Does this test have other names?
Glucose, postprandial; glucose, two-hour postprandial; two-hour PPG; two-hour postprandial blood sugar
What is this test?
This is a blood test to check for diabetes. If you have diabetes, your body doesn't make enough insulin to keep your blood sugar in check. This means your blood sugar levels are too high, and over time this can lead to serious health problems including heart, nerve, kidney, and eye damage.
Postprandial means after a meal. This test is done to see how your body responds to sugar and starch after you eat a meal. As you digest the food in your stomach, blood glucose, or blood sugar, levels rise sharply. In response, your pancreas releases insulin to help move these sugars from the blood into the cells of muscles and other tissues to be used for fuel. Within two hours of eating, your insulin and blood glucose levels should return to normal. If your blood glucose levels remain high, you may have diabetes.
Why do I need this test?
You may need this test if your healthcare provider wants to see if you have diabetes or another insulin-related disorder, especially if you have symptoms such as:
- Frequent urination
- Unusual thirst
- Blurred vision
- Repeated infections
- Sores that heal slowly
If you're pregnant, you may have this test to screen for gestational diabetes. This is diabetes that can develop during pregnancy. Treating gestational diabetes reduces the risk of health problems for you and your baby.
What other tests might I have with this test?
Your healthcare provider may order other tests to confirm or evaluate whether you have diabetes. These may include:
- Fasting blood glucose test. This measures the amount of sugar in your blood.
- A1C (glycosylated hemoglobin) test. This measures your average blood sugar level over the last 2 to 3 months.
- Glucose tolerance test. This measures your body's ability to use sugar after drinking a standard amount of a sugary drink.
Does this test pose any risks?
Having a blood test with a needle carries some risks. These include bleeding, infection, bruising, and feeling lightheaded. When the needle pricks your arm or hand, you may feel a slight sting or pain. Afterward, the site may be sore.
What might affect my test results?
Your test results might be affected if you:
- Smoke during the test period
- Are under extreme stress
- Eat a snack or candy after your meal and before you're tested
- Are unable to eat the entire meal
- Exercise during the testing period