Alterations in glucose metabolism in individuals with diabetes have been considered for many years, as they appear at first glance, i.e., simply as hyperglycemia, and its surrogate marker, glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c), used both to estimate the risk of developing diabetic complications and to define the targets and measure the efficacy of diabetes treatments. However, over time diabetes-related glycemic alterations have been considered in more complex terms, by attempting to identify the role of fasting glycemia, postprandial glycemia and hypoglycemia in the overall assessment of the disease. This set of evaluations has led to the concept of glucose variability. Although intuitively easy to understand, it cannot be equally simply translated into terms of definition, measuring, prognostic and therapeutic impact. The literature available on glucose variability is extensive yet confused, with the only common element being the need to find out more on the subject. The purpose of this manuscript is not only to review the most recent evidence on glucose variability, but also to help the reader to better understand the available measurement options, and how the various definitions can differently be related with the development of diabetic complications. Finally, we provide how new and old drugs can impact on glucose variability.
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