Diabetes Glossary

ACE inhibitors

Substance that blocks angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE), which is important for blood pressure regulation. ACE inhibitors are used as a medication for high blood pressure and heart failure.


a metabolic product that arises during fat burning. In diabetic coma, it is increasingly formed and changes the smell of the breath (such as nail polish remover). P. A. → ketoacidosis.


an increase of body fat (→ BMI over 30) that exceeds the norm. An obesity can affect your health.


Drugs that delay the absorption of carbohydrates from the gastrointestinal tract (eg acarbose).


Generic term for all drugs that lower blood sugar.


Blood vessels leading away from the heart. In the systemic circulation they transport oxygen-rich blood to all parts of the body and organs, in the pulmonary circulation oxygen-poor blood into the alveoli, where carbon dioxide is exchanged for oxygen.

Arteriosclerosis (atherosclerosis)

Technical term for vascular calcification - Deposits in the inner walls of the vessel, which lead to reduced elasticity and constriction of the blood vessels.

Autoimmune disease

Disease in which the body's defenses, which normally kill pathogens and degenerated cells, are directed against the body's own cells. As a result, healthy cells are damaged or completely destroyed. In type 1 diabetes, the insulin-producing cells of the pancreas are mistakenly attacked.


Acidification of the body by excess of acid metabolites, eg. B. during fat loss sloping ketone body (→ ketoacidosis).


indigestible herbal substances belonging to the multiple sugars (starch) and are an important food ingredient. They fill the stomach, regulate the feeling of satiety and slow down the intake of → glucose into the blood.

Pancreas (pancreas)

An important organism for sugar metabolism, in which insulin and its antagonist → glucagon are formed.

BBT (basic bolus therapy)

Form of insulin therapy with two different insulins: On the one hand, a long-acting insulin is injected once or twice a day ("base") for basic needs, and on the other hand a fast-acting insulin (short-time insulin) before each meal to increase the sugar after the meal intercept ("bolus").

Beta cells (islet cells)

Insulin-producing cells in the → pancreatic islets of Langerhans.


Group of hypoglycaemic drugs (especially metformin), which among other things improve the uptake of → glucose into muscle and adipose tissue and inhibit sugar production in the liver.

BMI (body mass index)

Measure for the assessment of body fat mass and thus for the evaluation of body weight. It is calculated from the body weight (kg) divided by the height (m) squared. Normal weight is at a BMI of 18.5-24.9 (overweight, including underweight), with thresholds shifting upwards with age.

Bread units (BE)

Calculation units for the carbohydrates (KH) contained in a food. A bread unit equals 10-12 grams of usable carbohydrates in the diet.

Blood sugar (BZ), blood sugar levels

The content of → glucose in the blood.

CSE inhibitors (cholesterol synthesis inhibitors, statins)

Medicines that inhibit the enzyme responsible for the production of endogenous cholesterol. This lowers LDL level, triglyceride concentration and total cholesterol. These medicines protect the vessels and stop the tendency for deposits on their inner walls.

CSII (continuous subcutaneous insulin infusion)

Form of insulin therapy in which short-acting insulin is injected under the skin by means of a continuous infusion (pump).

CT (conventional insulin therapy, English conventional therapy)

Form of insulin therapy in which → Insulin is used once or twice daily in a fixed mixing ratio. With this insulin therapy, the diabetic has to keep to a firm routine during the day, in quantity and at the time of meals.

Diabetic nephropathy

A late complication of diabetes in the kidney area. By changes in the renal vessels, there is a functional impairment of the kidney, which can range to complete kidney failure. An hereditary predisposition, high blood pressure and elevated blood sugar levels favor the development. Kidney damage may require dialysis ("blood wash" using "artificial kidney").

Diabetic polyneuropathy

A late complication of diabetes in the nerves, probably as a result of morbid changes in the smallest vessels that supply the nerves. Affected are on the one hand especially feet and legs (tingling, ants running, burning or pain and emotional disorders, leg cramps, muscle weakness), on the other hand, the autonomic (autonomic) nervous system, resulting in disorders of the cardiovascular system (arrhythmia, blood pressure regulation disorders, dizziness) which leads to bladder or defecation as well as the sexual function (eg erectile dysfunction).

Diabetic retinopathy

A late complication of diabetes in the eyes. The retina of the ocular fundus is perfused with tiny blood vessels that are very sensitive to blood sugar increases: the capillary walls thicken and the blood can not flow through the small vessels as well. These changes cause damage to the retina, which can progress and, in the worst case, lead to blindness. Damage to the eye is often not noticed for a long time, so regular eye examinations are important.

Diabetic foot syndrome

A late complication of diabetes in the area of ​​the feet. It is the result of vascular and nerve damage (as well as the increased susceptibility of the diabetic to infect) and causes even the tiniest of lesions to cause ulceration, inflammation and tissue desquamation - resulting in amputation at worst. This late complication can be avoided by a good metabolic control, consistent foot care and wearing suitable shoes.

Diabetic coma (hyperglycemic coma)

Life threatening condition with loss of consciousness as a result of high blood sugar (→ hyperglycemia).

ED (Erectile Dysfunction, Impotence)

Inability to perform the sexual act. The likelihood of developing erectile dysfunction is fourfold higher in men with diabetes.

Fructose (fructose)

Simple sugar, which in contrast to → glucose is metabolized independently of insulin. Therefore, it is used as a sugar substitute - but it is faster converted to fats and not tolerated by many people.


→ Gestational diabetes.


Hypoglycemic drugs that stimulate insulin-producing cells to produce more insulin.

Glitazone (insulin sensitiser)

Group of hypoglycemic drugs that improve, inter alia, the impaired insulin sensitivity of the cells and inhibit sugar production in the liver.


Hormone produced in the pancreatic alpha cells that raises blood sugar by releasing glycogen from the liver. It is thus an opponent of insulin. As a synthetically produced drug, it is used to counteract severe hypoglycaemia as an "emergency syringe".

Glucose (glucose, dextrose)

Smallest sugar molecule and the essential fuel for the body. It is kept in the blood under normal conditions at a nearly constant concentration. With the addition of glucose, the → blood sugar level rises - the body reacts with the release of → insulin. Only insulin - the only hormone in the body - can lower blood sugar, so it is so important for us humans.


Detectable sugar in urine, which occurs at blood sugar levels above 180 mg / dl (so-called renal threshold).


Storage form of → glucose, which is mainly stored in the liver and muscles.

Glyx (glycemic index)

Value that indicates how quickly a food increases blood sugar. Recommended are foods with a low glyx, so a slow increase.


Proportion of the red blood pigment (hemoglobin = Hb) to which the → glucose binds instead of oxygen. The amount of hemoglobin A1 in the blood depends on the mean blood glucose level of the previous 2-3 months. Therefore, HbA1c is also called blood sugar memory; his measurement serves to assess the diabetes setting.


hyperglycemia; So an increase in blood sugar levels above normal. Persistently high blood sugar levels are manifested by urination, thirst and fatigue. If the blood sugar is extremely high, this can lead to a medical emergency (diabetic coma).


hypoglycemia; Symptoms can occur if the → blood glucose drops below 50 mg / dl. The most common causes are errors in antidiabetic therapy with insulin or tablets. A slight hypoglycaemia is announced by shaking, sweating and palpitations. In severe cases, there is loss of consciousness and cramps. If not treated properly and immediately, severe hypoglycaemia can lead to a life-threatening coma (hypoglycemic coma).

ICT (intensive conventional therapy)

Form of insulin therapy in which morning, afternoon and late inject a long-acting delayed-release insulin and amounts of a short-acting insulin adapted to mealtime meals. This imitates the natural insulin secretion of the organism. The prerequisite for such treatment is structured training.

IGT (Impaired Glucose Tolerance), impaired glucose tolerance

The precursor of diabetes, in which the blood sugar levels are still sober, but increase more after eating than in the healthy. The risk of developing diabetes mellitus is increased.

Incretin amplifier

Group of hypoglycemic drugs that prolong the action of the intestinal hormone incretin and thereby stimulate insulin production.


→ Beta cells.


Vital hormone that is produced in the pancreas and plays a key role in the regulation of blood sugar levels; Opponent of the → Glucagon. If insulin has too little effect on the cells (insulin resistance) or if too little or no insulin is produced, the sugar can not enter the cells from the blood, causing a sharp rise in blood sugar and a low level of sugar in the cells. This disease is called diabetes or diabetes mellitus. Insulin is no longer produced in type 1 diabetics, while it can not work properly in type 2 diabetics. Therefore, type 1 diabetes has previously been referred to as insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM), which refers to type 2 diabetes as non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM).

insulin resistance

→ insulin


Acidification of the blood (acidosis) by ketone bodies. If insulin is missing, the body cells can no longer take glucose from the blood. However, as our organism relies on energy, more fat is burned instead. As a result of fat loss, fatty acids and acidic ketone bodies are formed, which are then detected in the blood, urine and exhaled air (smell of → acetone). Ketone bodies can be detected with test strips in the urine. They are an indication of an incipient metabolic derailment. Ketoacidosis can be life-threatening and must therefore be treated the same.

Carbohydrates (KH, Sacharide)

An important food ingredient predominantly contained in vegetable foods (product of photosynthesis); largest energy supplier. Carbohydrates have different lengths of chains that are all broken down into glucose in the body. Accordingly, a distinction is made: monosaccharides (simple sugars such as glucose and fructose), which consist of only one sugar molecule, disaccharides (double sugars such as granulated sugar and milk sugar), oligosaccharides (multiple sugars such as raffinose) - these all taste sweet and are water-soluble. The transition to the polysaccharides (polysaccharides) is fluid. These complex carbohydrates consist of very many sugar molecules, are tasteless and poorly or not at all water-soluble. This group includes starch, cellulose, gelling agents and fiber.

Carbohydrate units (KHE)

→ Bread units (BE)

LADA (latent autoimmune diabetes in adults)

A special form of diabetes type 1, which begins only in adulthood and in which the insulin deficiency develops very slowly. Nevertheless, insulin should be treated as early as possible: this way, the pancreas can be spared and possibly the further destruction of the → beta cells arrested.

Langerhans Islands (Langerhans Islands)

Areas in the pancreas in which → beta cells produce → insulin.


Diseases of the larger blood vessels with calcification, loss of elasticity and constrictions, which can occur in diabetics by permanently increased → blood sugar levels.

Metabolic syndrome

Metabolic disease with obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure and high blood lipids.


Increase of albumin (a protein) in the urine to 30-300 mg / day. This may indicate kidney damage (nephropathy).


Fine tissue changes on the tiny blood vessels of the nervous tissue, retina and kidneys, which can occur in diabetics by permanently elevated blood sugar levels.

MODY (maturity onset diabetes of the young)

No longer common term for a genetic condition of diabetes.


Normal → blood sugar level; in healthy subjects above 60 mg / dl and below 140 mg / dl after eating.

Oral antidiabetics ("sugar tablets")

Medications in the form of oral tablets (oral) that lower the blood sugar in type 2 diabetes. Drug groups include: alpha-glucosidase inhibitors, biguanides, glinides, glitazones, incretin enhancers, and sulfonylureas.

oGTT (oral glucose tolerance test)

A method of diagnosing diabetes and its preform. The affected person must remain sober for 12 hours and then drink liquid with 75 grams of glucose (→ glucose). → Blood sugar is measured before and two hours later. If the value is above 200 mg / dl (11.1 mmol / l), there is diabetes mellitus.

pp (postprandial)

"after the meal" or "after a meal".

Gestational diabetes (gestational diabetes)

Diabetes, which occurs during pregnancy for the first time, then usually disappears. During pregnancy, the demand for insulin increases steadily under the influence of hormones. In 3-8 percent of all pregnancies, the pancreas can not compensate for this by increasing the release of insulin. Gestational diabetes means more risks for mother and child and therefore needs to be treated with insulin.

Subcutaneous (sc = below the skin) injection

The spraying of a substance in the - between skin and muscle lying - subcutaneous fatty tissue, eg. B. on the thigh or stomach. Insulin must be injected subcutaneously; Further recording options (eg as inhalation) are in the test phase.


Natural and man-made compounds to sweeten foods and drinks that are much sweeter than sugar and have no → carbohydrates and calories.


Hypoglycaemic drugs that stimulate insulin-producing cells to produce more → insulin.


→ glucose

WHO (World Health Organization, World Health Organization)

Founded in 1948 special organization of the United Nations based in Geneva. Your goal is to achieve the best possible health for all people.


Synonymous with → carbohydrates; However, in general parlance is often equated with granulated sugar (table sugar) or in medicine with glucose (glucose), so the smallest carbohydrate components.
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