• Glossary of Terms

     
    A1C (Hemoglobin A1C, Hgb A1C)

    A test that measures the average blood glucose level over the past 2 to 3 months. It reflects the amount of glucose that is attached to a red blood cell, expressed in percentage (%).

    Artificial pancreas

    An investigational device designed to mimic a human pancreas by combining an insulin pump with a continuous glucose sensor

    Basal

    A slow continuous delivery of insulin, which keeps blood glucose level stable between meals and during sleep. A basal rate is measured in units per hour.

    BG (Blood Glucose, Blood Sugar)

    The level of glucose in the blood, measured in mg/dL

    Bolus

    A quick dose of insulin that is delivered to cover food consumed or elevated blood glucose

    Cannula

    The tiny, flexible section of the infusion set that is inserted under the skin through which insulin is delivered

    Carb Ratio (Insulin-to-carbohydrate ratio)

    The number of grams of carbohydrate that one unit of insulin will cover

    Carbohydrate (Carb)

    Sugars and starches that the body breaks down to glucose and uses as an energy source, measured in grams

    Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE)

    A healthcare professional that has experience working with diabetes, has fulfilled special requirements, and passed a board exam to be certified to instruct people in diabetes self-management

    CGM (Continuous Glucose Monitor)

    A continuous glucose monitor (CGM) is a handheld personal monitoring device that uses wireless technology to collect glucose readings from a small sensor inserted under the skin.

    Correction Bolus

    A dose of insulin given to correct an elevated blood glucose level

    Correction Factor (Insulin Sensitivity Factor)

    The amount of blood glucose (mg/dL) that is lowered by one unit of insulin

    Dawn phenomenon

    A rise in blood glucose levels in the early morning hours caused by an increase of hormones

    Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA, ketoacidosis)

    An emergency condition in which extremely high blood glucose levels, along with a severe lack of insulin, result in the breakdown of body fat for energy and an accumulation of ketones in the blood and urine

    Insulin Duration (Duration of Insulin Action, DIA)

    The amount of time that insulin is active and available in the body after a bolus has been delivered. It is also used in the calculation for Insulin on Board (IOB).

    Extended Bolus

    A bolus that is delivered over a set period of time

    Endocrinologist

    A physician that is board certified to treat hormone related conditions including diabetes

    Food Bolus

    A dose of insulin that is taken before meals or snacks to cover the expected rise in blood glucose from the food. Food boluses are typically matched to the carbohydrate content of the food.

    Gastroparesis

    A condition that slows stomach emptying and digestion

    Gestational diabetes

    A diabetes that is diagnosed during pregnancy

    Glucagon Emergency Kit

    A kit containing glucagon (a hormone that quickly increases blood glucose) and a syringe used to treat severe hypoglycemia. Glucagon requires a prescription and is administered as an injection by someone else.

    Glucose

    The primary source of energy for the body that breaks down from food, mostly carbohydrate and is also produced by the liver. It is often referred to as blood sugar.

    Hyperglycemia (High blood sugar)

    High blood glucose

    Hypoglycemia (Low blood sugar or insulin reaction)

    Low blood glucose

    Infusion Set (Insertion set)

    A complete tubing system that is attached to the end of the cartridge of the pump and connects to the body at the infusion site, through which insulin is delivered

    Infusion Site (Insertion site)

    The area on the body into which the cannula or needle are inserted

    Injection/infusion site rotation

    Changing the places on the body where insulin is injected. This applies to either syringe injections or insulin pump infusion sets. Rotation prevents the formation of lipodystrophies (defect in the breaking down or building up of fat below the surface of the skin), which can result in lumps or small dents in the skin surface.

    Insulin

    A hormone (produced by beta cells in the pancreas) that helps the body use glucose for energy

    Insulin Pump

    A small medical device that delivers precise amounts of short or rapid-acting insulin into the body in the treatment of diabetes. The two modes of delivery are basal and bolus.

    Intermediate-acting insulin

    A type of insulin that starts to lower blood glucose within 1 to 2 hours after injection and has its strongest effect 6 to 12 hours after injection, depending on the type used

    Insulin resistance

    A condition that makes it harder for the cells to properly use insulin. This typically occurs in type 2 diabetes before the body stops producing enough insulin.

    Ketones

    A waste product that accumulates when glucose is not available and fat is used for energy

    Lancet

    A fine, sharp pointed needle for pricking the skin to obtain a drop of blood for glucose monitoring

    Long-acting insulin

    A type of insulin that starts to lower blood glucose levels within 1 hour after injection and works evenly for 12 to 24 hours after injection. This is replaced with very small doses of rapid-acting insulin delivered as basal insulin with pump therapy.

    mg/dL

    The abbreviation for milligrams of glucose per deciliter of blood (unit for measuring blood glucose levels)

    Occlusion

    A clog or blockage associated with the infusion set and/or infusion site that can stop or slow insulin delivery. An occlusion is typically caused by the cannula being pinched, kinked, dislodged or blocked by the formation of insulin crystals.

    Nephropathy

    Disease of the kidneys caused by damage to the small blood vessels that may occur due to prolonged high blood glucose. People with diabetes should be monitored annually to detect early changes in the kidneys.

    Neuropathy

    Nerve damage that may be caused by prolonged high exposure to high blood glucose. This can cause pain, numbness and tingling (especially in the hands or feet), impotence, silent cardiac conditions and slower than normal digestion.

    Pancreas

    An organ located behind the lower part of the stomach. The beta cells in the pancreas produce the hormone insulin.

    Rapid-Acting Insulin

    A type of insulin with the most rapid onset (10 minutes) which works more quickly at lowering your blood glucose

    Retinopathy

    A disease of the small blood vessels in the retina of the eye that may be caused by prolonged high blood glucose. A person with diabetes should be monitored on an annual basis to detect any changes and receive treatment to prevent loss of vision.

    Somogyi effect (rebound effect, rebound hyperglycemia)

    A condition in which counter-regulatory or stress hormones are released in reaction to a low blood sugar and cause the liver to release too much glucose resulting in a rebound hyperglycemia. Typically occurs overnight and tends to cause high blood glucose levels.

    SMBG (Self-Monitoring of Blood Glucose)

    Checking blood glucose with a blood glucose meter. This behavior should be accompanied by a plan of action to respond to the results and discussed with the healthcare professional treating the diabetes during each visit.

    Short-acting insulin

    A type of insulin that starts to lower blood glucose within 30 minutes after injection and has its strongest effect 2 to 5 hours after injection

    Type 1 diabetes

    A condition in which beta cells in the pancreas are destroyed, preventing the body from producing insulin. People with type 1 diabetes must use insulin to treat this. Formerly known as Juvenile Onset Diabetes or Insulin-Dependent Diabetes Mellitus, IDDM.

    Type 2 diabetes

    A condition in which the pancreas either makes too little insulin or the body loses the ability to use the insulin it produces. Over time, the pancreas may stop producing insulin. Type 2 diabetes may be treated with lifestyle changes (healthy eating and physical activity), oral medications, insulin, or other injectable medications. Formerly known as Adult-Onset Diabetes or Non-Insulin Dependent Diabetes Mellitus, NIDDM.