Glucose - Postprandial
What is PPBG?
Glucose- post prandial (PPG) test is a blood test that determines the amount of glucose in blood after a meal. The level of glucose in blood begins to rise 10 minutes after the start of a meal when the absorption of dietary carbohydrates from food starts. The purpose of the test is to monitor treatment efficacy in patients with diabetes, as a part of routine health checkup, and to diagnose diabetes in people with symptoms like frequent urination, tiredness, blurred vision, and increased appetite.
The higher the PPG, the greater the risk of complications like stroke and cardiovascular issues. In healthy, non-diabetic individuals postprandial blood glucose level is usually <120 mg/dl and rarely >140 mg/dl. In diabetic individuals, it is usually >140mg/dL. A proper schedule of exercise, healthy eating, and medication can assist in bringing down the level.
Why is PPBG done?
· To screen for high blood sugar in presence of risk factors of Diabetes
· To monitor treatment efficacy in patients undergoing treatment for Diabetes
· As a part of a routine preventive health checkup
What does PPBG Measure?
Glucose Postprandial Blood (PPBG) Test measures the glucose levels in the blood after a period of 2 hours from the start of last meal. The PPBG test is usually done along with a Fasting Blood Glucose test.
Glucose is a simple sugar or monosaccharide which is the main source of energy for all the cells of the body, and the only energy source for the nervous system. Carbohydrates consumed in the diet are broken down to their simplest form, glucose which is absorbed by the intestines and transported by the blood to various organs. It is subsequently utilized by cells of these organs to produce energy wherever necessary, and the excess is stored either as glycogen in the liver for short-term storage or in fat tissues as triglycerides for long-term storage. The uptake, utilization, and storage of glucose after it is absorbed in the intestines is facilitated by the hormone insulin secreted by the pancreas. Insulin influences the transport of glucose to the organs requiring it, like the heart, brain, working muscles, etc. It also directs storage of excess glucose. The action of insulin reduces sugar levels in the blood.
After every meal, sugar levels increase in the blood and insulin is secreted as a response to reduce the sugar levels until it becomes normal. If glucose levels fall too low in blood, another pancreatic hormone called glucagon is released. Glucagon directs the liver to convert stored glycogen into glucose and release it into the blood. The insulin and glucagon hormones create a feedback mechanism to keep blood glucose levels within the normal range. Imbalance in their activity can cause high or low blood sugar levels in the blood.
This helps to determine whether the body is able to utilize or store glucose efficiently. Excess sugar in the blood indicates it is not being utilized or stored. This is principally caused due to Diabetes which can be of two types Type 1 or Type 2. Type 1 Diabetes is caused when insulin is not produced or produced in very little quantity. Type 2 Diabetes is caused when insulin produced is not utilized effectively by the body (Insulin resistance) and also due to decreased insulin production. In both these cases, blood sugar level rises, while cells are deprived of nutrition.
Interpreting PPBG results
Normal: under 140 mg/dl (7.8 mmol/l)
Impaired glucose tolerance or Pre-diabetes: between 140 and 200 mg/dl (7.8 and 11.1 mmol/l)
Diabetes: equal to or above 200 mg/dl (11.1 mmol/l)
Oral glucose tolerance test is usually recommended when the blood glucose level falls between 140 and 200 mg/dl.