ACE (angiotensin converting enzyme) inhibitor: A drug that lowers blood pressure but is especially useful when diabetes affects the kidneys.
Acetone: A breakdown product of fat formed when fat rather than glucose is being used for energy.
Adrenaline: Hormone from the adrenal gland that increases blood glucose.
Advanced glycated end products (AGEs): Combinations of glucose and other substances in the body; too much may damage various organs.
Alpha cells: Cells in the islets of Langerhans within the pancreas that make glucagon, which raises blood glucose.
Antibodies: Substances formed when the body detects something foreign, such as bacteria.
Antigens: Substances against which an antibody forms.
Artificial pancreas: A machine that measures blood glucose and releases appropriate insulin.
Aspart insulin: a rapid-acting insulin; also known by its brand name, NovoLog.
Atherosclerosis: Narrowing of arteries due to deposits of cholesterol and other factors; also called coronary artery disease or arteriosclerosis.
Autoimmune disorder: Disease in which the body mistakenly attacks its own tissues.
Autonomic neuropathy: Diseases of nerves that affect organs not under conscious control, such as the heart, lungs, and intestines.
Basal insulin: The small amount of insulin always present in the bloodstream; also the continuous insulin provided by an insulin pump.
Beta cells: Cells in the islets of Langerhans in the pancreas that make the key hormone insulin.
Blood urea nitrogen (BUN): A substance in blood that reflects kidney function.
Body mass index (BMI): An indicator of appropriate weight for a person's height; derived by dividing your weight (in kilograms) by your height (in meters), and dividing that number by your height (in meters) again; alternately, you can multiply your weight in pounds by 703, divide that by your height in inches, and divide that result by your height in inches again.
Bolus insulin: The amount of insulin taken before meals.
Carbohydrate: One of the three major energy sources; the one most responsible for raising the blood glucose; usually found in grain, fruits, and vegetables.
Carbohydrate counting: Estimating the amount of carbohydrate in food to determine insulin needs.
Cataract: A clouding of the lens of the eye often found earlier and more commonly in people with diabetes.
Cholesterol: A form of fat that's needed in the body for production of certain hormones; it can lead to atherosclerosis if present in excessive levels.
Coronary artery disease: Narrowing of arteries due to deposits of cholesterol and other factors; also called atherosclerosis or arteriosclerosis.
Cortisol: An adrenal hormone released during times of stress.
Creatinine: A substance in blood that's measured to reflect the level of kidney function.
Dawn phenomenon: The tendency of blood glucose to rise early in the morning due to secretion of hormones that counteract insulin.
Diabetes Control and Complications Trial (DCCT): The decisive study of type 1 diabetes that showed that intensive control of blood glucose prevents or delays complications of diabetes.
Diabetic ketoacidosis: An acute loss of control of diabetes with high blood glucose levels and breakdown of fat leading to acidification of the blood; symptoms are nausea, vomiting, and dehydration; this condition can lead to coma and death.
Diabetologist: A physician who specializes in diabetes treatment.
Dialysis: Artificial cleaning of the blood when the kidneys aren't working.
Distal polyneuropathy: A disease of many nerves noticed in the hands and feet; associated with loss of sensation.
Endocrinologist: A physician who specializes in diseases of the glands, including the adrenals, thyroid, pituitary, parathyroids, ovaries, testicles, and pancreas.
Fasting blood glucose: The blood glucose measured after fasting overnight.
Fiber: A substance in plants that can't be digested; it provides no energy but can lower fat and blood glucose if it dissolves in water and is absorbed; it can help prevent constipation if it doesn't dissolve in water and remains in the intestine.
Fructose: The sugar found in fruits, vegetables, and honey; it has calories but is absorbed more slowly than glucose.
Gastroparesis: A form of autonomic neuropathy involving nerves to the stomach; results in food being held in the stomach.
Gestational diabetes mellitus: Diabetes that occurs during a pregnancy, usually ending at delivery.
Glucagon: A hormone made in the alpha cells of the pancreas that raises glucose and can be injected to treat severe hypoglycemia.
Glucophage: An oral agent for diabetes that lowers glucose by blocking glucose release from the liver.
Glucose: A sugar that's the body's main source of energy in the blood and cells.
Glulisine insulin: A rapid-acting insulin; also known by its brand name, Apidra.
Glycemic index: The extent to which a given food raises blood glucose usually compared to table sugar; low glycemic index foods are preferred in diabetes management.
Glycogen: The storage form of glucose in the liver and muscles.
Hemoglobin A1c: A measurement of blood glucose control reflecting the average blood glucose for the last 60 to 90 days.
High density lipoprotein (HDL): A particle in blood that carries cholesterol and helps reduce atherosclerosis.
Honeymoon phase: A period of variable duration (usually less than a year) after a diagnosis of type 1 diabetes when the need for insulin injections is reduced or eliminated.
Hyperglycemia: Levels of blood glucose greater than 100 mg/dl fasting or 140 mg/dl in the fed state.
Hyperthyroidism: An overactive thyroid; sometimes found in people with type 1 diabetes.
Hypoglycemia: Levels of blood glucose lower than normal, usually less than 60 mg/dl.
Insulin: The key hormone that permits glucose to enter cells.
Insulin glargine: An insulin that provides a constant basal level 24 hours a day; also known by its brand name, Lantus.
Insulin pump: Device that slowly pushes insulin through a catheter under the skin but also can be used to give a large dose before meals.
Insulin resistance: Decreased response to insulin; found early in people with type 2 diabetes.
Insulin-dependent diabetes: Former name for type 1 diabetes.
Islet cells: The cells in the pancreas that make insulin, glucagon, and other hormones.
Juvenile diabetes mellitus: Former name for type 1 diabetes.
Lancet: A sharp needle that pricks the skin for a blood glucose test.
Lipoatrophy: Indented areas where insulin is constantly injected into the body.
Lipohypertrophy: Nodular swelling of the skin where insulin is constantly injected.
Lispro insulin: A very rapid-acting form of insulin that's active within 15 minutes of injection; also known by its brand name, Humalog.
Long-acting insulin: Insulin that has glucose-lowering activity for 24 hours or more.
Low density lipoprotein (LDL): A particle in the blood containing cholesterol and thought to be responsible for atherosclerosis.
Macrosomia: The condition of a large baby born when the mother's diabetes isn't controlled.
Macrovascular complications: Heart attack, stroke, or diminished blood flow to the legs in people with diabetes.
Microalbuminuria: A finding of small but abnormal amounts of protein in the urine.
Mononeuropathy: A sudden inability to move or use a muscle controlled by a single nerve.
Monounsaturated fat: One form of fat from vegetable sources like olives and nuts that doesn't raise cholesterol.
Nephropathy: Damage to the kidneys.
Neuropathic ulcer: An infected area, usually on the leg or foot, resulting from damage that wasn't felt.
Neuropathy: Damage to parts of the nervous system.
Pancreas: The organ behind the stomach that contains the islets of Langerhans, where insulin is produced.
Periodontal disease: Gum damage; common in patients with uncontrolled diabetes.
Peripheral neuropathy: Pain, numbness, and tingling, usually in the legs and feet.
Polyunsaturated fat: A form of fat from vegetables that may not raise cholesterol but lowers HDL.
Pramlintide: A drug that blocks the secretion of glucagon, a major hormone that tends to raise blood glucose; it slows the emptying of the stomach so that glucose is absorbed more slowly; also known by its brand name, Symlin.
Proliferative retinopathy: Undesirable production of blood vessels in front of the retina; left untreated, this conditions results in partial or complete loss of vision.
Protein: A source of energy for the body made up of amino acids and found in meat, fish, poultry, and beans.
Radiculopathy-nerve root involvement: A form of neuropathy in which the root of a nerve is damaged as it leaves the spinal column.
Rapid-acting insulin: Insulin given just before a meal in order to manage the carbohydrate in that meal.
Rebound phenomenon: The significant increase in blood glucose that results from the body's response after low blood glucose.
Regular insulin: A fast-acting form of insulin that's active in 1 to 2 hours and gone within 4 to 6 hours; also known by its brand names, Humulin R and Novlin R.
Retina: The part of the eye that senses light. Retinopathy: Disease of the retina.
Saturated fat: A form of fat from animals that raises cholesterol.
Somogyi effect: A morning increase in blood glucose in response to overtreat-ment with insulin resulting in hypoglycemia during the night.
Trans fatty acid: A form of fat that not only raises LDL (bad) cholesterol but also lowers HDL (good) cholesterol at the same time.
Triglycerides: The main form of fat in animals.
Very low density lipoprotein (VLDL): The main particle in the blood that carries triglyceride.
Visceral fat: The fat accumulation that results in increased waist measurement.
Vitrectomy: Removal of the gel in the center of the eyeball because of leakage of blood and formation of scar tissue.
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All you need is a proper diet of fresh fruits and vegetables and get plenty of exercise and you'll be fine. Ever heard those words from your doctor? If that's all heshe recommends then you're missing out an important ingredient for health that he's not telling you. Fact is that you can adhere to the strictest diet, watch everything you eat and get the exercise of amarathon runner and still come down with diabetic complications. Diet, exercise and standard drug treatments simply aren't enough to help keep your diabetes under control.