4 Things I've Learned From Two Weeks Of Blood Glucose Monitoring
Updated: May 30, 2023
Why you should consider this pain free procedure if you are serious about your health.
Blood glucose monitoring helps to reduce risk of developing high blood pressure
Scientific research shows strong link between high blood glucose level and the risk of developing high blood pressure. Here is the summary from the 2021 scientific research on this topic : "High blood glucose level was the independent risk factor for developing hypertension. " 
Why blood test may not ideal for understanding glucose level?
Blood test is a generally accepted way to analyse diabetes or pre-diabetes risk. Currently most medical assessments across the world suggest that generally healthy individuals should do a glucose blood test once per year.
However this approach is far from ideal as there are many factors (i.e. mental and physical stress) which influence blood glucose on a particular day. Hence test results taken on a random day once per year may not provide an adequate picture of what is going on inside our body.
This is especially true for people who exercise a lot as they need to understand how energy drinks consumed during long exercise sessions impact glucose levels in their blood. For years traditional approach for continuous blood monitoring involved finger pricking several times per day and consequent analysis of blood test strips with a special gadget. Painful and VERY inconvenient.
How to do blood glucose monitoring 24x7?
Here is where sensors for continuous blood glucose monitoring come very handy. My wife and myself had an opportunity to use Freestyle Libre sensors by Abbot Laboratories. These sensors (see the photo above) have a size of a large coin, weigh several grams and attached to a hand with their sticky surface. There is a very thin needle which pricks the skin but special applicator makes it virtually pain free.
Sensors provide two weeks of constant blood glucose monitoring. All you need to do is to bring your smartphone close to the sensor three times per day for data download via Bluetooth. One could hardly feel presence of the sensor on your hand: you can even exercise and take shower. After two weeks sensor's battery is finished. You have to peel off the sensor and discard it.
My wife and myself tried these sensors during the same time period. Both my wife and myself are generally healthy and after two weeks of experimenting we found 4 interesting things worth sharing. As someone who has a history of high blood pressure I also monitored my blood pressure closely during this experiment.
1. My wife and myself have different responses to the same food.
During the two week experiment we both were eating pretty much the same food. Her average daily glucose level was 4.5 mmol/L and mine was 5.25 mmol/L. Both within the recommended range of 4-10 mmol/L but the difference is substantial.
2. One unhealthy meal can screw up the day. On one particular Saturday we had a very light dinner and hence experienced a drop in glucose during the night. Healthy breakfast at 8am on Sunday produced nice glucose response. On that particular Sunday we also had a lunch at in-laws at 2pm. Oversized pasta and home made fruit drink made the glucose level jump to the ceiling. Later the body tried in panic to digest an unusual meal. Glucose dropped below the lower limit leaving me with a feeling of tiredness and low energy for the rest of the day. I felt guilty and skipped the dinner that day 😀
3. Proper nutrition can make or break a long exercise. Here is what happened during one of my cycling sessions on a stationary bike. I had a substantial breakfast with oats at 7:30 and glucose responded nicely with 7.0 level. Started exercising at 8:15 and by 9:00 glucose was heavily depleted (3.4). I started to consume energy drink every 30min for the rest of the exercise and the glucose recovered to a level sufficient to complete the training (4.9). It felt that my energy stayed at a good level during the exercise. Also a properly balanced recovery meal at 10:30 raised glucose to a reasonable 5.7 level but it was well below the upper limit.
4. Fasting during high energy spend days is BAD. One day I took a hectic and long morning travel to a downhill skiing location. Consumed two snacks at 6:30 and 9:00 during the travel. Started skiing at 12pm and was totally exhausted without food by 5pm. Had just one small bread roll at 5pm and glucose went through the roof (above 10). I guess the body had been totally confused with what was going on. Interestingly, a substantial dinner at 7pm produced a reasonable glucose response of 7.2.
I have not observed any particular blood pressure variations during this experiment. However given the strong link between the high blood glucose level and risk of developing high blood pressure I am paying special attention to how much fast release carbs I consume. Overall using this blood glucose sensor was a great learning experience for me and I recommend it to everyone who is serious about their health.
You can find many useful interviews with health experts on my YouTube channel where they share practical health tips. The channel also provides the lessons and practical tips from my own journey of fixing anxiety and high blood pressure with natural tools, without medications. Stay healthy!