Time of testing

I’m a type 2 currently on no medication and control through exercise and diet. I was diagnosed last June. I have read in various places that I should test two hours after meals. My endocrinologist has me test one hour after meals. There have been several times when I tested 45 minutes after a meal and those are the times when my bs has been highest. I’m confused now as to when is the most beneficial time to test following a meal. I would appreciate some guidance. Thanks

Scott, here is a discussion we had on the subject of testing times. Why don’t you occasionally try 1 hour after and 2 hours after, just to see what happens?

oh, and here’s another good article on the subject written by oue esteemed member, Jenny.

Thank you. What I am not understanding though, based on what was contained in Jenny’s article (quoting the AACE) is why test after two hours if bg levels peak an hour after a meal? Sorry for being dense about this…

Marie B., Thanks for the links to the past discussions on testing times. I’ve started reading the replies and I didn’t have to go very far to see that 2-hour postprandial blood glucose levels should not exceed 120 mg/dL.
Yikes, your reply reinforces that I need to reduce my carb intake to strive for 120 two hours after meals, which is more important than A1c. Right?


To understand WHEN it’s best to test you need to ask WHY am I testing.

If you are trying to find how high a given meal raises your blood sugar, you’d want to test some time between 1 and 1 1/2 hour when blood sugar is likely to be highest.

If you’re looking to see whether your blood sugar is coming back to where it started from before the meal, you’d test at 2 or three hours after eating.

If you’re using short acting insulin, the time when you’d test depends on the kind of short acting insulin you are using, as they last different times. The point of testing there might be to see if the dose you used matched the food you ate and brought you back to your goal blood sugar, or it might be to make sure you aren’t going low.

Testing just to test without understanding WHY you are testing is a waste of strips. Sadly, too many doctors don’t understand this and merely parrot guidelines they were taught.

Like Jenny mentioned, test for a reason. I was diagnosed T2 in 8/08 and at first testing like crazy, getting lots of numbers and not knowing what to do with them.

I normally test at 2 hrs to see if my post prandal number is 120 or below, which is my goal. Recently, I started taking a new medication, prandin. I take this prior to eating, so I am currently testing at 1hr, 2 hr and 3 hr to see if I’m reaching my post prandal goals and to make sure I’m not going low since it could cause a hypo. Once I am comfortable with this drug, I’ll probably go back to testing at 2 hrs post prandal unless I’m testing a food.

Good luck!

Yes, not to parrot what others said, but maybe to simplify: Test 1 hour after to see how high you went with the meal. Test 2 hours after to see whether you have dropped back to good levels.

Would make sense to do both if you have enough strips, for a while, or vary when you do it if you don’t have enough, just to see what various meals do, both in terms of raising your sugar, and in terms of allowing it to return to lower levels.

I hope things go well with your diet/exercise regimen and you can avoid meds!