Diabetes In Children

Diabetes in Children: Glossary

Here are definitions of medical terms related to diabetes in children.

Endocrinologist: A physician who specializes in the endocrine system, which is the network of glands and other structures that secrete hormones and affect the function of certain organs.

Finger stick: The act of puncturing the tip of the finger to get a small sample of blood.

Glucagon: A hormone made in the pancreas that raises blood sugar levels. It can be given by injection to treat severe hypoglycemia.

Glucose: Commonly referred to as “sugar,” it is the major source of energy used by the body’s cells. It is taken from foods we eat and can be made from protein.

Hemoglobin A1c test (HB A1c): This test indicates the average level of blood sugar over the previous one to two months. It shows how well blood sugar levels are being controlled.

Hormone: A chemical messenger secreted by a gland that then travels in the blood to act on other parts of the body.

Hyperglycemia: High levels of sugar in the blood. In diabetes, this can happen if there is not enough insulin or because of unusual food intake, less activity, illness, or other stress.

Hypoglycemia: Not enough sugar in the blood for those tissues that depend mainly on sugar for energy, such as the brain. This can happen after exercise, taking more insulin than usual, or skipping eating.

Insulin: A hormone made in the pancreas. It regulates the way sugar, fat, and protein are moved into the cells, and the way they are stored or used for energy.

Ketoacidosis: A condition caused by lack of insulin that could result in severe dehydration and a high-acid condition in the body.

Ketones: Acids created by the process of burning body fat; if the body produces too many ketones, they are excreted in the urine.

Lancet: A short pointed blade used to obtain a drop of blood; it has a guard above the blade that prevents a deep incision.

Pancreas: The organ inside the abdomen that secretes various substances, including enzymes needed for digestion, insulin, and glucagon.

Type 1 diabetes: A condition in which the body stops producing insulin, and sugar (glucose) builds up in the blood. It is also known as insulin-dependent diabetes and formerly as juvenile-onset diabetes.

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