Glossary of Diabetes Terms

diabetes1The following is a list of diabetes terms you might find useful.

Gastric Surgery: Gastric surgery refers to any surgery used to treat obesity and related conditions such as diabetes, hypertension and sleep apnea. Gastric surgery involves the reduction of the size of the stomach, or the digestive bypassing (i.e. preventing food from moving through a part of the digestive system by redirecting it elsewhere).

Glycemic Index: The glycemic index illustrates which carbohydrates tend to release glucose into the blood quickly (i.e. high glycemic index) and slowly (i.e. low glycemic index).

Glucose: All carbohydrates (from grains, fruits and vegetables and sweets) are broken down in glucose. Glucose is released from the small intestine into the blood stream. In diabetes, this glucose is unable to move from the blood into the cells to be used as energy, resulting in high blood glucose levels.

Hyperglycemia: Hyperglycemia refers to high glucose levels in the blood. Prolonged hyperglycemia is associated with heart disease, blindness, amputation and kidney failure.

Hypoglycemia: Hypoglycemia refers to low glucose levels in the blood.Hypoglycemia can result in ‘diabetic emergencies’ such as dizziness, fainting and coma.

Insulin: Insulin is a hormone created by the pancreas that helps move glucose from the blood and into cells. In diabetes, insulin does not work or the cells cannot respond to it, resulting in high blood glucose levels. Some diabetes patients may inject insulin as a treatment.

Macronutrients: Macronutrients are the major nutrients we need to survive including carbohydrates, proteins and fats

Saturated fats: Saturated fats usually come from animal sources such as meat, cheese, butter and icecream, but can also come from non-animal sources like coconut and palm oil. These types of fats are considered ‘unhealthy’ because they are chemically ‘less fluid’ are ‘more stiff’ than unsaturated fats.

Unsaturated fats: The ‘good fat’. Sources of unsaturated fat include olive oil, fish and nuts.