What is postprandial?

During lunch today, I asked my colleague if he knew the meaning of the word ‘postprandial’?

He shook his head and I said ok.

image by: Funadium

If you are a new visitor to this site and have read most of the posts here, I think by now you may have known that English is not my mother tongue. Actually it’s not my second language either, since I went to a Chinese Elementary and Middle School when I was young. But it is not important here. My point is, if my American colleague doesn’t know the meaning of postprandial, then it must be one of those big words that only doctors and other healthcare professionals could digest. Why bother? 🙂

But if I don’t know the meaning of that word, how am I going to use it in my post? That prompted me to let my fingers do the googling and these are what I found:

Medterm gives you the following definition:

Postprandial: After mealtime. A postprandial rise in the blood glucose level is one that occurs after eating.

Wikipedia gives these four examples;

  • Postprandial hyperglycemia (PPHG) is high blood sugar following a meal. It can be evaluated in a postprandial glucose test.
  • Postprandial dip is a mild decrease in blood sugar after eating a big meal, possibly leading to drowsiness.
  • Postprandial hypotension is a drastic decline in blood pressure which happens after eating.
  • Postprandial regurgitation is a unique symptom of rumination syndrome

As far as the diabetic related blood test is concerned, we learned from webMD that there are 4 types of blood test:

  • Fasting blood sugar (FBS) measures blood glucose after you have not eaten for at least 8 hours.
  • 2-hour postprandial blood sugar measures blood glucose exactly 2 hours after you start eating a meal.
  • Random blood sugar (RBS) measures blood glucose regardless of when you last ate. This test is also called a casual blood glucose test.
  • Oral glucose tolerance test is used to diagnose prediabetes and diabetes. An oral glucose tolerance test is a series of blood glucose measurements taken after you drink a sweet liquid that contains glucose. This test is commonly used to diagnose diabetes that occurs during pregnancy (gestational diabetes).

For more info on these tests, please visit webMD site. Don’t forget to check their slideshow on celebrities with diabetes.

If you have other medical term that puzzles you, why don’t you share with us here by leaving it in the comment section? I’m not a medical doctor but I promise to share with you, once I find the meaning of those hard to swallow words.

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