Diabetes has a great number of terms that are specific to diabetes or diabetic-like conditions. This glossary is meant as a guide to identify terminology often used extensively and liberally in the medical community.
Terms Listed Aphabetically
A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z
Abnormally large; in diabetes, refers to abnormally large babies that may be born to women with diabetes.
A disease of the large blood vessels that sometimes occurs when a person has had diabetes for a long time. Fat and blood clots build up in the large blood vessels and stick to the vessel walls. Three kinds of macrovascular disease are coronary disease, cerebrovascular disease, and peripheral vascular disease.
A swelling (edema) in the macula, an area near the center of the retina of the eye that is responsible for fine or reading vision. Macular edema is a common complication associated with diabetic retinopathy. See also: Diabetic retinopathy; retina.
Former term for noninsulin-dependent or type II diabetes. See: Noninsulin-dependent diabetes mellitus.
A guide for controlling the amount of calories, carbohydrates, proteins, and fats a person eats. People with diabetes can use such plans as the Exchange Lists or the Point System to help them plan their meals so that they can keep their diabetes under control. See also: Exchange lists; point system.
The term for the way cells chemically change food so that it can be used to keep the body alive. It is a two-part process. One part is called catabolism-when the body uses food for energy. The other is called anabolism-when the body uses food to build or mend cells. Insulin is necessary for the metabolism of food.
A drug currently being tested as a treatment for noninsulin-dependent diabetes; belongs to a class of drugs called biguanides.
Milligrams per deciliter. Term used to describe how much glucose (sugar) is in a specific amount of blood. In self-monitoring of blood glucose, test results are given as the amount of glucose in milligrams per deciliter of blood. A fasting reading of 70 to 110 mg/dL is considered in the normal (nondiabetic) range.
A small swelling that forms on the side of tiny blood vessels. These small swellings may break and bleed into nearby tissue. People with diabetes sometimes get microaneurysms in the retina of the eye.
Disease of the smallest blood vessels that sometimes occurs when a person has had diabetes for a long time. The walls of the vessels become abnormally thick but weak, and therefore they bleed, leak protein, and slow the flow of blood through the body. Then some cells, for example, the ones in the center of the eye, may not get enough blood and may be damaged.
Combining two kinds of insulin in one injection. A mixed dose commonly combines regular insulin, which is fast acting, with a longer acting insulin such as NPH. A mixed dose insulin schedule may be prescribed to provide both short-term and long-term coverage.
A form of diabetic neuropathy affecting a single nerve. The eye is a common site for this form of nerve damage. See also: Neuropathy.
The sickness rate; the number of people who are sick or have a disease compared with the number who are well.
The death rate; the number of people who die of a certain disease compared with the total number of people. Mortality is most often stated as deaths per 1,000, per 10,000, or per 100,000 persons.
Also called a heart attack; results from permanent damage to an area of the heart muscle. This happens when the blood supply to the area is interrupted because of narrowed or blocked blood vessels.
A substance in the cell that is thought to play a role in helping the nerves to work. Low levels of myo-inositol may be involved in diabetic neuropathy.