While each person’s specific blood sugar monitoring schedule is personal, checking blood sugar throughout the day is one of the best ways to ensure that your levels are in a safe target range. Blood glucose tends to peak after meals. This may leave you wondering, how long should I wait after eating to check my blood sugar? Finding the answer can help you safeguard your health and better manage your diabetes.
When Should I Check My Blood Sugar?
How often you check your blood sugar will depend on the type of diabetes you have and your treatment plan. Some of the most common times to check include the following:
- When you first wake up
- Before a meal
- After a meal
- Before snacks
- Before exercise
- After exercise
You should also check your blood sugar if you experience symptoms of low or high blood sugar. Symptoms to look out for include fatigue, headaches, blurred vision, dry mouth, shakiness, and sweating.
Be sure to speak with your healthcare provider to ensure that you fully understand your monitoring schedule.
How Long Should I Wait After Eating to Check My Blood Sugar?
“How long should I wait after eating to check my blood sugar?” is one of the most common questions people have when they start self-monitoring blood sugar at home. Healthcare practitioners often recommend that people with diabetes wait two hours after the beginning of a meal to check blood sugar.
After eating, blood sugar levels rise as the body begins to break down food into sugars and tend to peak one to two hours after eating. People without diabetes will produce enough insulin to bring their blood sugar level back down from its post-meal high.
People living with type 1 diabetes do not produce insulin, and people with type 2 diabetes do not produce enough insulin or are resistant to the action of insulin. This means blood sugar may remain elevated longer. Typically, checking blood sugar two hours after a meal allows enough time for the body to digest the food from your meal and allow insulin to act. However, you should always speak to your healthcare provider to determine how long of a wait is appropriate for you.
How to Prevent Post-meal Spikes
Taking fast-acting prandial, or mealtime, insulin 20–30 minutes before eating a meal can reduce blood sugar spikes because the insulin will begin to work when glucose from food starts to enter the bloodstream. Additionally, a portioned diet rich in foods like vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and fruit can cause a slower rise in blood sugar and help prevent post-meal spikes. Your healthcare provider can help you determine what strategy is best for you.
Blood Glucose Testing Made Simple
Checking blood sugar levels before and after meals (known as paired testing) can help you determine how different foods affect them and whether your diabetes management plan needs to be adjusted. Whether you’re out to eat at a restaurant or eating a meal at home, having the right tools to stay on top of blood sugar monitoring is key.
The POGO Automatic® Monitor is an innovative all-in-one blood glucose monitor that allows you to check your blood sugar in one simple step, and you can get accurate results in seconds. There’s no need for separate test strips or lancets because all your supplies are integrated inside a compact cartridge with enough test strips and lancets for 10 tests. With POGO Automatic, monitoring is simple, even when you’re away from home and when life gets busy.
The free Patterns® for POGO Automatic app automatically syncs to your POGO Automatic Monitor so you can view your results on your smartphone, identify trends, and share your data with your healthcare provider. You can also set reminders for when to check levels. If your levels are too high or too low, Patterns can automatically send you alerts with tips on what to do next to support your health.
Knowing how long to wait to check blood sugar after eating can be very important for preventing potential health risks. POGO Automatic makes checking fast, easy, and discreet so you can stay on track, no matter what your schedule is and no matter where you are.
Jaclyn Owens is a product director specializing in diabetes management tools. She is committed to using technology to empower people with diabetes and help them take control of their health.
All content on this website is for educational purposes only and does not replace the guidance of your healthcare practitioner. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new healthcare regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.