Diabetes Lexicon

Important technical terms - briefly explained






increased elimination of albumine (=protein molecules) in urine which serves as an indicator of nephropathy






general term for damage of blood vessels (veins, arteria, capillaries)






optimal feature of an insulin pump to enable the user to program a bolus dose in a safe way without looking at the display of the pump. The Audio-Bolus of the Animas insulin pump can be set in levels of 0.1, 0.5, 1.0 or 5.0 units. The pump gives acoustic or vibration feedback to control insulin dose delivered into the body



Basal rate



rate of continuously delivered insulin in units per hour. Depending on the type of pump they are able to deliver up to 48 different basal rates, starting every hour or every half hour







cells in the pancreas which produce insulin






Body Mass Index. Measure for jugding body weight. Values below 19 are too low, values above 25 too high. BMI = body weigth in kg divided through (body height in m)2






dose of insulin which is delivered before or during a meal to cover glucose from the food or to lower elevated blood glucose levels






source of energy from the food which is digested to glucose to increase blood sugar levels. A balanced diet should consist of minimum 50% carbohydrates



Conventional Insulin Therapy



type of therapy where the person with diabetes gets mixed insulin (short and long acting insulin in one vial) twice a day






abbreviation for continuous subcutaneous insulin infusion. This describes insulin therapy by means of an insulin pump






Diabetes Control and Complications Trial. A long-term study over 10 years regarding type 1 diabetes which was pubished 1993



Diabetic Foot Syndrome (DFS)



damage of nerves and blood vessels in the feet lead to DFS (refer also to diabetic polyneuropathy)



Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA)      



metabolic complication resulting from high concentration of ketones in the body. It is mostly associated with high blood sugar levels. DKA is diagnosed by checking ketones in urine or blood. The symptoms are thurst, nausea, excessive amounts of urine, smell of acetone from mouth and skin etc. It can lead to death if not treated immediately



Diabetes mellitus



metabolic disease where the pancreas produce no or not enough insulin



Diabetic Polyneuropathy



damage of the nerves caused by diabetes. Chronically poorly controlled diabetes leads to damage of the nerve cells and of blood vessels nourishing the nerves






diabetes complication which results in delayed digestion. The effect of insulin is therefore unforeseeable which could lead to hypoglycemia if insulin acts before carbohydrates are resorbed. Insulin pumps provide the feature square wavebolus to distribute the delivery of insulin over a certain programmed period of time to minimize danger of a gastroparesis induced hypoglycaemia



Gestational diabetes



diabetes which occurs only during pregnancy. 1 - 5% of all pregnants develop gestational diabetes which disappears normally after birth






is checked when measuring blood glucose. It is provided to the body through the carbohydrates of the food and presents the most important source of energy to the organism



Glycohemoglobin, Hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c)



glucose molecules which are connected to haemoglobin (=glycated). The higher blood glucose levels are the more glucose is connected to hemoglobin. HbA1c levels serve therefore as a marker of average blood glucose levels of the last two or three months and present a good overview over blood glucose control. Another name for HbA1c is a memory of blood glucose






elevated blood glucose







low blood glucose. Can be caused by high insulin levels, sports or reduced intake of food. Cardrivers with a hypoglycaemic episode have an increased risk for accidents. Severe hypoglycaemia can lead to coma, convulsions and death



Hypoglycemia Unawareness



some people with diabetes have problems to discover symptoms of a hypoglycaemia in time. This is common when people suffer from diabetes for a very long time or have frequent episodes of hypoglycaemia



Impaired glucose tolerance



elevated blood glucose levels after a special glucose burden. Blood glucose levels are in between the range of people without diabetes and people with diabetes



Infusion set



delivers insulin from the insulin pump to the body. It consists of a tubing, a Luer adapter (mostly) and a cannula made of steel or Teflon






hormon that is produced in the pancreas. Helps the body to metabolize glucose



Insulin analogues



there are 2 types: short acting insulin modifications which have an immediate effect which lasts up to two hours. These are mostly used in insulin pumps as they work without time delay and can therefore be dosed exactly. Long acting insulins have an increased action over a longer period of time



Intensified insulin therapy (ICT)



multiple injections per day require frequent blood glucose tests per day. Insulin delivery is split into basal and bolus doses (Basis-Bolus-Therapy, FIT Therapy)






side products of fat metabolism which occur in hyperglycaemic conditions or poor resorption of carbohydrates






insulin is produced in the pancreas



Meal bolus




refer to Bolus






milligram per decilitre. Unit for measuring blood sugar in some countries






millimol per litre. Unit for measuring blood sugar in some countries






disease or damage of the nerves. Very common late complication of diabetes. Refer also to Diabetic Polyneuropathy  






disease of the kidneys. Common late complication of diabetes. Starts with limited kidney function and can lead to complete renal failure



Oral antidiabetic drugs (OAD)



medication of tablets which lower blood sugar



Regular insulin



quick acting insulin. Starts acting after 15 to 30 minutes after injection and works for about 4 to 6 hours. For insulin pumps regular insulin or short acting analogues are used






disease of the retina. Common late complication of diabetes. Leads to impaired vision or even to blindness






at the European Diabetes conference in St. Vincente (Italy) in the year 1989 requirements were declared leading to a reduction of diabetes-related late complications within 5 years






means „under the skin“ (in comparison to intravenous for „in the vein“ or intraperitoneal for „in the peritoneum“). The majority of injections is done subcutaneously.






type of blood fats. Can be build in the body or intaken with the food. Elevated levels of triglycerides are common at overweighed people as well as at poorly controlled people with diabetes



Type 1-Diabetes



diabetes with an absolute lack of insulin. People with type 1 diabetes do not produce any insulin and have therefore to inject insulin during the day



Type 2-Diabetes



diabetes with a relative lack of insulin. In the beginning enough insulin is produced but the effect on receptors decrease. Later insulin production is not sufficient and people have to be treated with oral antidiabetic drugs or insulin






United Kingdom Prospective Diabetes Study. The broadest long-term clinical trial (20 years) for type 2 diabetes. It could proof that good control of blood pressure reduces the risk of developing diabetic late complications