Knowing Your Numbers 

How to Test for Diabetes 

When it comes to managing your diabetes, it’s important to check your blood sugar (also called blood glucose). Keeping track of your numbers helps you see how food and drink, physical activity, and medicine affect your blood sugar each day and over the course of several months. 



These are the daily checks you do with your blood glucose meter. Since you can’t always “feel” if your blood sugar is high or low, checking your blood sugar several times a day is often the best way to make sure it’s under control. 

FPG–This is your “fasting plasma glucose.” This means your blood sugar when you have been “fasting” (not eating) for at least 8 hours. You may be checking this in the morning when you wake up.

PPG–This is your “postprandial plasma glucose.” This means your after-meal blood sugar number that you check about 1 to 2 hours after you eat. It measures blood sugar spikes that happen after you eat. It is possible that blood sugar spikes that are too high after you eat may be preventing you from reaching your A1C goal. 

The chart below shows the FPG (morning) and PPG (after-meal) blood sugar goals that are recommended by the American Diabetes Association (called the ADA for short).

Fasting plasma glucose (FPG) - (checked daily before breakfast) 80 to 130 mg/dL
Postprandial plasma glucose (PPG) - (checked after meals) Less than 180 mg/dL

Be sure to talk with your diabetes care team to find out the FPG and PPG goals that are right for you. 



You may already know about this very important number. Your A1C test tells you and your diabetes care team how well your blood sugar has been controlled over the past 2 to 3 months. The results of this test are given as a percentage. 

The American Diabetes Association (ADA) says that the A1C goal for most people is less than 7%, but you’ll want to talk with your diabetes care team to find out what your own goal should be.  



Your A1C is made up of your FPG (fasting blood sugar) and your PPG (post-meal blood sugar) over the last 2 to 3 months. If your FPG is fine in the morning, but you aren’t reaching your A1C goal, it could be that your mealtime blood sugar spikes (postprandial blood sugar or PPG) are not in control. 

Controlling mealtime blood sugar (your PPG) is important to help you get closer to your A1C goal and manage your diabetes. 


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