Diabetes Glossary H

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


H


HCF Diet

A high-carbohydrate, high-fiber diet.

Hemocromatosis

See: Bronze diabetes.

Hemodialysis

A mechanical method of cleaning the blood for people who have kidney disease. See also: Dialysis.

Hemoglobin A1C (HbA1C)

The substance of red blood cells that carries oxygen to the cells and sometimes joins with glucose (sugar). Because the glucose stays attached for the life of the cell (about 4 months), a test to measure hemoglobin A1C shows what the person’s average blood glucose level was for that period of time.

Heredity

The passing of a trait such as color of the eyes from parent to child. A person “inherits” these traits through the genes.

High Blood Pressure

When the blood flows through the vessels at a greater than normal force. High blood pressure strains the heart; harms the arteries; and increases the risk of heart attack, stroke, and kidney problems. Also called hypertension.

Hives (Urticaria)

A skin reaction that results in slightly elevated patches that are redder or paler than the surrounding skin and often are accompanied by itching.

HLA Antigens

Proteins on the outer part of the cell that help the body fight illness. These proteins vary from person to person. Scientists think that people with certain types of HLA antigens are more likely to develop insulin-dependent diabetes.

Home Blood Glucose Monitoring

A way a person can test how much glucose (sugar) is in the blood. Also called self-monitoring of blood glucose. See also: Blood glucose monitoring.

Homeostatis

When the body is working as it should because all of its systems are in balance.

Hormone

A chemical released by special cells to tell other cells what to do. For instance, insulin is a hormone made by the beta cells in the pancreas. When released, insulin tells other cells to use glucose (sugar) for energy.

Human Insulin

Man-made insulins that are similar to insulin produced by your own body. Human insulin has been available since October 1982.

Hyperglycemia

Too high a level of glucose (sugar) in the blood; a sign that diabetes is out of control. Many things can cause hyperglycemia. It occurs when the body does not have enough insulin or cannot use the insulin it does have to turn glucose into energy. Signs of hyperglycemia are a great thirst, a dry mouth, and a need to urinate often. For people with insulin-dependent diabetes, hyperglycemia may lead to diabetic ketoacidosis.

Hyperinsulinism

Too high a level of insulin in the blood. This term most often refers to a condition in which the body produces too much insulin. Researchers believe that this condition may play a role in the development of noninsulin-dependent diabetes and in hypertension. See also: Syndrome X.

Hyperlipemia

See: Hyperlipidemia.

Hyperlipidemia

Too high a level of fats (lipids) in the blood. See also: Syndrome X.

Hyperosmolar Coma

A coma (loss of consciousness) related to high levels of glucose (sugar) in the blood and requiring emergency treatment. A person with this condition is usually older and weak from loss of body fluids and weight. The person may or may not have a previous history of diabetes. Ketones (acids) are not present in the urine.

Hypertension

Blood pressure that is above the normal range. See also: High blood pressure.

Hypoglycemia

Too low a level of glucose (sugar) in the blood. This occurs when a person with diabetes has injected too much insulin, eaten too little food, or has exercised without extra food. A person with hypoglycemia may feel nervous, shaky, weak, or sweaty, and have a headache, blurred vision, and hunger. Taking small amounts of sugar, sweet juice, or food with sugar will usually help the person feel better within 10-15 minutes. See also: Insulin shock.

Hypotension

Low blood pressure or a sudden drop in blood pressure. A person rising quickly from a sitting or reclining position may have a sudden fall in blood pressure, causing dizziness or fainting.