Diabetes terms part 1


A1C 
a test that measures a person's average blood glucose level over the past 2 to 3 months. Hemoglobin  is the part of a red blood cell that carries oxygen to the cells and sometimes joins with the glucose in the bloodstream. Also called hemoglobin A1C or glycosylated hemoglobin, the test shows the amount of glucose that sticks to the red blood cell, which is proportional to the amount of glucose in the blood.

adhesive capsulitis 
a condition of the shoulder associated with diabetes that results in pain and loss of the ability to move the shoulder in all directions.

adult-onset diabetes 
former term for Type 2 diabetes.

albuminuria 
a condition in which the urine has more than normal amounts of a protein called albumin. Albuminuria may be a sign of nephropathy (kidney disease).

amyotrophy 
a Type of neuropathy resulting in pain, weakness and/or wasting in the muscles.

anemia
a condition in which the number of red blood cells is less than normal, resulting in less oxygen being carried to the body's cells.

angiopathy
any disease of the blood vessels (veins, arteries, capillaries) or lymphatic vessels.

antibodies 
proteins made by the body to protect itself from "foreign" substances such as bacteria or viruses. People get Type 1 diabetes when their bodies make antibodies that destroy the body's own insulin-making beta cells.

arteriosclerosis 
hardening of the arteries.

artery 
a large blood vessel that carries blood with oxygen from the heart to all parts of the body.

atherosclerosis 
clogging, narrowing and hardening of the body's large arteries and medium-sized blood vessels. Atherosclerosis can lead to stroke, heart attack, eye problems and kidney problems.

background retinopathy 

a type of damage to the retina of the eye marked by bleeding, fluid accumulation and abnormal dilation of the blood vessels. Background retinopathy is an early stage of diabetic retinopathy. Also called simple or nonproliferative retinopathy.

blood glucose 
the main sugar found in the blood and the body's main source of energy. Also called blood sugar.

blood urea nitrogen (BUN) 

a waste product in the blood from the breakdown of protein. The kidneys filter blood to remove urea. As kidney function decreases, the BUN levels increase.

body mass index (BMI) 
a measure used to evaluate body weight relative to a person's height. BMI is used to find out if a person is underweight, normal weight, overweight or obese.

brittle diabetes 
a term used when a person's blood glucose level moves often from low to high and from high to low.

C-peptide 
"Connecting peptide," a substance the pancreas releases into the bloodstream in equal amounts to insulin. A test of C-peptide levels shows how much insulin the body is making.

carbohydrate 
one of the three main nutrients in food. Foods that provide carbohydrate are starches, vegetables, fruits, dairy products and sugars.

complications 
harmful effects of diabetes such as damage to the eyes, heart, blood vessels, nervous system, teeth and gums, feet and skin, or kidneys. Studies show that keeping blood glucose, blood pressure, and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels close to normal can help prevent or delay these problems.

creatinine 
a waste product from protein in the diet and from the muscles of the body. Creatinine is removed from the body by the kidneys; as kidney disease progresses, the level of creatinine in the blood increases.

diabetes insipidus 

a condition characterized by frequent and heavy urination, excessive thirst and an overall feeling of weakness. This condition may be caused by a defect in the pituitary gland or in the kidney. In diabetes insipidus, blood glucose levels are normal.

diabetes mellitus 

a condition characterized by hyperglycemia resulting from the body's inability to use blood glucose for energy. In Type 1 diabetes, the pancreas no longer makes insulin and therefore blood glucose cannot enter the cells to be used for energy. In Type 2 diabetes, either the pancreas does not make enough insulin or the body is unable to use insulin correctly.

diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA)

an emergency condition in which extremely high blood glucose levels, along with a severe lack of insulin, result in the breakdown of body fat for energy and an accumulation of ketones in the blood and urine. Signs of DKA are nausea and vomiting, stomach pain, fruity breath odor and rapid breathing. Untreated DKA can lead to coma and death.

diabetic retinopathy

diabetic eye disease; damage to the small blood vessels in the retina. Loss of vision may result.

dialysis 

The process of cleaning wastes from the blood artificially. This job is normally done by the kidneys. If the kidneys fail, the blood must be cleaned artificially with special equipment. The two major forms of dialysis are hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis.

Endocrine gland 
a group of specialized cells that release hormones into the blood. For example, the islets in the pancreas, which secrete insulin, are endocrine glands.


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