Words you should know as a diabetic – Part 2

Diabetes Glossary Part 2 – Being diagnosed with diabetes comes with many challenges, including learning the new terminology that endocrinologists and diabetes experts throw at patients. That’s why the editors at DiaStrong compiled a list of diabetes terminology in a way that it can actually make sense. Here is Part 2 of words you should know as a diabetic.

This glossary contains a (mostly) alphabetic list of words that are most often heard in doctor appointments and diabetes literature. Before you start with this part, don’t forget to read Part 1 of our Glossary.

Human Insulin: An insulin that is bio-engineered to replace insulin produced by the human body.

Injection Site Rotation: When a person changes the location where they inject insulin on their body. This is often recommended as it makes injections easier, safer and more comfortable.

Without proper injection site rotation, lipohyertrophy can develop. Lipohypertrophy is when lumps of fat or scar tissue form under your skin and make it harder to inject insulin.  

Insulin-Dependent Diabetes: Out-dated term used for Type 1 Diabetes. 

Insulin Mixture: A mix of insulin that contains short-, intermediate- or long-acting insulin. 

Insulin Pump: A technological device that is worn on ones person and provides a measured, steady flow of insulin to the body through a small tube and a needle that is inserted into the abdomen. 

Insulin Receptors: Points on the cell that allow insulin in the blood to join or bind with the cell.

Insulin Resistance: When the effect of insulin becomes less effective, necessitating higher levels of insulin to lower blood sugar. 

Insulin Resistance Syndrome: Diagnosed when a patient has 3 or more of the following conditions: high blood pressure, high fasting blood sugar, large waist circumference, low HDL cholesterol, high levels of triglycerides. This syndrome raises the risk of developing both type 2 diabetes and heart disease. 

Insulin Shock: Occurs when blood sugar levels drop quickly. Can be life threatening. 

Intermediate-Acting Insulin: Covers insulin needs for roughly 8-12 hours. Often used for half-days or overnight. Often combined with Rapid- or Short-Acting Insulin. Rapid Acting Insulin covers insulin needs for meals eaten at the time of the injection. Short-Acting Insulin covers insulin needs for meals eaten within 30-60 minutes. 

Words you should know as a diabetic - Diabetes Glossary Part 2

Jet Injector: A device that pushes insulin through the skin and into the tissue through high pressure force. 

Juvenile-Onset Diabetes: Former term used for type 1 diabetes. 

Ketone bodies: Most often called Ketones, a product of the body burning fat. When the body doesn’t have enough insulin, sugar isn’t able to be broken down for energy and so instead the body breaks down fat and protein. When fat is broken down for energy, ketone bodies appear in your urine and blood. This can lead to diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA). 

Kidney Disease (nephropathy): Disease of the kidneys caused by damage to the blood vessels or units in the kidneys that clean blood. Can eventually lead to kidney failure. 

Lancet: A sharp pointed needle used for pricking the skin in blood sugar monitoring. 

Laser Treatment: When a strong beam of light is used to heal damaged areas of the body. Often used with type 2 diabetics when healing blood vessels in the eye. 

Late-onset diabetes: Outdated term used for type 2 diabetes. 

Lipid: Another term for fat in the blood. 

Low Blood Sugar: Also known as Hypoglycemia and Insulin Reaction. Occurs when someone has too much insulin or not enough glucose in their body.

Metabolism: A term used to combine the physical and chemical processes in the body that occur when food is broken down and converted into energy. 

Mg/dL (milligrams per deciliter): Measurements that indicates the amount of something in a specific amount of blood. Often used when measuring glucose. 

Mixed Dose: A prescribed dose of insulin in which two types of insulin are combined and injected at once. 

Neuropathy: Nerve damage. 

Obesity: A label given when there is excess body fat. Defined by a calculation of a person’s body mass index, weight and height. Can cause diabetes by making your body less sensitive to insulin’s action. 

Ophthalmologist: A doctor who treats people with eyes diseases or trauma. 

Optometrist: A professional trained to detect and treat eye problems. 

Oral Diabetes Medications: Medications that lower the level of sugar in the blood. Often prescribed to people whose pancreas still produces some level of insulin. 

Peak Action: The time when the effect of insulin will have the strongest effect on blood sugar. 

Periodontal Disease: Damage to the gums and tissue around the teeth. More common in people with diabetes than people without. 

Peripheral Vascular Disease (PVD): A condition that affects the blood vessels outside the heart, most often in the hands and feed. 

Podiatrist: A doctor who deals with foot problems.

Polydipsia: Excessive thirst over long periods of time. A common symptom of diabetes. 

Polyphagia: Excessive hunger. Can be a symptom of diabetes as when insulin levels are decreased or there is insulin resistance, the cells of the body do not receive enough sugar for energy and, therefore, hunger develops. Often materializes physically as weight loss because the excess calories are lost in the urine as sugar. 

Polyunsaturated Fat: A type of fat that can reduce LDL cholesterol. 

Polyuria: Increased need to urinate. A common symptom of diabetes. 

Protein: A source of energy often found in many foods such as meat, fish legumes, poultry, and dairy products. Protein works to repair and grow cells.

Regular Insulin: A type of insulin that is rapid-acting. 

Renal: Refers to the kidneys. 

Retinopathy: A disease of the small blood vessels in the retina of the eye. 

Risk Factor: Anything that increases the chance of a person developing a disease or condition. Such as weight gain for diabetes. 

Sodium: A mineral found in salt. 

Somogyi Effect: Usually occurring in the night or early morning, the effect is an extreme increase in blood sugars after an extremely low level of glucose in the blood. Usually occurs during the night or early morning. Also known as the Rebound Effect. 

Strength Training: Activities designed to build muscle strength or mass. Has been shown to increase the effectiveness of insulin in the body.

Sugar: A class of carbohydrates that is a quick and easy fuel for the body. Some common types of sugar are lactose, glucose, fructose, and sucrose. 

Sulfonylureas: Pills or capsules that lower the level of sugar in the blood. Work by making your pancreas produce more insulin. 

Target Range: Blood glucose levels need to stay within a certain range. Before meals this target range is 70 to 140mg/dL and one to two hours after a meal the target range is below 180mg/dL. 

Triglyceride: Fats transported in the blood from the foods we eat. Insulin is necessary for the removal of this type of fat from the blood. 

Ultralente Insulin: Long-acting insulin that works for 25-36 hours after injection. Usually takes 4-5 hours to begin acting and reaches peak performance 8-14 hours after administration. 

Unit of Insulin: The basic measurement of insulin. U-100 is the most common concentration of insulin. U-100 means that there are 100 units of insulin per millilitre (ml) of liquid. 

Urine Testing: Checking the urine to see if it contains ketones. 

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