A1C – a blood test that helps determine if your diabetes management plan is working well. (Both type 1 and type 2 take this test.) It’s done every two to three months to find out what your average blood sugar has been. (You may also hear this test called glycosylated hemoglobin, glycohemoglobin, hemoglobin A1c, and HbA1c.)
Addison’s disease – caused by an autoimmune attack of the adrenal glands and results these glands inability to produce sufficient cortisol and sometimes aldosterone.
Anorexia nervosa – an eating disorder characterized by abnormally low body weight, intense fear of gaining weight and a distorted perception of body weight.
Autoantibodies Tests – the presence of these autoantibodies, and whether they are alone or accompanied by another, can indicate the likelihood of a person developing type 1 diabetes. The list includes: GAD65/GAD65H, called GAD or pancreatic islet cell autoantibodies; ICA512, called ICA or islet cell autoantibodies; Islet Antigen 2, called IA-2 or Tyrosine phosphatase-related islet antigen; Microinsulin Auto-Antibody (MIAA); ZNT8A, a zinc transporter.
Autoimmune gastritis – an autoimmune disease in which the stomach deteriorates because of an immune system attacks the healthy cells of the stomach lining.
BAQSIMI – A nasal form of glucagon that should be administered as an emergency treatment for severe hypoglycemia.
Basal insulin – slow-acting insulin; also known as “background” insulin. Although small doses of fast-acting insulin may be used.
Basal rate – the rate at which insulin pumps deliver small doses of fast-acting insulin.
Beta cells – Cells that make insulin, a hormone that controls the level of glucose in the blood.
Blood glucose – glucose is a simple sugar and the primary fuel for our body’s cells. Glucose is absorbed from food and is absorbed into the cells and is stored in the liver as glycogen, made in starvation from the glycerine backbone of triglycerides, and from a few amino acids. Anomalies of glucose metabolism are the cause of diabetes mellitus.
BGL – (blood glucose level) it’s the number you read from a blood glucose meter to determine the amount of glucose (sugar) in your blood.
Blood glucose meter – a battery-operated machine that is a key element to home blood glucose and determines the current level of glucose in a blood sample. A blood sample is taken from a finger by using a lancet. The sample is then placed onto the disposable test strip when the meter is ready. It will then display the data and put the results into the memory.
Blood glucose monitoring – tracking blood glucose levels, usually by using a blood glucose meter.
Blood pressure – the pressure in arteries exerted by blood pumping within the body. It has two values. The higher is taken immediately after the left ventricle contracts. The lower is taken just before that contraction.
Blood sugar – also known as blood glucose.
Bulimia nervosa – an eating disorder usually characterized by periods of binging—or excessive overeating—followed by purging.
Burnout – diabetes burnout is a state in which someone with diabetes grows tired of managing their condition, and then simply ignores it for a period of time, or worse, forever.
C-peptide Test – a blood test examining a person’s C-peptide levels can indicate how much insulin is present in the body. It can help identify type 1 or type 2 diabetes.
Carbohydrate-counting (carb-counting) – Carb-counting is the process where people with diabetes who take insulin count the number of carbohydrate grams in their meals or snacks to determine the amount of insulin they need to take to compensate for their food. (Everyone’s insulin-to-carb ratios and insulin administration methods and needs are different. You should work with your healthcare team to find the best diabetes management plan for you.)
Celiac disease – a genetic autoimmune disease, not a food allergy, which causes damage to the small intestine and interferes with the absorption of nutrients, when gluten is ingested.
Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist (CDCES) – a CDCES is a healthcare professional who is trained to specifically help patients with diabetes. They educate patients about diabetes management, medication and diet.
Continuous glucose monitor (CGM) – CGMs are devices that continuously receive blood glucose levels from a sensor on the body and sends the information to a receiver for patients to view trends and 24-hours worth of blood glucose readings. Most common CGM brands: Dexcom (G4, G5, G6), Medtronic Enlite (pairs with Minimed 530G and 630G), Medtronic Guardian (pairs with Minimed 670G).
Cystic Fibrosis Related Diabetes (CFRD) – a unique type of diabetes that affects those with cystic fibrosis. It has characteristics of type 1 and type 2 diabetes.
Dawn phenomenon – People without diabetes have very stable levels of circulating plasma insulin and subsequent blood glucose levels overnight. Between 2-8 am, these plasma insulin levels increase in response to an increase in circulating growth hormone, which causes a release of glucose and increased insulin resistance. This automatic increase in insulin secretion isn’t possible in people with diabetes and can result in a noticeable rise in blood glucose levels during this overnight period. This cycle is known as the dawn phenomenon and is most common in teens and early adults. (More simply put, the dawn phenomenon explains elevated blood sugar levels that may occur between 2-8 am.)
Depression – a mood disorder that causes a persistent feeling (more than two weeks) of sadness and loss of interest, among other symptoms. Also called “major depressive disorder” or “clinical depression”, it affects how you feel, think and behave and can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems. You may have trouble doing normal day-to-day activities, and sometimes you may feel as if life isn’t worth living.
Diabetes management platforms – online and mobile-friendly apps that allow you to collect all your essential diabetes data in one place.
Diabetes Distress (DD) – refers to all the fears and worries that people with diabetes experience on a daily basis. Fear of complications or the fear of hypoglycemia are examples of the types of concerns that may cause DD.
Diabetic Alert Dogs (DAD) – service dogs that are trained specifically to assist diabetics. Their primary task as service dogs is to alert diabetics of an oncoming hypoglycemic or hyperglycemic event (low or high blood sugar).
Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) – occurs when your cells don’t get the necessary glucose to function and begin to burn fat for energy, producing ketones. It is a serious and life-threatening condition that can lead to a diabetic coma or death.
Diabetic retinopathy – causes changes in the blood vessels of the retina. The complications start when high blood sugar causes loss of capillaries and thus reduced oxygen, triggering a repair response that stimulates new blood vessel growth in an attempt to bring more oxygen to the choking retina.
Diabulimia (also known as ED-DMT1) – a life-threatening and unhealthy practice of withholding insulin to lose weight.
Flash glucose monitor (FGM) – similar to a CGM, flash glucose monitors continuously receive blood glucose levels from a sensor on the body, however, the user must “ask” for the blood glucose readings by waving the receiver over the sensor. Most common FGM used: FreeStyle Libre.
Graves’ disease – the result of an overactive thyroid.
Glucagon – a hormone produced by the pancreas that increases blood sugar by promoting the breakdown of glycogen in the liver.
Hashimoto’s disease – the most common manifestation of an underactive thyroid.
Hyperglycemia – the state of high blood sugar trapped in the body. This can occur when a diabetic does not take insulin so the body can absorb the sugar. If left untreated, hyperglycemia may lead to a diabetic coma. Long term hyperglycemia may cause damage to the eyes, kidney, nerves and heart.
Hypoglycemia – the state of low blood sugar and is caused by too much insulin or too little sugar in the body. Hypoglycemia is defined as blood sugar below 70 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL), or 3.9 millimoles per liter (mmol/L) (Mayo Clinic). Untreated, it may result in seizures, unconsciousness and sometimes death.
Infusion site/set – the location where the insulin pump attaches to the body on the skin. Most infusion sets give you the option of a plastic/teflon cannula or a steel cannula.
Insulin to carb ratio (ICR) – a ratio that is determined by you and your diabetes provider. It tells you how much insulin your body needs for a specific amount of carbohydrates.
Insulin rationing – Refers to taking less insulin than medically required to reduce the amount of insulin used, typically because of the high cost of insulin.
Insulin sensitivity factor (ISF) – the drop in blood glucose level caused by each unit of insulin taken.
Insulin stacking – When someone with diabetes (type 1 or type 2) takes doses of fast-acting insulin at close intervals to lower high blood sugar, often resulting in low blood sugar. It is also known as over-correcting or over-bolusing.
Ketones – A chemical in your body that your liver produces when it breaks down fat. Everyone has ketones. Your body produces ketones when you don’t have enough of the hormone insulin in your body to convert glucose into energy. (Elevated ketone levels may be a sign of life-threatening conditions like diabetic ketoacidosis.)
Latent Autoimmune Diabetes in Adults (LADA) – rare and known as “late-onset” diabetes. Most adults diagnosed with LADA are older than 30 years of age. It’s progression is slow; sometimes causing a misdiagnosis of type 2 diabetes.
Long-acting insulin – also known as basal insulin. It is a background insulin used to maintain blood glucose levels throughout the day. Most common brands include: Lantus (insulin glargine), Levemir (insulin detemir), Basaglar (insulin glargine), Toujeo (insulin glargine), Tresiba (insulin degludec).
Lupus – an autoimmune disease that affects the tissues in many different parts of the body. Most commonly, skin is affected in the form of sun-sensitive rashes, but blood vessels, joints, organs and other areas can be impacted.
Maturity Onset Diabetes of the Young (MODY) – a type of monogenic diabetes, is usually diagnosed in late childhood to adulthood.
Monogenic diabetes – a rare type of diabetes that’s caused by a single gene mutation. It accounts for about 1-2 percent of all diabetes cases, though its prevalence may actually be up to 5 percent. It has characteristics of both type 1 and type 2, and is often misdiagnosed as one of those more common types.
Multiple Daily Injections (MDI) – treatment plan where patients manage their diabetes with long-acting and short-acting insulin.
Multiple Sclerosis (MS) – a rare autoimmune disease in which the immune system attacks the myelin sheath, which is a part of the nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord.
Neuropathy – or nerve damage, is the most common foot problem for those with diabetes. Neuropathy can cause tingling, pain (burning or stinging), or weakness in the foot.
Oral Glucose Tolerance Test (OGTT) – requires fasting for eight hours. After blood is drawn, a glucose drink is administered and blood is drawn again after two more hours.
Rapid-acting insulin – also known as mealtime insulin. It is used to cover carbohydrates for meals and snacks and also used to correct high blood sugar. People receive rapid-acting insulin via syringes, insulin pens and insulin pumps. Common brands include: NovoLog (NovoRapid), Humalog, Apidra, Ademlog.
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) – an autoimmune disease that results in the degradation of joint tissue. This leads to joint pain, swelling and loss of function.
Steroid-induced diabetes mellitus – similar to type 2 diabetes, steroid-induced diabetes is a type of diabetes that occurs with the use of glucocorticoids (steroids), often manifesting elevated blood glucose levels.
Subcutaneous – situated or applied under the skin.
Syringes: A medical device used to inject fluid into or withdraw fluid from the body. (People with diabetes may use syringes to administer insulin.)
Type 1 diabetes (T1D) – an incurable, autoimmune disease, not a lifestyle disease. T1D accounts for roughly 10 percent of the almost 400 million global cases of diabetes, and people with type 1 are insulin-dependent for life.
Type 2 diabetes (T2D) – occurs when the body cannot properly use insulin, also known as insulin resistance, and can often be treated through diet, exercise and medication.
Vitiligo – thought to be a rare autoimmune disease where the immune system attacks skin cells called melanocytes, which affect skin pigmentation and therefore those with vitiligo have patches of discolored, lightened skin.
504 Plan – ensures that no student with any sort of disability is discriminated against, and is given the same education as every other student, all the while being provided a safe space to manage their condition as needed during school. It was established by section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, a civil rights law of the USA.