Controlling Post Prandial Glucose With Meal Time Insulin

Dr. Amish Parikh, MD, FRCPC, Endocrinologist, discusses how to control post prandial glucose levels with meal time insulin.

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Dr. Amish Parikh, MD, FRCPC, Endocrinologist, discusses how to control post prandial glucose levels with meal time insulin.
Video transcript

Featuring Dr. Amish Parikh, MD, FRCPC, Endocrinologist

Duration: 2 minutes, 25 seconds

PPG is postprandial glucose, it’s a measurement of what the blood sugars are after a meal. Typically after you eat, the body makes insulin, and that helps to control the sugars after the food has been digested. In people that have diabetes, oftentimes the insulin made is not enough, and the blood sugars can go high after a meal, which is also called postprandial hyperglycemia.

PPG can influence the A1C levels. The A1C is a measurement of the average blood sugar for the past three months or so. For people that have diabetes, we usually target an A1C of less than or equal to seven percent.

High postprandial sugars can make you feel unwell, such as being tired, and over time, if the blood sugars are high on a consistent basis, this can lead to diabetes-related complications such as problems with your eyes, heart attack, and problems with your kidneys.

Mealtime insulin is designed to help control the blood sugars after you eat. They try to mimic the body’s natural response to sugar surges. They last anywhere from 40 to 120 minutes. However, they do not completely match the body’s natural response to insulin, and therefore there is still a chance postprandial hyperglycemia can occur.

If patients take their insulin as prescribed, before they eat, they have the best chance of keeping their sugars under good control and avoid postprandial hyperglycemia. If insulin is missed, then the blood sugars after meals can go very high.

Mealtime insulin helps to control sugars after meals, and should ideally be taken 30 to two minutes before a meal, depending on the type of insulin. Some insulins now, however, allow you take them 20 minutes after a meal, and still achieve good postprandial sugar control. In summary, postprandial hyperglycemia can influence A1C levels.

If you would like more information about this topic, feel free to speak to your family doctor, your diabetes team, such as the nurse practitioner or dietitian, or your endocrinologist.

Presenter: Dr. Amish Parikh, Endocrinologist, Toronto, ON

Local Practitioners: Endocrinologist

Post Prandial Glucose Control in Diabetes ( 172 participated.)

Rapid Acting Insulin


When a healthy individual has a meal the body releases insulin that keeps blood sugar levels under control.


In patients that have diabetes, the body either does not produce insulin or cannot produce enough insulin to control blood sugars adequately.


Post prandial glucose refers to the sugars that are released into the blood after eating a meal.


Patients with diabetes who take insulin only need one type of insulin to manage their diabetes effectively.


Fast acting, or rapid acting insulins are taken before a meal anywhere from 30 to 5 minutes prior to a meal.


If a rapid acting insulin is not taken on time, there can be a gap of time where sugars are elevated after a meal.


Post prandial glucose or meal time sugars don't typically effect overall glycemic control, such as a persons A1C level.

This content is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare professional with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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