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Diabetes Glossary N-Z

Simple definitions of diabetes-related terms and jargon.

 

Choose a letter  N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

N

NEPHROPATHY
Damage to the small blood vessels in the kidney that clean the blood; also known as diabetic kidney disease. High blood pressure also raises the risk of nephropathy.

NEUROPATHY
Nerve damage in which the nerves throughout the body become less sensitive. Symptoms can include tingling, pain, numbness, or weakness in your feet and hands; digestive problems; bladder problems; sexual function problems; and unawareness of low blood sugar. See also Peripheral Neuropathy.

O

ONSET
The period of time between the injection of insulin and when the insulin starts to lower blood sugar.

P

PANCREAS
The comma-shaped gland located behind the stomach that makes the hormones insulin and glucagon, along with enzymes that help with digestion.

PEAK
The time during which insulin is most effective at lowering blood sugar.

PERIPHERAL NEUROPATHY
Nerve damage to the peripheral nerves of the hands and arms and/or legs and feet that can cause pain, burning, tingling, and/or numbness. Sometimes called diabetic peripheral neuropathy, or DPN.

PREDIABETES
Blood sugar levels that are higher than normal, but not high enough to be classified as diabetes. People with prediabetes have an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes and also are at increased risk of developing heart disease.

PROTEIN
A basic food element along with carbohydrates and fats. A fuel for the body. Found in meat and dairy products. Used more slowly by the body than glucose. Very little effect on blood sugar.

Q

R

REGISTERED DIETITIAN NUTRITIONIST (RDN)
A food and nutrition expert who has had extensive training and experience in helping people eat better for their health.  The initials RDN mean that a professional has met the credentialing requirements as outlined by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Many RDNs are also CDEs (see CERTIFIED DIABETES EDUCATOR)

RETINOPATHY
Diabetic retinopathy is a disease of the small blood vessels of the eye. It can cause temporary or permanent changes in vision.

S

SELF MONITORING OF BLOOD GLUCOSE (SMBG)
Taking ones own blood sugar levels on a regular basis with a home blood glucose meter. Testing is often done before and after meals, before and after exercise, last thing at night, and first thing in the morning. SMBG provides information that can help you learn what makes your blood sugar go up and down, and keep it in a healthy range.

STANDARDS OF MEDICAL CARE
Published each year by the American Diabetes Association. Define the basic medical care that a health care team should provide for people with diabetes.

T

TEST STRIP
A small strip of chemically treated paper that is used in a blood glucose meter to measure blood sugar levels.

TRIGLYCERIDES
Another type of fat in your blood. High triglycerides raise your risk of a heart attack or stroke. Keeping your triglycerides low protects your heart. Desirable level is <150 mg/dl.

TYPE 1 DIABETES
Formerly called insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM) or juvenile diabetes (both of these names are now considered inaccurate and no longer in common usage). A form of diabetes in which the body does not make insulin. People with type 1 diabetes require daily insulin injections to use food for energy and maintain target blood sugar levels. Both children and adults can be diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.

TYPE 2 DIABETES
Formerly called non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM) or adult-onset diabetes (both of these names are now considered inaccurate and no longer in common usage). Pancreas may make insulin, but either cannot make enough or the body cannot use the insulin properly. People with type 2 diabetes may take diabetes pills or insulin to control their blood sugar.

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