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GAD (Glutamic Acid Decarboxylase)

A normal enzyme found in all cells that initiates the metabolism of a substance called glutamic acid. Glutamic acid is a component of all proteins and is also part of the cycle for the disposal of a waste product called ammonia. The presence of antibodies to GAD (called anti-GAD antibodies) in the blood is an early indication of the start of the autoimmune process in Type 1A Diabetes.

Galactose

A type of sugar found in milk products and sugar beets. It is also made by the body. It is considered a nutritive sweetener because it has calories.

Gangrene

The death of body tissue. It is most often caused by a loss of blood flow, especially in the legs and feet.

Gastroparesis

A form of nerve damage that affects the stomach. Food is not digested properly and does not move through the stomach in a normal way, resulting in vomiting, nausea, or bloating and interfering with diabetes management.

See also: Autonomic neuropathy.

Gene

A basic unit of heredity. Genes are made of DNA, a substance that tells cells what to do and when to do it. The information in the genes is passed from parent to child-for example, a gene might tell some cells to make the hair red or the eyes brown.

Genetic

Relating to genes.

See also: Gene; heredity.

Gestation
The length of pregnancy.

Gestational Diabetes Mellitus (GDM)

A type of diabetes mellitus that can occur when a woman is pregnant. In the second half of the pregnancy, the woman may have glucose (sugar) in the blood at a higher than normal level. However, when the pregnancy ends, the blood glucose levels return to normal in about 95 percent of all cases.

Gingivitis

An inflammation of the gums that if left untreated may lead to periodontal disease, a serious gum disorder. Signs of gingivitis are inflamed and bleeding gums.

See also: Periodontal disease.

Gland

A group of special cells that make substances so that other parts of the body can work. For example, the pancreas is a gland that releases insulin so that other body cells can use glucose (sugar) for energy.

See also: Endocrine glands.

Glaucoma

An eye disease associated with increased pressure within the eye. Glaucoma can damage the optic nerve and cause impaired vision and blindness.

Glomerular Filtration Rate

Measure of the kidneys' ability to filter and remove waste products.

Glomeruli

Network of tiny blood vessels in the kidneys where the blood is filtered and waste products are removed.

Glucagon

A hormone that raises the level of glucose (sugar) in the blood. The alpha cells of the pancreas, in areas called the islets of Langerhans, make glucagon when the body needs to put more sugar into the blood. An injectable form of glucagon is available as a prescription item, for use to treat severe insulin reactions. The glucagon is injected and raises blood glucose levels within a half-hour. It is frequently recommended that people with Type 1 diabetes, and other people taking insulin injections, have a family member learn how to administer glucagon.

Gluconeogenesis
The formation of glucose from protein within the liver.

Glucose
A simple sugar found in the blood. It is the body's main source of energy; also known as dextrose.

See also: Blood glucose, Fructose, Sugar.

Glucose Tolerance Test

A test to see if a person has diabetes. The test is given in a lab or doctor's office in the morning before the person has eaten. A first sample of blood is taken from the person. Then the person drinks a liquid that has glucose (sugar) in it. After one hour, a second blood sample is drawn, and, after another hour, a third sample is taken. The object is to see how well the body deals with the glucose in the blood over time.

Glycemic Index

A ranking of foods based on their immediate effect on blood sugar levels. The Glycemic Index measures how much your blood sugar increases over a period of two or three hours after a meal.

Carbohydrate foods that break down quickly during digestion have the highest glycemic index.

Glycemic Response

The effect of different foods on blood glucose (sugar) levels over a period of time. Researchers have discovered that some kinds of foods may raise blood glucose levels more quickly than other foods containing the same amount of carbohydrates.

Glycogen

A substance made up of sugars. It is stored in the liver and muscles and releases glucose (sugar) into the blood when needed by cells. Glycogen is the chief source of stored fuel in the body.

Glycogenesis (or glucogenesis)

The process by which glycogen is formed from glucose.

See also: Glycogen.

Glycosuria, Glucosuria

Having glucose (sugar) in the urine.

See also: Renal Glycosuria.

Glycosylated Hemoglobin Test (Glycohemoglobin)

A blood test that measures a person's average blood glucose (sugar) level for the 2- to 3-month period before the test.

See: Hemoglobin A1C and HbA1c Measurement.

Gram

A unit of weight in the metric system. There are 28 grams in 1 ounce. In some diet plans for people with diabetes, the suggested amounts of food are given in grams.

Graves' Disease

A form of thyroid disease, with overactivity of the thyroid function, enlargement of the size of the gland, and bulging eyes (exophthalmos) being common features. Named after a 19th century Irish physician.

Graves' is autoimmune in nature. It is found somewhat more commonly than expected in people with type 1 diabetes.

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