An organ behind the lower part of the stomach that is about the size of
a hand. It has two major responsibilities: part (the endocrine
pancreas) makes insulin so that the body can use glucose (sugar) for
energy. Another part (the exocrine
pancreas) makes enzymes that help the body digest food.
Spread all over the pancreas are areas called the Islets
of Langerhans. The cells in these areas each have a special purpose. The
cells make glucagon,
which raises the level of glucose in the blood; the beta cells
make insulin; the
cells make somatostatin.
There are also the PP cells and the D1 cells, about which little is known.
A surgical procedure that involves replacing the pancreas of a person
who has diabetes with a healthy pancreas that can make insulin. The healthy
pancreas comes from a donor who has just died or from a living relative. A
person can donate half a pancreas and still live normally.
At present, pancreas transplants are usually performed in persons with
Type 1 diabetes who have severe complications. This is because after the
transplant the patient must take immunosuppressive
drugs that are highly toxic and may cause damage to the body.
A procedure in which a surgeon takes out the pancreas.
Inflammation (pain, tenderness) of the pancreas; it can make the
pancreas stop working. It is caused by drinking too much alcohol, by disease
in the gallbladder, or by a virus.
The time period when the effect of something is as strong as it can be
such as when insulin in having the most effect on lowering the glucose
(sugar) in the blood.
A doctor who sees and treats children with problems of the endocrine
glands; diabetes is an endocrine disorder.
See also: Endocrine
Two or more amino
acids linked together chemically. If the number of amino acids is
relatively great, the string is sometimes called a polypeptide; a very long
string of amino acids is called a protein.
Damage to the gums. People who have diabetes are more likely to have gum
disease than people who do not have diabetes.
A specialist in the treatment of diseases of the gums.
Nerve damage, usually affecting the feet and legs; causing pain,
numbness, or a tingling feeling. Also called "somatic neuropathy" or "distal
Peripheral Vascular Disease
See also: Neuropathy
Disease in the large blood vessels of the arms, legs, and feet. People
who have had diabetes for a long time may get this because major blood
vessels in their arms, legs, and feet are blocked and these limbs do not
receive enough blood. The signs of PVD are aching pains in the arms, legs,
and feet (especially when walking) and foot sores that heal slowly. Although
people with diabetes cannot always avoid PVD, doctors say they have a better
chance of avoiding it if they take good care of their feet, do not smoke,
and keep both their blood pressure and diabetes under good control.
See also: Macrovascular
A way to clean the blood of people who have kidney disease. See also: Dialysis.
A person trained to prepare and distribute medicines and to give
information about them.
Using a special strong beam of light (laser) to seal off bleeding blood
vessels such as in the eye. The laser can also burn away blood vessels that
should not have grown in the eye. This is the main treatment for diabetic
A drug used as a treatment for Type 2
(noninsulin-dependent) diabetes; belongs to a class of drugs called
See also: Oral
An endocrine gland in the small, bony cavity at the base of the brain.
Often called "the master gland," the pituitary serves the body in many
ways-in growth, in food use, and in reproduction.
A doctor who treats and takes care of people's feet.
The care and treatment of human feet in health and disease.
A way to plan meals that uses points to rate food. The foods are placed
in four classes: calories, carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. Each food is
given a point value within its class. A person with a planned diet for the
day can choose foods in the same class that have the same point values for
meals and snacks.
Excessive thirst; may be a symptom of uncontrolled diabetes.
Excessive hunger; may be a symptom of uncontrolled diabetes.
A type of fat that comes from vegetables.
See also: Fats.
Excessive urination; may be a symptom of uncontrolled diabetes.
Poor Man's Pump (Basal/Bolus Insulin
Using several daily injections of clear insulin (either Regular or
Lispro), at mealtimes -- the bolus doses --
together with one or more daily injections of cloudy insulin (either NPH or
Ultralente insulin) -- the basal
doses -- to achieve blood sugar control in a manner similar to that used by
people who use insulin
Occurring after a meal. Example: Blood taken 1-2 hours after eating to
see the amount of glucose in the blood would be called a postprandial
blood glucose test.
A condition that some women with diabetes have during the late stages of
pregnancy. Two signs of this condition are high blood pressure and swelling
because the body cells are holding extra water.
The number of people in a given group or population who are reported to
have a disease.
Previous Abnormality of Glucose Tolerance
A term for people who have had above-normal levels of blood glucose
(sugar) when tested for diabetes in the past but who show as normal on a
current test. PrevAGT used to be called either "latent diabetes" or
Telling a person now what is likely to happen in the future because of
having a disease.
The initial protein made by the beta cells
of the pancreas that later is broken into several pieces. Proinsulin
consists of three parts: C-Peptide
and two long strands of amino acids (called the alpha and beta chains) that
later become linked together to form the insulin molecule.
From every molecule of proinsulin, one molecule of insulin plus one
molecule of C-Peptide are produced.
(It may be noted that commercial production of exogenous
insulin purifies the original insulin, and removes any residual proinsulin
and C-Peptide that might have been initially present.)
A disease of the small blood vessels of the retina of the eye.
See also: Diabetic
A man-made substitute for a missing body part such as an arm or a leg;
also an implant such as for the hip.
One of the three main classes of food. Proteins are made of amino
acids, which are called the building blocks of the cells. The cells need
proteins to grow and to mend themselves. Protein is found in many foods such
as meat, fish, poultry, and eggs.
See also: Carbohydrate;
Too much protein in the urine. This may be a sign of kidney damage.
See also Microalbumin.
Itching skin; may be a symptom of diabetes.
Insulins with much less of the impure proinsulin. It is thought that the
use of purified insulins may help avoid or reduce some of the problems of
people with diabetes such as allergic reactions.