A test that measures a person’s average blood glucose level over two to three months. Also called hemoglobin AIC or glycosylated (gly-KOH-sih-lay-ted) 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.
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 insulin-making beta cells.
Autoimmune disease (AW-toh-ih- MYOON)
A disorder of the body’s immune system in which the immune system mistakenly attacks and destroys body tissue that it believes to be foreign.
Constant delivery of ““background insulin.”“ The body needs insulin even when not eating. A pump delivers a constant drip of insulin that serves as basal insulin. Also, long-acting insulin can provide a source of basal insulin.
A cell that makes insulin. Beta cells are located in the islets of the pancreas.
The main sugar found in the blood and the body’s main source of energy. Also called blood sugar.
Blood glucose meter
A small, portable machine used by people with diabetes to check their blood glucose levels. After pricking the skin with a lancet, the user places a drop of blood on a test strip in the machine. The meter (or monitor) soon displays the blood glucose level as a number on the meter’s digital display.
Blood glucose monitoring
Checking blood glucose level on regular basis to manage diabetes. A blood glucose meter (or blood glucose test strips that change color when touched by a blood sample) is needed for frequent blood glucose monitoring.
See Food bolus.
A former term for type 2 diabetes or impaired glucose tolerance.
"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.
One of the three main nutrients in food. Foods that provide carbohydrate are starches, vegetables, fruits, dairy products and sugars.
A method of meal planning for people with diabetes, based on counting the number of grams of carbohydrate in food.
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.
Used to correct a high blood sugar. This factor is based on how much one unit of insulin will lower a person’s blood sugar. This is an individual ratio for each person.
Dextrose, also called glucose (DECKS-trohss)
A simple sugar found in blood that serves as the body’s main source of energy.
A healthcare professional who teaches people with diabetes how to manage their illness. Some diabetes educators are certified diabetes educators (CDEs). Diabetes educators are found in hospitals, physician’s offices, managed care organizations, home healthcare and other settings.
Diabetes mellitus (MELL-ih-tus)
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; 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 correctly use insulin.
Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) (KEY-toe-ass-ih-DOH-sis)
An emergency condition in which extremely high blood glucose levels, along with a severe lack of insulin, result in 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.
A doctor who specializes in treating people with diabetes.
A healthcare professional who advises people about meal planning, weight control and diabetes management. A registered dietitian (RD) has additional training in these subjects.