Why is it important to regularly monitor your blood glucose (sugar)?

What is glucose?

Glucose is a type of sugar that the cells of the human body use as the main source of energy. Our body breaks down the food we eat into glucose and other substances. The liver stores extra glucose and can produce it when we are not eating. Glucose goes into our bloodstream, where a hormone called insulin helps get glucose into our body cells.
For the normal functioning of the organism, it is necessary that the concentration of glucose in the bloodstream does not fluctuate.

The role of glucose testing
There are several different reasons why your doctor may recommend a glucose test. These include screening, diagnosis, and monitoring.

Screening means using tests to find health problems before those problems cause any symptoms or signs that you or your doctor may notice.
If you are over 40, overweight, or have an increased risk of developing diabetes, your doctor may recommend one or more glucose screening tests to detect prediabetes or diabetes. People with prediabetes have glucose levels that are higher than normal but not high enough to be diagnosed with diabetes.

The diagnosis is based on tests and procedures to determine the health condition that is causing the symptoms.
If you have symptoms of diabetes, high blood sugar or low blood sugar, your doctor may recommend a glucose test. Glucose testing may be accompanied by other blood or urine tests to make an accurate diagnosis.

If you have been diagnosed with diabetes or prediabetes, your doctor may want to monitor your blood glucose levels with a home glucose tester or monitor. Your doctor may also recommend periodic laboratory tests to review your condition.
Too much blood glucose can be a sign of diabetes, a serious health condition that can cause tissue and organ damage if left unchecked. Diabetes can develop if your body cannot produce enough insulin or if your body cells have trouble accepting insulin.

Who should have a blood glucose test?
The glucose test is one of the tests routinely performed during a regular annual checkup. Your doctor may want to do a high glucose test if you have a higher than average risk of diabetes. Risk factors for diabetes include:
• Age 45 years or older
• Overweight or obesity
• Heart disease, high blood pressure or high cholesterol
• Prediabetes
• Family members with diabetes
• Lack of physical activity
• Polycystic ovary syndrome
In pregnant women, your doctor may recommend a glucose test to assess gestational diabetes, a type of diabetes associated with hormonal changes during pregnancy. Gestational diabetes can be harmful to both mother and fetus if left untreated and can increase the risk of developing diabetes later in life.

Your doctor may also recommend a glucose test if you have symptoms of diabetes, including:

  • Frequent urination
  • Excessive hunger or thirst
  • Tingling or loss of sensation in the arms or legs
  • Blurred vision
  • Abnormal number of infections
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Fatigue
  • Dry skin
  • Wounds that do not heal quickly

Glucose testing is also an important part of monitoring for prediabetes and diabetes after they are diagnosed.

Types of glucose tests

Several different glucose tests are usually done for screening and diagnosis.

1.Fasting glucose test:
This test measures the amount of glucose in the blood after you get up, without eating or drinking anything but water for at least 8 hours. This test is usually performed in the morning.

2.Glucose Tolerance Test (OGTT):
This test measures how much glucose is in your bloodstream after you do not eat overnight and then drink a sugary drink. The glucose tolerance test usually requires more than one blood test over several hours.

3.Urine glucose test
Urine glucose testing is often part of a routine urine test.

4.Hemoglobin A1c (HBA1C):
Although the hemoglobin A1c test does not measure glucose directly, it reflects average blood glucose levels over the past three months by measuring the amount of hemoglobin bound to glucose.
The higher the concentration of glucose (blood sugar), the higher the concentration of HbA1c.
Hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) is used to help diagnose and monitor the treatment of diabetes (diabetes).
HbA1c is prescribed for people who have symptoms or an increased risk of developing diabetes, as well as for people who already have a diagnosis of diabetes, in order to periodically monitor therapy.
Sample: venous blood
Results: the same day in just a few hours

5.Determination of insulin concentration
Insulin is a hormone synthesized in the pancreas and is one of the major regulators of blood glucose levels. The main role of insulin is to lower blood sugar levels.
A blood insulin test is used to assess the ability of the pancreas to produce insulin, to help diagnose insulin-producing tumors (insulinomas), to diagnose hypoglycemia (low blood glucose), and to help diagnose insulin resistance. and when prescribing therapy for type 2 diabetes.
Sample: venous blood

Results: the same day in just a few hours

This test is also known as a marker of diabetes.
It is used to assess the production of insulin in the pancreas, as well as to help determine the cause of low blood glucose levels (hypoglycemia).
C-peptide is most commonly recommended for people with diabetes to assess whether it is time to include insulin in therapy, for people on insulin therapy to assess whether it is time to include insulin pump therapy, and for people with signs and symptoms of hypoglycemia.
Sample: venous blood
Results: 1 day

Did you know that the Republic of Macedonia is a country with 11.2 percent of patients, i.e it enters the group of countries with a high prevalence of diabetes.

Prevention tips

Eat fresh food

Choose the right foods with a low glycemic index, including fresh vegetables, fruits, gluten-free cereals, nuts, seeds, and high-quality animal protein.

Remove all sweeteners
Artificial sweeteners can raise insulin levels and contribute to insulin resistance. Natural sweeteners that you can consume in moderation are stevia, xylitol, erythritol.
Stevia and erythritol have a glycemic index equal to zero, which means that they do not raise blood sugar, ie. there is no sudden jump after consuming these sweeteners.
On the other hand, xylitol, ie. Birch sugar has a glycemic index between 7-13, so it will have little effect on blood sugar levels after digestion.

Eat food that is rich in fiber
Studies show that fiber-rich foods can be just as effective as antidiabetic drugs for lowering blood sugar without side effects.
Fiber slows the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream from the intestines. Eat a wide variety of plant foods rich in fiber, including nuts, seeds, fruits, vegetables…

Have a good night’s sleep
Make sleep a top priority for normalizing insulin levels. Avoid eating for three hours before bed and enjoy a warm bath before bed to increase body temperature and relax muscles.


Exercise can be the most powerful medicine for regulating blood sugar. Exercise makes cells more sensitive to insulin. Combining cardio with weight training provides the most effective way to normalize blood sugar and insulin levels.