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Diabetes >> Diabetes Dictionary
Listed below are general diabetes-related terminologies and their meanings. Click on the alphabet to view the list of terms starting with that letter.
  • A1C: a test to check the blood glucose in a person over the past couple of months. Hemoglobin also known as Hemoglobin A1C or glycosylated hemoglobin, the element that transmits oxygen to the cells at times bonds with the glucose present in the bloodstream. The test measures the glucose that fixes itself to the red blood cell which is equal to the blood glucose level.   

  • ACE Inhibitor: is a drug that is used to reduce the blood pressure in a person. ACE is the acronym of Angiotensin Converting Enzyme. It also slows down the deterioration in kidney in diabetic patients.

  • Acetohexamide: is a drug that helps in lowering the glucose level in the body. It aids the pancreas to produce more insulin and assists the body in using the insulin produced.   

  • Acanthosis Nigricans: is essentially darkening of the skin in patches generally seen in people who tend to show insulin resistance. Pre-diabetic and Type 2 diabetes patients also tend to show this condition.  

  • Acarbose: is an oral drug for Type 2 diabetes patients. The enzymes that absorb starch are blocked and as a result the blood glucose rises very slowly all through the day, especially after food intake.

  • Acesulfame Potassium: is a sweetener used by diabetic patients. The advantage is that it has no calorific value and at the same time doesn’t have any nutritive value to it. At times known as acesulfame- K.  

  • Acetone: is a chemical that develops and is found in the blood. It is a condition wherein the body tries to use the fat rather than the sugar for its energy requirements. This condition essentially means that the insulin level is not sufficient or the insulin present cannot be used. A person with excess acetone may have a fruity breath.

  • Acidosis: a condition where the acid found in the body is in excess. Such persons can develop a case of diabetic ketoacidosis where the blood sugar rises to a very high level rapidly which is an emergency condition.     

  • Acute: is a term used to describe something which starts of abruptly and is very severe but that which lasts for a limited short duration. It can also be said to be contrary to the word chronic. 

  • Adhesive Capsulitis: is a situation wherein severe pain is experienced in the shoulder. This is a condition which affects diabetic patients. The patient loses the capability of moving the shoulder in every direction.

  • Adrenal Glands: the two organs placed just above the kidney are the ones that are involved in making and releasing of the adrenalin hormone. This along with other hormones is responsible for controlling the usage of insulin in the body. 

  • Adult-onset diabetes: is a term which was used earlier to describe what is now referred to as type-2 diabetes. The term is no longer in use and type-2 diabetes is the most commonly used word. 

  • AGEs: is an abbreviation for Advanced Glycosylation End products. The bonding of glucose with protein results in this condition which can damage the blood vessels, which can result in diabetes complication

  • Albuminuria: a condition where the protein (albumin) content in the urine exceeds the normal level. This condition may indicate nephropathy i.e. kidney disease and is seen in patients who have been diabetic for long.       

  • Aldose Reductase Inhibitor: Aldose Reductase, an enzyme seen in the eye and other body parts transforms sugar (glucose) into sugar alcohol, known as sorbitol. When sorbitol increases complications to the eye and the nerves can cause retinopathy or neuropathy. There are drugs which are in the research process which would help in preventing or slowing (inhibit) down these complications.      

  • Alpha Cell: is a kind of cell that is found in the pancreas. They are involved in the process of making and releasing the glucagon hormone which is responsible for the increase in blood glucose level.

  • Amino Acid: is what helps in building the level of protein in the body, which is the most vital ingredient that forms a cell. Insulin is a result of 51 of these amino acids.      

  • Amylin: is a hormone produced by the beta cells found in the pancreas. It controls the release of the glucose immediately after eating thereby slowing down the process of clearing the stomach.   

  • Amyotrophy: is a condition that affects diabetes patients. It affects the nerves and causes neuropathy wherein the patient endures severe pain and weakness and results in the muscles being wasted away.

  • Anemia: is a state wherein the red blood cells in the body are at a reduced level and this results in reduction in oxygen that is transmitted to the cells in the body.

  • Angiopathy: is a disease that affects the blood vessels of persons who have been diabetic for a long period of time. Essentially these are of two types, macroangiopathy where blood flow is restricted due to clots of blood and fat. In microangiopathy, the walls of blood vessels bleed releasing protein which reduces blood flow.

  • Antibodies: are the proteins that are made by the body to fight the foreign bodies that affect it. In case of type1 diabetes, the antibodies fight against their very own beta cells that make insulin.   

  • Antidiabetic Agent: a substance that enables a diabetic in controlling the level of blood glucose level due to which the body functions normally.  Antidiabetic agents helps diabetics lead a normal life.  

  • ARB: is an abbreviation of the term angiotensin receptor blocker. It is actually an oral drug that is given to patients to bring down their blood pressure level.

  • Arteriosclerosis: an artery is a blood vessel that transfers blood from the heart to the rest of the body. The condition wherein the walls of the artery thicken is known as arteriosclerosis.  

  • Artery: is a blood vessel that is used to transfer blood and oxygen to the rest of the body. Arteries have strong thick walls which can endure far greater pressure than the walls of the veins.

  • Aspart Insulin: insulin which has a speedy action. It can get down the blood glucose within 10-20 minutes of administering the injection. The best result is seen in the first 3 hours but continues working for about 5 hours.

  • Aspartame: is a sweetener that is used by diabetes patients to sweeten their beverages etc. It has almost nil calorific value and zero nutritional value. It works as a dietary sweetener.   

  • Atherosclerosis: a condition where the large arteries along with other medium sized blood vessels and arteries thicken which reduces the free flow of blood. This can lead to heart, eye and even kidney problems.  

  • Autoimmune Disease: a condition wherein the body’s tissues are destroyed by its very own immune system, as it considers it to be foreign. This happens due to a disorder in the immune system.  

  • Autonomic Neuropathy: a condition affecting the nerves which affects organs like the bladder muscles, genital organ, heart, lungs intestines or stomach. In such a case, the person would not have a control over the affected organs.  

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