The International Diabetes Federation (IDF) Recommends Tighter Control of Blood Glucose Levels After Meals in People With Diabetes

    IDF Launches New Guideline for the Management of Postmeal Glucose

    AMSTERDAM, Sept. 19 /CNW/ - IDF today issued the new global guideline for
diabetes care which includes the management of postmeal glucose.(1) The
guideline emphasizes that people with diabetes should have their blood glucose
levels closely monitored after meals in order to optimize diabetes control and
reduce the risk of complications, particularly cardiovascular disease.(2) This
new approach will assist clinicians and organizations in developing effective
strategies for managing diabetes. The new evidence-based global guideline was
unveiled at the meeting of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes
(EASD) in Amsterdam.
    The new guideline offers a series of recommendations identifying how
diabetes care could be optimised. Topics addressed in the new guideline are
postmeal hyperglycaemia, treatment strategies and regimens, self monitoring of
blood glucose (SMBG), and non- pharmacologic and pharmacologic therapies.
    "Diabetes is now recognized as one of the largest epidemics humanity has
ever faced and a leading cause of death. It accounts for 3.8 million deaths
per year, many of which are related to cardiovascular disease. This new
advancement underscores the importance for people with diabetes and their
healthcare providers to adopt all possible ways to better manage the disease,"
said Professor Stephen Colagiuri, Chair of the IDF Task Force on Clinical
    Until recently, a key recommendation for good diabetes management was to
lower fasting or premeal blood glucose levels; however, recent studies suggest
a link between postmeal glucose control and improved outcomes in people with
diabetes. Existing global guidelines do not include the management of postmeal
    In people with normal glucose tolerance, blood glucose levels are
automatically monitored and controlled by the body. After eating, the body
releases enough insulin to keep the plasma glucose within a normal range that
rarely rises above 7.8 mmol/l (140 mg/dl) and usually returns to premeal
levels within two to three hours.
    In people with impaired glucose tolerance or diabetes, their body has
little or no automatic control of blood glucose levels. After eating, they
often experience extended periods of elevated blood glucose levels. This is
due to a number of factors, including insufficient insulin secretion,
decreased sensitivity to insulin action, inability to suppress glucose output
from the liver and deficiencies in other hormones related to digestion.
    The new IDF Guideline recommends that people with diabetes try to keep
postmeal blood glucose levels to less than 7.8 mmol/l (140 mg/dl) two hours
following a meal, a time frame which conforms to guidelines published by most
of the leading diabetes and medical organizations.
    IDF advises SMBG because it is the most practical method for measuring
postmeal glucose and it allows people with diabetes to obtain "real-time"
information about their glucose levels. This information enables people with
diabetes and their healthcare providers to make timely adjustments in their
treatment regimens to achieve and maintain their blood glucose levels within
    "IDF recommends that people with diabetes include physical activity,
healthy eating and weight control in their daily regimen," said Professor
Antonio Ceriello, Chair of the Guideline Writing Group. "These remain the
cornerstone of effective diabetes management and not only reduce postmeal
glucose levels, but also improve blood pressure and cholesterol levels". The
guideline also includes information on a number of medications which
specifically target postmeal glucose levels.

    Note to Editors

    The International Diabetes Federation (IDF) is an umbrella organization
of over 200 member associations in more than 160 countries, advocating for the
250 million people with diabetes, their families, and their healthcare
providers. The mission of IDF is to promote diabetes care, prevention and a
cure worldwide. IDF is an NGO in official relations with the World Health
Organization and associated with the United Nations Department of Public
Information. Additional information about IDF is available at


    (1) Guideline for Management of Postmeal Glucose, International Diabetes
    Federation, 2007

    (2) Ceriello A, Postprandial Hyperglycemia and Diabetes Complications: Is
    it Time to Treat? Diabetes 2005; 54(1):1-7

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