Diabetes

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Learn The Lingo: Terms Every Diabetic Must Know

Posted on June 26, 2015 | Author and Reviewed by: Mark Ernest Del Rosario, RPh

diabetes words

Diabetes happens to be one of the worst chronic illnesses in the world. There are loads of terms to remember and you simply cannot miss out a dosage of your medicine for diabetes. It can be quite mind boggling and dizzying to memorize all these terminologies. To better inform you, we’ve compiled some of the most essential terms every diabetic must know.

Blood Glucose

Also known as blood sugar, it is a kind of sugar that can be found in your food and is broken down by your body once consumed. It is transformed into much needed energy for your body and can be stored temporarily inside your liver.

Endocrinologist

An endocrinologist is a doctor who specializes in the different glands of the body and the hormones they secrete. He or she will be your primary doctor for your diabetes as it is an illness caused by hormones secreted by your pancreas.

Glucagon

Produced by the alpha cells in the islets of Langerhans located in your pancreas, Glucagon raises the levels of glucose in your blood. It is released when the pancreas detects that the level of glucose in your body is way too low than what your body needs and causes the liver to break down the glycogen into glucose before releasing it into the bloodstream. It can be injected when the blood sugar level has reached the critical level, also called hypoglycemia.

Glycemic Index

Eating the wrong sort of food can lead to increased levels of glucose which can lead to hyperglycemia. Your best bet to monitor whatever you are eating is the glycemic index. It measures the amount of sugar (glucose) each ingredient contains. There are some that can immediately pull up your blood glucose levels while others have a slower effect.

Hyperglycemia

More commonly occurring to Type 2 diabetics, hyperglycemia happens when you have too much glucose in your system. Immediately contact your doctor if you are exhibiting symptoms of it such as increased hunger and thirst as well as blood sugar well above 180 mg/dL.

diabetes terms

Hypoglycemia

Occurring more commonly to Type 1 diabetics, hypoglycemia occurs when you do not have enough glucose in your system. Some symptoms are nausea, sudden tiredness, palpitations and glucose levels below 70 mg/dL. It can be remedied by taking in something sweet such as a teaspoon of sugar or candy.

Insulin

While glucagon raises the blood sugar level, Insulin lowers it. It is produced by Beta Cells also found in the Islets of Langerhans located in your pancreas. It processes the sugar you consume and changes it into energy. Insufficient insulin can lead to Type 1 diabetes.

Pancreas

Sitting behind your stomach is an elongated, flat gland called the Pancreas. It has several functions including producing hormones for the endocrine system and producing chemicals for the digestive system. The Islets of Langerhans comprises a small part of the organ and creates the hormones. Problems with this part can lead to diabetes.

Type 1 Diabetes

Type 1 diabetes occurs when there is hardly any insulin for the body to process due to the body’s inability to produce it. It is more commonly known as juvenile diabetes. The treatment for it is a lifetime dependence on insulin, thus the reason why some patients prefer an insulin pump.

Type 2 Diabetes

The more common of the two types, it accounts for 90-95% of all diabetes cases. Compared to type 1, the body is able to produce insulin but it can either be an insufficient amount or the body is resistant to it.  Treatment for this type is medication, exercise and proper diet.

We hope these terminologies can help you out as you deal with diabetes. Remember to drink your meds, work out and of course, maintain a proper diet to avoid any further complications with this disease.