DM Dictionary

 Diabetes TerminologyDefinition / Explanation
AAcuteDescribing a disease of rapid onset, severe symptoms, and brief duration.
BBlood glucoseThe glucose in blood, which also called blood sugar.
 Blood glucose levelThe amount of glucose in a given amount of blood. It is noted in milligrams per deciliter, mg/dl, or millimole per litre. Target range for diabetes should be 4-7 mmol/L for fasting and pre-meal glucose; 5 – 9 mmol/L for 2 hours post-meal; 6 – 8 mmol/L for bed time.
 Self Monitoring of Blood Glucose (SMBG)Checking blood glucose level by oneself, usually by finger pricking on a regular basis in order to manage diabetes. A blood glucose meter and blood glucose test strips are needed for frequent blood glucose monitoring.
CCalorieCalorie is a measure of energy. Scientifically, one calorie is the energy needed to increase one milliliter of water by one degree Celsius. 1000 calories equals to 1 kilocalorie (kcal), which is the common measure of energy contents in foods and food intakes in human.

Our bodies need energy for daily body functions and activities such as maintaining heart beat, breathing, controlling body temperature, brain functioning and making different chemicals. Everyone has a different energy need, which is based on your age, height, weight, physical activity level and health condition. Typical daily energy need for adults is between 1200 – 2400 kcal.

Food macronutrients have different energy contents, which are listed in the table below.

Energy Contents in Macronutrients
 Energy conent per gram
Carbohydrates4 kilocalories (kcal)
Protein4 kilocalories (kcal)
Fat9 kilocalories (kcal)
Alcohol7 kilocalories (kcal)
 CarbohydrateCarbohydrates are the main sources of food energy, containing 4 kcal per gram. Carbohydrates can be divided to starches, sugar, fiber, and sugar alcohol. After digestion and absorption, carbohydrates will be turned into glucose, causing an increase in blood glucose. Therefore, people having diabetes should evenly distribute their carbohydrate intake throughout the day in order to maintain a desirable level of blood glucose. In a healthy diet, carbohydrate intake should provide approximately 50% of your daily intake, and the American Diabetes Association recommends that less than 70% of your daily energy intake should be contributed by carbohydrate and monounsaturated fats.
 Cardiovascular diseaseDiseases including coronary artery disease, hypertension, acute myocardial infarction and heart failure caused by atherosclerosis.
 CataractClouding of the lens of the eye.
 CholesterolCholesterol is found in the bloodstream and in all the body's cells. It is an important part of health because it is used for producing cell membranes and some hormones, and serves other needed bodily functions. You get cholesterol in two ways: Your liver makes around 80% of it; the rest comes from cholesterol in animal products that you eat, such as egg yolk, animal organs, squid and meat products etc.
 ChronicDescribes a disease that is long lasting, progressive, and usually has no symptom in the early stage.
Harmful effects of diabetes such as damage to the eyes, heart and blood vessels, kidneys, nervous system or feet and skin. Studies show that keeping blood glucose, blood pressure, and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels close to normal can help prevent or delay these problems.
DDiabetes mellitusA condition caused by endocrine disorders which is mostly primary and hereditary. It results in a series of metabolic disorders due to the entirely or relatively insufficient secretion of insulin.
 DietitianA health care professional who advises people about meal planning, weight control and diabetes management. A dietitian will help you set up your personal meal plan.
 Diabetes Nurse EducatorA nurse specially trained in educating and taking care of people with diabetes.
EEndocrinologistA doctor who treats people who have endocrine problems such as diabetes, thyroid diseases, adrenal gland disorders, disorder related to male and female hormones and osteoporosis.
FFatFat is a energy-concentrated nutrient. Each gram of fat has 9 kilocalories, which is twice the amount of protein and carbohydrate. Increased intake of fat can lead to an increased of calories, leading to obesity. In a healthy diet, fat should contribute 30% of the total caloric intake. In addition, one should keep unsaturated fats as the main sources of fats, and limit saturated fat intake.
 FiberFiber cannot be digested and absorbed; therefore, it will not affect your blood glucose level. Getting adequate fiber can help to control blood glucose, blood cholesterol, blood pressure, and in turns keeping heart and guts healthy.
 Food ExchangeFood Exchange is a system for controlling the intakes of calories, carbohydrates, proteins and fats. This system categorizes foods into different groups according to their energy, carbohydrate, protein and fat contents. There are six food groups in the system, which are starches, fruits, vegetables, meats and meat substitutes, milk and fats.

Each food is viewed as an exchange in a food group with designated portions, and foods within the same group have approximately the same amount of calories, carbohydrates, fat and proteins. Therefore, foods within the same group can be exchanged with each other without affecting the overall intake.

Using the food exchange system, your dietitian will help you to design a meal plan and pattern according to your current health status and lifestyle habits to control the daily intake of nutrients and achieve a balanced diet.
HHbA1CA test that measures a person's blood glucose control over the past 2 to 3 months. The normal range in people with diabetes is ≤ 7%
 HyperglycemiaThis means having a high concentration of glucose in blood. In general, a blood glucose level higher than 10 mmol/L (180 mg/dl) 2 hours after meal or 8 mmol/L (140 mg/dl) before meal is considered as hyperglycemia.
 HypoglycemiaHypoglycemia is not a disease but a phenomenon indicating a low blood sugar level. Hypoglycemia can happen from time to time to everyone, while patients with diabetes have higher risks. Although it mostly happens in diabetics who have poor blood sugar control, it can happen in diabetics who do all the things to control diabetes. Generally speaking, hypoglycemia means a blood glucose level lower than 3.9mmol/L (70 mg/dl) with or without symptoms, or a blood glucose level lower than 4.5mmol/L (80mg/dl) with symptoms. Both cases require immediate treatment.
MMicroalbuminuriaThe presence of serum albumin in urine but the concentration is not able to be detected by usual strip test. This is a early step of diabetic nephropathy and indicate high risk for cardiovascular disease.
 Monounsaturated FatsMonounsaturated fats are liquids in room temperature. Research says if replacing saturated fatty acids with monounsaturated fatty acids can help to reduce bad cholesterol level and increase good cholesterol (high-density lipoprotein cholesterol or HDL cholesterol) level. This in turn will help to decrease cardiovascular risk. Main sources of monounsaturated fats are olive, canola and peanut oils, almonds, hazelnuts and avocado.
PPodiatristA health care professional who is concerned with the foot and its structure and with the diagnosis and treatment of diseases and disorders of the feet.
 Polyunsaturated FatsPolyunsaturated fats are liquids in room temperature. Research says replacing saturated fatty acids with polyunsaturated fatty acids can help to reduce bad cholesterol levels. Main sources of polyunsaturated fats are nuts, seeds and vegetable oils such as corn, sunflower and soybean oils.
 ProteinProtein is an essential component of all animal products. Each gram of protein has 4 kilocalories (kcal). In a healthy diet, protein should supply less than 20% of the total caloric intake. Although protein will not directly increase blood sugar level, an increased intake will put extra stress and workload on the kidneys and liver.
 ProteinuriaThe presence of serum albumin, serum globulin, or other serum protein in the urine.
SSaturated FatsSaturated fatty acids are solid in room temperature, so fats that are high in saturated fatty acids are solid in room temperature as well. Research says increased intake of saturated fatty acids will increase the total and bad cholesterol (low density lipoprotein cholesterol or LDL cholesterol) and in turn increase cardiovascular risks. Meat products, full cream milk and many processed foods that are made with lard, palm and coconut oil are high in saturated fats.
 StarchStarches such as grains, legumes and starchy vegetables, especially the high fiber types, are more nutritious and cause a slower increase of blood glucose, which should be included as the main part of our diet.
 SugarSugar is usually defined as the sugar used as ingredients in foods. Sugars such as glucose, sucrose, fructose, and honey are easily absorbed, which can cause a rapid increase in blood glucose. In addition, sugary foods are usually low in nutrients and should be limited in consumption.
 Sugar AlcoholSugar alcohols are often used as sweeteners in sugar free candies and beverages. Although sugar alcohols generally have mild effects on blood glucose, the effects are different from one person to another. Therefore, people with diabetes should avoid high intake of sugar alcohol as well.
TType 1 diabetesType 1 diabetic patients usually have the onset of symptoms at 30 years of age or under and tend to be thin. There are insulin antibodies in the bloodstream and the level of insulin is extremely low. The treatment requires the use of insulin. Type 1 diabetes is a disorder of the immune system that produces insulin antibodies.
 Type 2 diabetesType 2 diabetic patients usually have the onset of symptoms at 40 years of age or above and tend to be fat. The level of insulin is relatively lower than the level of blood glucose in the bloodstream, but not entirely absent. Insulin secretion by the pancreas is insufficient for glucose metabolism due to either the pancreas does not make enough insulin or the body is unable to use insulin correctly.
 TriglyceridesTriglycerides are responsible for transporting fat-soluble compounds and supply energy. Triglycerides are derived from fats eaten in foods or made in the body from other energy sources like fats, alcohol and carbohydrates. Over consumption of these foods would lead to elevated level of triglyceride.