Glossary

A1C
A measurement of average blood sugar levels over the prior two to three months.

Beta cells
The cells of the pancreas that manufacture and release insulin.

Carbohydrates ("carbs")
Another word for sugar and starch in your diet. Carbohydrates are broken down into glucose during digestion. They are the body's main source of energy.

Cholesterol
A waxy, fat-like substance in the blood. LDL, or low-density lipoprotein, is the 'bad' cholesterol that deposits fat in the blood vessels. HDL, or high-density lipoprotein, is the 'good' cholesterol that removes fat deposits from the blood vessels.

DAWN
The Diabetes Attitudes Wishes and Needs Study. More than 5,100 people with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes and 3,800 physicians and nurses from thirteen countries participated in this international diabetes study. One of the goals of this study was to assess psychological health in diabetes.

Glucose
A form of sugar that serves as the fuel for the body.

Hyperglycemia
A condition that occurs when there is too much sugar (more than 180 mg/dL or 10 mmol/L) in the bloodstream, but symptoms may not appear until blood sugar becomes even higher (more than 270 - 360 mg/dL or 15 - 20 mmol/L). Over a longer period of time, high blood sugar levels can create a number of diabetes-related health problems.

Hypoglycemia
A condition that occurs when there is too little sugar (less than 70 mg/d or 3.9 mmol/l) in the bloodstream. If not treated right away by eating sugar, hypoglycemia can result in coma and death.

Insulin
A hormone that is produced by the beta cells in the pancreas. It is needed for moving sugar from the bloodstream into the body's cells.

Ketoacidosis
A severe condition caused by a lack of insulin. Symptoms of ketoacidosis include high blood sugar, low blood pressure, ketones in the urine, dehydration, and breath with a sweet fruity odor.

Ketones
Chemical produced when the body breaks down fat, instead of sugar, for fuel.

Ketosis
The presence of ketones in the urine.

Neuropathy
Nerve damage.

Pancreas
The gland in the body that produces insulin and other hormones that are used to regulate blood sugar levels.

Plaque
An accumulation of fat or cholesterol that can occur inside a blood vessel and cause the blood vessel to become narrow, hard and brittle. If left untreated, this can lead to both minor and severe health problems.

Retinopathy
Damage to the small blood vessels in the eyes. Retinopathy can lead to blindness if it is not treated.

Trans-fat
Trans-fats are unsaturated fats with an altered molecular structure that is not naturally occurring. Research shows that high in trans-fats can lead to increased levels of plaque in the blood vessels as well as an increased risk of heart disease. Also known as fatty acids or trans-fatty acids.

Triglycerides
A type of fat carried in the bloodstream.

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