Healthsheet

Diabetes Glossary

Diabetes Glossary

  • A1C. A test to measure how much glucose has built up in the blood over the past few months.

  • Artery. A type of blood vessel. It carries oxygen-rich blood from the heart to the rest of the body.

  • Basal insulin. Insulin that lasts a long time and helps keep blood sugar steady.

  • Blood glucose meter. A device that tests the amount of glucose in the blood.

  • Blood pressure. The force created against blood vessel walls when the heart pumps blood through the body.

  • Blood vessels. Tubes that carry blood throughout the body.

  • Bolus insulin. The amount of insulin needed to balance carbohydrates that are eaten. It may also be taken to correct an unexpected rise in blood sugar.

  • Carbohydrate. A nutrient in food. It is broken down into glucose during digestion.

  • Chronic. Lifelong or ongoing. A chronic condition, such as diabetes, can be managed with treatment but not cured.

  • Creatinine. A waste product produced in the muscles from the breakdown of a product called creatine. A creatinine test measures the amount of creatine in the blood, urine, or both. This checks how well the kidneys are working.

  • Diabetes. A condition in which the body can’t make insulin, or can’t use it properly.

  • Diabetes complications. Serious health problems that happen over time due to high blood sugar.

  • Diabetes educator. An expert who teaches people how to manage their blood sugar.

  • Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA). A condition in which ketones build up to dangerous levels in the blood and urine.

  • Diabulemia. A dangerous condition in which insulin is purposely not taken in order to prevent weight gain or cause weight loss.

  • Dietitian. An expert in food and nutrition.

  • Endocrinologist. A doctor who focuses on how hormones work in the body.

  • Glucose. A simple form of sugar that is used to fuel the body’s cells.

  • Hemoglobin. A protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen.

  • High blood pressure (hypertension). Blood pressure higher than the normal range.

  • Honeymoon phase. A period of time in which a person with type 1 diabetes is still making insulin. The honeymoon phase may last several months.

  • Hormone. A type of chemical released by special cells in the body. These chemicals tells other cells what to do.

  • Hyperglycemia. A condition in which there is too much glucose in the blood.

  • Hypoglycemia. A condition in which there is not enough glucose in the blood.

  • Injection. A way to put liquid medication into the body. Also called a “shot.”

  • Insulin. A hormone produced by the pancreas. It allows glucose to enter cells.

  • Insulin resistance. A condition in which cells don’t react normally to insulin.

  • Ketones. A chemical that is made when the body breaks down fat for energy.

  • Lancet. A device that uses a small needle to pierce the skin. It is used to get a drop of blood for glucose testing.

  • Lipids. Fats stored by the body to be burned as fuel.

  • Liver. An organ that stores and releases glucose when needed.

  • Microalbumin. A test that checks for small amounts of protein in the urine.

  • Nerves. Fibers that convey signals to and from the brain.

  • Pancreas. An organ that makes and releases insulin into the blood.

  • Peripheral arterial disease (PAD). Damage to the arteries that supply blood to the arms, legs, and feet.

  • Podiatrist. A healthcare provider who focuses on foot care.

  • Prediabetes. A condition in which fasting blood sugar levels are high, but not high enough to be diabetes. This means that a person may develop diabetes.

  • Retinopathy. An eye disease that leads to damage of the blood vessels in the eyes.

  • Saturated fat. A type of fat that comes from animals and some plants.

  • Syringe. A device with a small needle. It is used to inject liquid medication into the body.

  • Target range. The level of blood glucose that a patient is told to aim for as often as possible. 

  • Trans fat. A type of fat that results when liquid oil is made into a solid fat. This kind of fat is bad for your body.

  • Triglycerides. The main types of fat found in the blood.

  • Type 1 diabetes. A chronic condition in which the pancreas can’t make insulin.

  • Type 2 diabetes. A chronic condition in which the cells are resistant to insulin. Also, the liver may release too much glucose into the blood. And the pancreas may not make enough insulin to overcome the resistance.


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