Patient Glossary

A1C/ Glycohemoglobin
A test that measures a person's average blood glucose level over the past two to three months. The test shows the amount of glucose that is in the red blood cells.

Basal
A small, steady flow of insulin.

Bolus
A larger amount of insulin given at one time.

Carbohydrate
One of the three main nutrients in food. Carbohydrates are metabolized completely into glucose immediately after they are eaten. They have the most profound effect on glucose levels. Carbohydrates are found in starches, vegetables, fruits, dairy products and sugars.

Carbohydrate Counting
A method of meal planning that involves determining how much insulin will be needed to cover a particular meal based on a calculation of the carbohydrate content in the meal.

Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE)
A health care professional with expertise in diabetes education who has met eligibility requirements and successfully completed a certification exam.

Gestational Diabetes Mellitus (GDM)
A type of diabetes that develops during pregnancy and usually disappears after delivery. Having GDM increases the risk of developing diabetes later on in life.

Glyburide
A class of medication called a sulfonylurea. It stimulates the pancreas to make more insulin.

Hypoglycemia
A condition that occurs when a person is on insulin and their blood glucose goes below 70mg/dl. Signs include hunger, nervousness, shakiness, perspiration, dizziness and confusion. If left untreated, hypoglycemia could lead to unconsciousness.

Insulin
A hormone that helps the body use glucose for energy. It is produced by the beta cells of the pancreas. When a woman is pregnant, her body requires about three times the amount of insulin it normally does in order to keep up with the demands of the pregnancy.

Insulin Pump
A device that is a little bigger then a pager that delivers insulin by means of a catheter placed just under the skin. It delivers insulin in two ways - basal and bolus - and eliminates the need for standard injections.

Insulin Resistance
A reduced ability of the body to respond to and use the insulin it produces. Insulin resistance may be linked to obesity, hypertension and high levels of fat in the blood.

Macrosomia
When a fetus is abnormally large for gestational age (the estimated fetal weight would be over 9 lbs at term).

Metformin
An oral medication used to lower blood glucose. It works by reducing the amount of glucose that is produced by the liver and by helping the body reduce insulin resistance. It belongs to the class of medicines called biguanides. The brand name is Glucophage.

Neonatal Hypoglycemia
Refers to a baby who is born with low blood-sugar levels.

Respiratory Distress Syndrome (RDS)

A condition that occurs when a baby is born early with underdeveloped lungs.

Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus (DM)

The type of diabetes that occurs when a person's beta cells do not produce insulin. A person with Type 1 DM needs to take insulin in order to survive.

Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus
The type of diabetes that occurs when the body cannot either make enough insulin to keep the blood sugars within normal level or cannot use the insulin the body is making efficiently due to insulin resistance.

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