Dr Sachindra Modi explains why Blood Sugar monitoring is essential for Diabetes Management?

How important is to monitor your sugar level?

Dr Sachindra Modi explains why Blood Sugar monitoring is essential for Diabetes Management?

Blood sugar levels depend on many things, and each person responds differently to the treatment of diabetes. Changes in diet, exercise, medication use, or the presence of other pathological conditions may cause blood sugar swings. Unusual blood sugar levels can potentially cause immediate or long-term complications of diabetes.

Regular blood glucose monitoring allows for understanding the reason for the ups and downs in blood sugar levels, such as eating different foods, taking medicines or being physically active. Therefore, it helps with necessary treatment and lifestyle modifications to keep diabetes under control, thus, avoiding complications of diabetes, such as heart attack, stroke, kidney disease, blindness, and amputation.

There are various ways to blood glucose monitoring. You have to discuss the correct method and the frequency of monitoring with your doctor. Here are three of the commonly used methods of blood glucose monitoring.

  • Capillary blood glucose test
  • Venous plasma blood glucose test
  • Continuous glucose monitoring

Capillary blood glucose test: The blood sample is collected by pricking the skin, often the tip of the finger, and tested for blood sugar levels. It is put on the designated spot on the glucometer strip connected to the glucometer to know the blood sugar levels. This method has several advantages – easy to perform and get the results; most machines are connected to a mobile app to get reports on trends; it can be performed after food or activities are suspected to modify the sugar levels; it is less painful. However, sometimes these machines can be expensive and may not give accurate test results. A sugar level of 72 to 108 mg/dL is considered normal.

Venous plasma blood glucose test: Blood is drawn from a vein using a syringe to test blood sugar levels. The advantage is that when done in the right laboratory, the results are superior to that obtained by a capillary glucose test. On the other hand, the disadvantages are being painful, not being suitable for frequent tests, and possible injury to tissue.

HbA1c test is another test that is done with the blood sample. It helps to know your average blood sugar level over three months. It is recommended at least two times per year.

Continuous glucose monitoring: This is a continuous test of blood sugar levels. A water-resistant disposable sensor is applied on the belly or back of the arm for 3 to 14 days. The sensor continuously monitors the glucose levels and gives results when scanned with a sensor, and blood glucose trends over hours or days are obtained. These machines are sometimes synced with insulin pumps so that the correct insulin dose is automatically injected depending on blood sugar levels.

CGM is helpful in patients who need intensive insulin treatment. In such patients, it is cost-effective when compared to other tests. The disadvantage is that the results may not always be reliable.

Normal and abnormal blood sugar levels:

Normal levels: 72 to 108 mg/dL
Pre-diabetes: 100 to 125 mg/dL
Diabetes: >125 mg/dL
HbA1c: <7%

Blood glucose monitoring is essential to achieve diabetes control. However, excess monitoring is also not required. Discuss with your doctor the right time and method of blood glucose monitoring for you.


Mathew TK, Tadi P. Blood Glucose Monitoring. [Updated 2022 Aug 8]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2022 Jan-. Available from:
CDC. Monitoring your blood glucose levels.

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