January 9, 2012

Knowing When to Test Post-Prandial

When do you test your blood glucose after a meal? Many people do it at one hour and others do it at two hours after eating. In my reading and experiences, either may be correct and either may be false. It is for this reason I encourage people to find their own post meal high point in blood glucose levels. Since there are so many variables involved, you need to find out what is best for you. Not every day will be the same or every meal.

Rather than repeat what other excellent bloggers have written, I will refer you to their blogs. Tom Ross has three, one here, and the addition to it here, then he had a surprise (these do happen) and has a blog here. Yes, we do correspond about these topics. Alan Shanley has two blogs on the topic with a different perspective here and here. I have written a blog on what your meter tells you about what you eat. Even Will Dubois has a blog post related to meters and their importance – meaning testing..

Cannot afford the extra test strips, then you may need to talk to, or write your test strip manufacturer, and see if there is any assistance available. You may be surprised. I am aware of one enterprising young woman that was able to get a vial of test strips just by asking and explaining why and for what she would be using them. Do not expect to be as lucky as she was, but in her case, she did have a need. Some manufacturers have assistance available to obtain them at reduced cost. There are different organizations available on the internet, but I urge caution in dealing with some of these. They overcharge and often send out out-dated test strips. Check this out for avoiding some of the problems.

If you can afford or get extra test strips, learn your time of high blood glucose levels post prandial. Also, use the extra test strips to find out how the different foods affect you. Use the extra test strips wisely in your own lab. Find out what the different foods do to your blood glucose. Do take time to study the glycemic index tables for foods. Do not believe these are gospel because the index is determined by testing normal people and not people with diabetes. Do use it only as a guide for determining which foods may rapidly raise your blood glucose. Here is one small table and by using your search engine, there are many available (key words – glycemic index). Table sugar has a glycemic index of 80, so compare that to the white potato.

Some people are able to eat potatoes without a high spike in blood glucose while others are able to eat rice without a high reading. If you do not have problems with grains or celiac disease, whole grains and foods with whole grains may cause high levels. So be prepared to find out whether you are able to consume them or able to have a small serving. I can eat certain types of potatoes and most rice (at separate meals, of course) without a high spike, but if I eat any whole grain or even refined grain products, and look out high blood glucose levels. I also limit the amount the above foods accordingly to prevent unnecessary spikes above my limit.

Too much of any food with carbohydrates can cause blood glucose levels to rise higher than desired. So test to see how they affect you. Every person is different and can be different at different times depending on the combination of foods consumed. As you find out which foods cause you to spike, decide whether to eliminate them from your menu or reduce the amount consumed. Be careful of many fruits and certain vegetables and eat them in moderation.

Now, find out the average time from first bite, or last bite, (your choice) to your high level, but be consistent. Some of us learn to do it one way and there is some confusion, but select one method and stay consistent in using it. Once this is determined, be ready to do more testing. This is not a precise science, and that is why each individual needs to do their own testing. Yes, you could be one of the lucky ones and make all the right guesses, but I urge you to do this about once a year to see if something has changed. Definitely consider this if you know things have changed. And be aware that there can be surprises. This can negate your confidence in your testing method, but please do not let it.

Good testing!

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