Diabetes Glossary: B

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

background retinopathy (REH-tih-NOP-uh-thee):

a type of damage to the retina of the eye marked by bleeding, fluid accumulation, and abnormal dilation of the blood vessels. Background retinopathy is an early stage of diabetic retinopathy.

Also called simple or nonproliferative (non-pro-LIF-er-uh-tiv) retinopathy.

BAMS:

acronym for Batchelor of Ayurvedic Medicine and Surgery.

basal rate:

a steady trickle of low levels of longer-acting insulin, such as that used in insulin pumps.

beta cell:

a cell that makes insulin. Beta cells are located in the islets of the pancreas.

BCEN:

acronym for Board Certified in Emergency Nursing.

BCNP:

acronym for Board Certified in Nuclear Pharmacy.

BCNSP:

acronym for Board Certified in Nutrition Support Pharmacy.

BCPP:

acronym for Board Certified in Psychiatric Pharmacy.

BCPS:

acronym for Board Certified in Pharmacotherapy.

beta cell:

a cell that makes insulin. Beta cells are located in the islets of the pancreas.

biguanide (by-GWAH-nide):

a class of oral medicine used to treat type 2 diabetes that lowers blood glucose by reducing the amount of glucose produced by the liver and by helping the body respond better to insulin. (Generic name: metformin.)

blood glucose:

the main sugar found in the blood and the body's main source of energy. Also called blood sugar.

blood glucose level:

the amount of glucose in a given amount of blood. It is noted in milligrams in a deciliter, or mg/dL.

blood glucose meter:

a small, portable machine used by people with diabetes to check their blood glucose levels. After pricking the skin with a lancet, one places a drop of blood on a test strip in the machine. The meter (or monitor) soon displays the blood glucose level as a number on the meter's digital display.

blood glucose monitoring:

checking blood glucose level on a regular basis in order to manage diabetes. A blood glucose meter (or blood glucose test strips that change color when touched by a blood sample) is needed for frequent blood glucose monitoring.

blood pressure:

the force of blood exerted on the inside walls of blood vessels. Blood pressure is expressed as a ratio (example: 120/80, read as "120 over 80"). The first number is the systolic (sis-TAH-lik) pressure, or the pressure when the heart pushes blood out into the arteries. The second number is the diastolic (DY-uh-STAH-lik) pressure, or the pressure when the heart rests.

blood sugar:

see blood glucose.

blood sugar level:

see blood glucose level.

blood urea (yoo-REE-uh) nitrogen (NY-truh-jen) (BUN):

a waste product in the blood from the breakdown of protein. The kidneys filter blood to remove urea. As kidney function decreases, the BUN levels increase.

blood vessels:

tubes that carry blood to and from all parts of the body. The three main types of blood vessels are arteries, veins, and capillaries.

BMI:

see body mass index.

body mass index (BMI):

a measure used to evaluate body weight relative to a person's height. BMI is used to find out if a person is underweight, normal weight, overweight, or obese.

To find BMI: Multiply body weight in pounds by 703. Divide that number by height in inches. Divide that number by height in inches again. Find the resulting number in the chart below.
 
Below 18.5 is underweight.
18.5-24.9 is normal.
25.0-29.9 is overweight.
30.0 and above is obese.

bolus (BOH-lus):

an extra amount of insulin taken to cover an expected rise in blood glucose, often related to a meal or snack.

borderline diabetes:

a term used for prediabetes. see prediabetes.

brittle diabetes:

a term used when a person's blood glucose level moves often from low to high and from high to low.

BS:

acronym for Batchelor of Science Degree.*

BSN:

acronym for Batchelor of Science Degree, Nursing.

BUN:

see blood urea nitrogen.

bunion (BUN-yun):

a bulge on the first joint of the big toe, caused by the swelling of a fluid sac under the skin. This spot can become red, sore, and infected.