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June 29, 2006

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Question from Sunnyside, Washington, USA:

I'd like your opinion on what a normal glucose level should be at one hour after a meal. I have read some different opinions: (1) testing before two hours is "invalid," or a waste of time and (2) testing at one hour after a meal lets you know how the food you ate affected you. But, I have not seen what the level should be to be considered "normal" or safe. I know they want you at or below 140 mg/dl [7.8 mmol/L] two hours after a meal. So, what should a normal reading be one hour after a meal? Is it acceptable to have a one hour blood sugar over 150 mg/dl [8.3 mmol/L], but a two hour blood sugar less than 140 mg/dl [7.8 mmol/L]?

Answer:

Do you have diabetes? If not, I would recommend you have a glucose tolerance test to determine whether have type 2 diabetes. If you are already known to have type 2 diabetes, I would recommend you use the more standard two hour glucose value of less than 120 mg/dl [6.7 mmol/L] as the standard. In patients who are pregnant, one hour glucose levels less than 140 mg/dl [7.8 mmol/L] are a target that has been used instead of the two hour value.

JTL