Until now, there were only two blood sugar numbers you had to worry about: your A1c and your fasting glucose level. The first, according to IDF guidelines, should be 6.5% or below, and the second 100 mg/dl or below.
But now they’ve added a third target: your blood glucose two hours after eating should not be higher than 140 mg/dl. Why? Because growing evidence suggests that when it comes to avoiding complications, reducing post-meal glucose rises is at least as important as hitting target A1c’s.
In fact, there is a strong association between post-meal high blood sugar and oxidative stress, inflammation, increased carotid wall thickness, and endothelial dysfunction, all of which are markers of cardiovascular disease.
Post-meal high blood sugar is also linked to retinopathy, certain cancers, and even cognitive dysfunction in elderly people.
According to the IDF, it’s not possible to go too low when it comes to reducing complications. So they recommend that patients use their meters to get the information needed to make treatment adjustments and achieve all three blood sugar targets.
They conclude by noting that “although cost will remain an important factor in determining appropriate treatments, controlling glycemia is ultimately much less expensive than treating the complications of diabetes.”
Source: International Diabetes Federation press release