Postprandial Hyperglycemia, Defined
Postprandial hyperglycemia is the temporary spike in blood sugar that occurs soon after eating. While after-meal hyperglycemia may happen even in non-diabetic people, patients with diabetes may have higher and longer spikes.
Specifically, after-meal hyperglycemia is defined as a plasma glucose level of more than 140 mg/dl 1 to 2 hours after eating¹. For context, remember that normal fasting blood glucose is between 70 to 100 mg/dl².
People with normal glucose tolerance may also have a temporary spike after meals, but usually, it’s less than 140 mg/dl and their plasma glucose returns to normal within 2 to 3 hours¹.
Why Postprandial Hyperglycemia is a Concern
Although post-meal increase in blood glucose is temporary, experts believe preventing and controlling it is still necessary.
For instance, a report published in the American Diabetes Association stated that postprandial hyperglycemia is a direct and independent risk factor for cardiovascular disease³.
Another report indicated that postprandial hyperglycemia, which causes an inflammatory reaction, induces oxidative stress, and triggers endothelial malfunction may lead to the progression of atherosclerosis and other cardiovascular events⁴.
Also, controlling after-meal sugar spikes means you spend more time within your target blood glucose levels. After all, postprandial spikes before going to bed can increase your fasting blood sugar in the morning. And the higher your fasting blood sugar is in the morning, the higher your postprandial spikes are throughout the day⁶.