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Diabetes Glossary G-M

Simple definitions of diabetes-related terms and jargon.

 

Choose a letter  G H I J K L M

G

GESTATIONAL DIABETES
Form of diabetes that develops during pregnancy and usually goes away after baby is born. Having gestational diabetes raises your risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

GLUCOSE
A simple form of sugar. The form of sugar found in the blood and used by the body for energy.

GLUCAGON
A hormone made by the pancreas that raises blood sugar. Glucagon is released when blood sugar falls below normal. Synthetic glucagon may also be given by injection during emergencies, when blood sugar is very low and a person is unconscious and/or cannot eat or drink.

GLYCOGEN
A special kind of concentrated glucose (sugar) that is stored in the liver.

GUM DISEASE
Damage to the gums, also called periodontal disease. People with diabetes are at higher risk for gum disease.

H

HDL CHOLESTEROL
“Good” cholesterol that carries LDL cholesterol back to the liver where it is broken down and eliminated from the body. Your doctor call tell you what your HDL goal is.

HIGH BLOOD  PRESSURE
Also known as “hypertension.” Blood pressure that is >140 mm Hg systolic (top number) and/or >80 mm Hg diastolic (bottom number).  A risk factor for heart disease, kidney disease and eye disease.

HYPERGLYCEMIA
High blood sugar. Possibly caused by too little medication, eating more than usual, less activity than usual, or emotional or physical (illness) stress.

HYPOGLYCEMIA
Low blood sugar. Possible causes are taking too much diabetes medication, delaying or skipping a meal, or being more active than usual.

I

INSULIN
The hormone produced by the pancreas that helps to move sugar into cells, where it can be burned for energy. Released into the bloodstream when the blood sugar level rises above normal.

J

K

KETONES
A chemical produced when fat is used by the body as a source of energy. Too many ketones can make one very sick, and can result in diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA). Ketones can be measured in urine and blood.

KIDNEY DISEASE
See Nephropathy.

L

LANCET
A small, sharp needle used to prick the finger in order to obtain a drop of blood for testing blood sugar.

LANCING DEVICE
Holds a lancet. Used to obtain a drop of blood from the finger fortesting blood sugar.

LDL CHOLESTEROL
The part of cholesterol that is considered to be very harmful. Builds up in blood vessel walls, causing them to clog and reducing the amount of blood flow. Ask your doctor what LDL level is healthy for you.

LIPIDS
Common name for all types of fats found in the body.

M

METER
Short name for a blood sugar meter, the machine used to monitor diabetes by measuring blood sugar.

MONITORING BLOOD SUGAR
Measuring the amount of sugar in your blood with a special blood sugar testing machine called a meter. Shows the exact amount of glucose (sugar) in your blood at the time of the test.

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Diabetes Glossary N-Z
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