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Diabetic Dictionary
insulin
a hormone that helps the body use glucose for energy. The beta cells of the pancreas make insulin. When the body cannot make enough insulin, it is taken by injection or through use of an insulin pump.
insulin adjustment
a change in the amount of insulin a person with diabetes takes based on factors such as meal planning, activity and blood glucose levels.
insulin pen
a device for injecting insulin that looks like a fountain pen and holds replaceable cartridges of insulin. Also available in disposable form.
insulin pump
an insulin-delivering device about the size of a deck of cards that can be worn on a belt or kept in a pocket. An insulin pump connects to narrow, flexible plastic tubing that ends with a needle inserted just under the skin. Users set the pump to give a steady trickle or basal amount of insulin continuously throughout the day. Pumps release bolus doses of insulin (several units at a time) at meals and at times when blood glucose is too high, based on programming done by the user.
insulin reaction
when the level of glucose in the blood is too low (at or below 70 mg/dL). Also known as hypoglycemia.
insulin receptors
areas on the outer part of a cell that allow the cell to bind with insulin in the blood. When the cell and insulin bind, the cell can take glucose from the blood and use it for energy.
insulin resistance
the body's inability 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.
insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM)
former term for Type 1 diabetes.
insulinoma (IN-suh-lih-NOH-mah)
a tumor of the beta cells in the pancreas. An insulinoma may cause the body to make extra insulin, leading to hypoglycemia.
intensive therapy
a treatment for diabetes in which blood glucose is kept as close to normal as possible through frequent injections or use of an insulin pump; meal planning; adjustment of medicines; and exercise based on blood glucose test results and frequent contact with a person's health care team.
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. See lente insulin and NPH insulin.
intermittent claudication (IN-ter-MIT-ent CLAW-dih-KAY-shun)
pain that comes and goes in the muscles of the leg. This pain results from a lack of blood supply to the legs and usually happens when walking or exercising.
intramuscular injection (in-trah-MUS-kyoo-lar)
inserting liquid medication into a muscle with a syringe. Glucagon may be given by subcutaneous or intramuscular injection for hypoglycemia.
islet cell autoantibodies (ICA) (EYE-let aw-toe-AN-ti-bod-eez)
proteins found in the blood of people newly diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. They are also found in people who may be developing Type 1 diabetes. The presence of ICA indicates that the body's immune system has been damaging beta cells in the pancreas.
islet transplantation
moving the islets from a donor pancreas into a person whose pancreas has stopped producing insulin. Beta cells in the islets make the insulin that the body needs for using blood glucose.
islets
groups of cells located in the pancreas that make hormones that help the body break down and use food. For example, alpha cells make glucagon and beta cells make insulin. Also called islets of Langerhans (LANG-er-hahns).
jet injector (in-JEK-tur)
a device that uses high pressure instead of a needle to propel insulin through the skin and into the body.
juvenile diabetes
former term for insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM), or Type 1 diabetes.
ketone
a chemical produced when there is a shortage of insulin in the blood and the body breaks down body fat for energy. High levels of ketones can lead to diabetic ketoacidosis and coma. Sometimes referred to as ketone bodies.
ketonuria (key-toe-NUH-ree-ah)
a condition occurring when ketones are present in the urine, a warning sign of diabetic ketoacidosis.
ketosis (ke-TOE-sis)
a ketone buildup in the body that may lead to diabetic ketoacidosis. Signs of ketosis are nausea, vomiting, and stomach pain.
kidney failure
a chronic condition in which the body retains fluid and harmful wastes build up because the kidneys no longer work properly. A person with kidney failure needs dialysis or a kidney transplant. Also called end-stage renal (REE-nul) disease or ESRD.
kidneys
the two bean-shaped organs that filter wastes from the blood and form urine. The kidneys are located near the middle of the back. They send urine to the bladder.
Kussmaul breathing (KOOS-mall)
the rapid, deep, and labored breathing of people who have diabetic ketoacidosis.
lancet
a spring-loaded device used to prick the skin with a small needle to obtain a drop of blood for blood glucose monitoring.
laser surgery treatment
a type of therapy that uses a strong beam of light to treat a damaged area. The beam of light is called a laser. A laser is sometimes used to seal blood vessels in the eye of a person with diabetes. See photocoagulation.
latent autoimmune diabetes in adults (LADA)
a condition in which Type 1 diabetes develops in adults.
LDL cholesterol, stands for low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (kuh-LESS-tuh-rawl LIP-oh-PRO-teen)
a fat found in the blood that takes cholesterol around the body to where it is needed for cell repair and also deposits it on the inside of artery walls. Sometimes called "bad" cholesterol.
lente insulin (LEN-tay)
an intermediate-acting insulin. On average, lente insulin starts to lower blood glucose levels within 1 to 2 hours after injection. It has its strongest effect 8 to 12 hours after injection but keeps working for 18 to 24 hours after injection. Also called L insulin.
lipid (LIP-id)
a term for fat in the body. Lipids can be broken down by the body and used for energy.
 
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