fine-tuning. The Food and Drug Administration approved a new faster-acting form of insulin aspart (Fiasp) in 2017.

Want to learn about additional strategies for managing blood sugar after meals? Read “Strike the Spike II: Dealing With High Blood Sugar After Meals,”[5] “Dealing With After-Meal Blood Sugar Spikes? Don’t Skip Breakfast”[6] and “Walking Significantly Reduces After-Meal Glucose.”[7]

Endnotes:
  1. Type 2 diabetes: https://www.diabetesselfmanagement.com/diabetes-resources/definitions/type-2-diabetes/
  2. hemoglobin A1C: https://www.diabetesselfmanagement.com/managing-diabetes/blood-glucose-management/h-b-a-1-c/
  3. hypoglycemia: https://www.diabetesselfmanagement.com/managing-diabetes/blood-glucose-management/understanding-hypoglycemia/
  4. hyperglycemia: https://www.diabetesselfmanagement.com/managing-diabetes/blood-glucose-management/managing-hyperglycemia/
  5. “Strike the Spike II: Dealing With High Blood Sugar After Meals,”: https://www.diabetesselfmanagement.com/managing-diabetes/blood-glucose-management/strike-the-spike-ii/
  6. “Dealing With After-Meal Blood Sugar Spikes? Don’t Skip Breakfast”: https://www.diabetesselfmanagement.com/blog/dealing-with-after-meal-blood-sugar-spikes-dont-skip-breakfast/
  7. “Walking Significantly Reduces After-Meal Glucose.”: https://www.diabetesselfmanagement.com/blog/walking-significantly-reduces-after-meal-glucose/

Source URL: https://www.diabetesselfmanagement.com/diabetes-resources/definitions/postprandial-hyperglycemia/


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