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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.
  • D-phenylaline Derivative: a type of oral drug that is used to treat type2 diabetes that aids in decreasing the blood glucose level by enabling the pancreas to increase the production of insulin soon after a meal.

  • Dawn Phenomenon: a rapid rise in the blood glucose level in the early morning hours. This phenomenon is seen mostly in patients suffering from insulin dependent diabetes but is not a reaction of insulin.  

  • Dehydration: a condition where a person feels a lack of water in the body and is very thirsty. The fluid loss in the body could be due to excessive sweating, vomiting, urinating or even diarrhea.       

  • Delta Cell: a cell found in the islet of the pancreas which produces the hormone somatostatin. It is said to control the making and releasing of insulin by beta cells and the making and releasing of glucagon by alpha cells.

  • Desensitization: a technique used to prevent an allergic reaction to any substance. This is done by giving a small dose of the substance to the person which would increase the tolerance level and this would continue till the person takes the full dose and this prevents any allergic reaction from taking place.

  • Dextrose: is the plain sugar that is seen in the blood. It is also called glucose which is the main source of energy. 

  • DiaBeta: please refer glyburide

  • Diabetes: please refer diabetes mellitus

  • Diabetes Control and Complications (DCCT): the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases conducted a study (1983-1993) on type1 diabetic patients. It proved that intensive therapy was more effective in preventing or delaying diabetes complications in comparison to conventional therapy. Diabetes complications that were studied included were diabetic retinopathy, nephropathy and also neuropathy. 

  • Diabetes Educator: is a health care specialist who helps in educating diabetic patients about the disease and management of the same. Some of them are also Certified Diabetes Educators (CDE). 

  • Diabetes Insipidus: a condition exemplifying frequent urination coupled with weakness and excessive thirst. The cause may be related to a fault in the kidney or pituitary glands but the blood glucose level remains normal.  

  • Diabetes Mellitus: a condition where blood glucose, the most vital source of energy is not being used properly. In case of type2 diabetes the pancreas either makes insufficient amount of insulin or the insulin produced is not being used properly. Whereas in case of type1 diabetes the pancreas ceases to make insulin.

  • Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP): a study conducted by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (1998-2001) on likely candidates of type2 diabetes. It revealed that 5 to 7 % of weight loss along with a balanced diet and exercise regime reduces their risk by 58% to contract the disease whereas those who were administered metformin had a reduced risk of 31%.

  • Diabetic Amyotrophy: a disease which affects the nerves and ultimately the muscles. This affects only one side of the body and is most likely in older men who have slight diabetes.

  • Diabetic Angiopathy: please refer Angiopathy

  • Diabetic Coma: a severe case of emergency wherein the patient is unconscious in a sleep like state due to a very high level of blood glucose (hyperglycemia) or a very low level of blood glucose (hypoglycemia).

  • Diabetic Diarrhea: a case of loose stool or fecal incontinence or at times both together. This happens due to excessive bacterial growth n the small intestine and also due to diabetic neuropathy. 

  • Diabetic Eye Disease: please refer diabetic retinopathy.

  • Diabetic Ketoacidosis: a case of severe high blood glucose level along with a shortage of insulin. The body starts using up the fat to meet its energy requirements and this results in the building up of the ketones (acids) in the body. If left untreated diabetic ketoacidosis can lead to coma and even death.

  • Diabetic Mastopathy: a condition of fibrous breast mostly seen in women and in certain diabetic men. The lump is not malignant in nature and can be removed easily surgically though they tend to reappear.

  • Diabetic Myelopathy: a condition where the spinal cord is damaged. This usually is seen in some diabetic patients. 

  • Diabetic Nephropathy: please refer nephropathy

  • Diabetic Neuropathy: please refer neuropathy

  • Diabetic Retinopathy: a condition referring to an eye disease where the retina of the eye is affected when the small blood vessels are damaged. This condition can even lead to complete loss of vision.

  • Diabetogenic: refers to causing diabetes, for e.g. certain drugs may lead to a rise in the blood glucose level resulting in diabetes.   

  • Diabetologist: is a doctor who has specialized in the field of treating people with diabetes. 

  • Diabinese: please refer to chlorpropamide

  • Dianosis: to determine the disease from the symptoms and signs shown by the patient.

  • Dialysis: a method used to purify the blood artificially by discarding all the waste. This job is usually done by the kidney but when the kidney fails to do so a machine is used for the same. Essentially there are two types of dialysis namely hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis.

  • Diastolic Blood Pressure: please refer blood pressure

  • Dietician: is a health care specialist who helps patients maintain a balanced diet by preparing a diet chart, advising on weight control and various other aspects of maintaining a healthy regime.

  • Dilated Eye Exam: a test done by an eye specialist to see inside the eye more clearly. A few drops of an eyedrop into the pupil (the black portion) enlarges the pupil temporarily giving a better view.  

  • Distal Sensory Neuropathy: please refer Peripheral Neuropathy

  • DKA: please refer diabetic ketoacidosis

  • D-phenylalanine derivative: a kind of oral drug used to treat type2 diabetes patients that reduces the blood glucose level by enabling the pancreas to produce more insulin especially after a meal.  

  • DPP: please refer Diabetes Prevention Program

  • Dupuytren’s Contracture: a condition that affects the hands which make the fingers and also the palms thick and makes the fingers curl inwards. This is generally seen as a condition affecting diabetes patients. 

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