Blood Tests for Diabetes: Two-Hour Postprandial Glucose Test

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By : dLife Editors

Also known as: the postprandial plasma glucose test; PPG.

What is it? A blood test that measures the body’s ability to metabolize carbohydrates and produce insulin. Postprandial means after-meal, and this test is administered two hours following a meal.

Why is this test performed? The test is used to evaluate the efficacy of medication or dietary therapy in those already diagnosed with diabetes.

How is this test performed? The test is performed using a glucose meter to test your blood sugar two hours after the start of a meal. Wash your hands to remove anything on them that could affect your test results. Insert a test strip into your meter, and use the lancing device to get a drop of blood from the side of your fingertip. Hold the edge of the test strip to the drop of blood, and your blood sugar level will appear on the meter.

How frequently should this test be performed? As required when monitoring a treatment regimen.

What is the “normal” range for results? In people without diabetes, the normal postprandial glucose range is less than 140 mg/dl (7.8 mmol/l). For people with diabetes, the American Diabetes Association recommends a postprandial glucose target of less than 180 mg/dl (10.0 mmol/l). The American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists recommends a slightly stricter target of less than 140 mg/dl (7.8 mmol/l).

What do abnormal results mean? A number of factors can affect your postprandial glucose level, including what and how much you eat, how active you are, your insulin sensitivity, and your medication. Blood sugar levels that are consistently too high or low may mean that it’s time to adjust your diabetes treatment or management plan. Work with your doctor or certified diabetes educator to make the necessary changes to get your blood sugar into your target range.


American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists. “Type 2 Diabetes Glucose Management Goals.” Accessed September 1, 2017.

American Diabetes Association. “Checking Your Blood Glucose.” March 3, 2015. Accessed September 1, 2017.

Joslin Diabetes Center. “Goals for Blood Glucose Control.” Accessed September 1, 2017.

Updated 9/17