Diabetes Jargo, Abbreviations and Terminology

Diabetes Jargo, Abbreviations and Terminology

This list of diabetes jargons includes most of the terminology and abbreviations that are used by those with diabetes, support nurses and in general on the forum.

This list has been compiled from the Fergus thread on the Diabetes Forum

Thanks go to Jem, Stuboy, SarahQ, Dennis, Tubolard and Timo2. This page will be updated regularly in accordance with any more terms added to the forum thread.

For more information on terms used regarding diabetes, see the diabetes glossary

  • Amylin (Islet Amyloid Polypeptide) – Slows the rate at which digested carbohydrate appears as glucose in the blood and thus reduces total insulin demand
  • Basal – referred to as the slow acting insulin used to cover your bodies own glucose stores
  • Beta cells – Pancreatic cells responsible for the production of insulin, amylin and C-peptide
  • BG – blood glucose (this is the measurement of glucose circulating in the blood)
  • Biphasic insulin – An insulin mixture containing both fast acting and slow acting insulin, usually injected twice daily
  • Bolus – referred to as the fast acting insulin used to cover food, typically carbohydrates, some cover for protein as well.
  • BP – Blood Pressure
  • Brittle diabetes (labile diabetes) – Most often seen in type 1
  • BS – blood sugar (as above)
  • CHO – Carbohydrate (Carbon Hydrogen Oxygen)
  • C-peptide – A by-product of normal insulin production
  • CTS – Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • CVD – Cardiovascular Disease
  • Double diabetes – Comprises symptoms of both type 1 and type 2 diabetes
  • DSN – Diabetic Specialist Nurse
  • ED – Erectile Disorder
  • FS – Frozen Shoulder
  • Fulminant type 1 – An idiopathic subtype which has a very rapid onset and no honeymoon period
  • G.I – Glycemic index. A G.I value tells you how rapidly a particular carbohydrate is turned
  • G.L – Glycemic load. A G.L value takes into account not only G.I, but also the total quantity
  • GAD (Glutamic Acid Decarboxylase) – Antibodies test
  • GDM – Gestational Diabetes Mellitus
  • Glucagon – A hormone produced in the alpha cells of the pancreas
  • Glycogen – The storage form of glucose in animals and humans
  • Glycogenesis – Glucose storage, mainly in the liver and muscles
  • Glycogenolysis – The breaking down of glycogen stores in liver and muscle tissue
  • GNG (Gluconeogenesis) – The generation of glucose from non-carbohydrate carbon substrates
  • HBA1C – HbA1c is the scientific shorthand for Glycosylated Haemoglobin
  • HCP/HP – Health care professional
  • HDL – High Density Lipoprotein (the “good” cholesterol)
  • Honeymoon period – The period of time after a diagnosis of type 1 diabetes when there is better than expected blood glucose control
  • Hypo – hypoglycaemia (this means blood sugar level is too low)
  • Insulin – A hormone which causes most of the body’s cells to take up glucose from the blood
  • Insulin analogues – Genetically altered versions of insulin
  • Insulin antibodies – An immune response to exogenous(injected) insulin
  • Insulin resistance – Normal amounts of insulin are inadequate to produce a normal insulin level.
  • Ketoacidosis – A severe accumulation of keto acids in the blood, resulting in acidosis
  • Ketones – Ketone bodies are acids left over as a byproduct of ketosis
  • Ketosis – A process in which your body converts fats into energy
  • Lantus – Long-acting insulin analogue used as a basal(background) insulin. Normally injected
  • LDL – Low Density Lipoprotein (the “bad” cholesterol)
  • Levemir – Long-acting insulin analogue used as a basal(background) insulin.
  • LHB (Local Health Board) Welsh equivalent of a PCT (Primary Care Trust)
  • Liver dump – The common term given to glucose production from the liver
  • Low-carb diet – A proportional reduction of dietary carbohydrate
  • MDI – Multiple Daily Injections – an insulin regimen adopted by the majority of type 1 diabetics
  • MODY – Maturity Onset Diabetes of the Young refers to a number of dominantly inherited, monogenic defects of insulin secretion. There are currently eight different varieties of MODY
  • Nephropathy – Damage to or disease of the kidneys
  • NICE – National Institute for Clinical Health and Excellence
  • NSF – National Strategic Framework
  • PCT – Primary Care Trust
  • Peripheral neuropathy – Damage to the nerves of the peripheral nervous system
  • PP – post prandial (this means a period of time after eating, usually recorded as 2 hours but often 1)
  • Pump – Insulin Pump, used as an alternative insulin delivery method to MDI. The pump is connected to you 24/7 and pumps tiny doses of insulin thorought the day, with the ability to give extra doses at meals times and with snacks.
  • Retinopathy – Non-inflammatory damage to the retina of the eye
  • SHA – Strategic Health Authority
  • Somogyi effect (rebound hyperglycemia) – A high blood sugar (hyperglycemia)
  • TG or Trigs Triglycerides – the main component part of VLDL and a significant cause of strokes and heart attacks
  • Type 1 (autoimmune) – The most common form of type 1 diabetes
  • Type 1 (idiopathic) – All forms of type 1 which occur without a known cause
  • Type 1 (surgical) – Diabetes caused by partial or complete removal of the pancreas
  • Type 1.5 – Latent Autoimmune Diabetes in Adults (LADA), also known as slow onset type 1
  • Type 2 – Diabetes mellitus type 2 is most often attributed to insulin resistance and relative
  • VLDL – Very Low Density Lipoprotein (the “very bad” cholesterol)
  • Young-onset type 2 – Anyone diagnosed with type 2 under the age of 45 is considered young
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