Let's D-Fine It
Here are some quick d-finitions of diabetes-related words. These words are defined in terms of diabetes so they're very focused on how it relates to diabetes. It may not give you a full and complicated definition of the word.
Autoimmune disease: Your immune system usually attacks germs that get into your body and make you sick. For example, it helps get rid of viruses that cause colds. For some reason, your immune system gets confused and thinks your body's own cells are germs. They attack and destroy them. In type 1 diabetes, your beta cells get attacked.
Basal: The amount of constant insulin that is needed to maintain your blood glucoses in between meals and overnight. In a pump, a basal rate is programmed to constantly deliver doses of insulin 24/7 to maintain stable blood glucose.
Beta cells: Cells in your pancreas that makes insulin
Blood glucose (AKA blood sugar): The amount of glucose that is in the blood
Blood glucose meter: A small device that can measure the amount of glucose in your blood. You have to prick your finger or forearm (follow the instructions for your meter) to get a small drop of blood that you put on a test strip.
Bolus: The amount of insulin used to cover the carbohydrates you are eating or to correct for a high blood glucose. You usually bolus before a meal or snack.
Buccal: Getting medication like insulin by spraying the medicine in the mouth. It gets absorbed by in your mouth and back of your throat.
Cannula: The tip of the tube that comes from the reservoir of your insulin pump and connects to you. The cannula sits right under your skin so you're connected to the pump all the time.
Carbohydrates (AKA Carbs): Another word for sugars. The main source of energy for the body. Carbs get digested quickly and easily into glucose. Carbs are the foods that affect blood glucose the most. Examples of carbs are fruits, starchy vegetables, breads, pastas, rice, sugar, syrup and honey.
Cells: The tiniest living unit that we are made up of. Cells are alive and need glucose (food) for energy to survive.
Cell wall: Cells have a protective wall around them so just anything can't get in. In order for glucose to get through the cell wall and into the cell, it needs the help of insulin.
Certified Diabetes Educator: A person who is an expert in diabetes and can help you manage your diabetes.
Continuous glucose monitor: A new device that is attached to you right under your skin. This device is always checking your interstitial glucose (it
measures glucose but not in the blood) and may help to alert you when you are going too low or too high.
Control Solution: Your meter comes with a control solution. If you're not sure if your meter or test strips are working correctly, you can use the control solution to test your meter and test strips.
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