This quick reference is your comprehensive lookup of diabetes terms and their meanings.

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Haemoglobin A1C (HbA1C) -  The substance of red blood cells that carries oxygen to the cells and sometimes joins with glucose (sugar). Because the glucose stays attached for the life of the cell (about 4 months), a test to measure haemoglobin A1C shows what the person's average blood glucose level was for that period of time.
Homeostasis -  When the body is working as it should because all of its systems are in balance.
Hormone -  Released by special cells, hormones are chemicals that tell other cells what to do. For instance, insulin is a hormone made by the beta cells in the pancreas. When released, insulin tells other cells to use glucose (sugar) for energy.
Human insulin -  Man-made insulins that are similar to insulin produced by your own body. Human insulin has been available since October 1982.
Hyperglycaemia -  Also known as high blood sugar. It occurs when blood glucose levels rise above 10 mmol/l, and the body does not have enough or cannot use insulin to process food. Symptoms of hyperglycaemia include nausea, vomiting, muscle and joint aches, blurred vision, excessive thirst, and frequent urination. Over time, weight loss can result. Hyperglycaemia can occur even while using an insulin pump, and can lead to diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) if untreated.
Hyperinsulinism -  Too high a level of insulin in the blood. This term most often refers to a condition in which the body produces too much insulin. Researchers believe that this condition may play a role in the development of noninsulin-dependent diabetes and in hypertension. See also: syndrome X.
Hyperlipidemia -  Too high a level of fats (lipids) in the blood. See also: Syndrome X.
Hyperosmolar coma -  A coma (loss of consciousness) related to high levels of glucose (sugar) in the blood and requiring emergency treatment. A person with this condition is usually older and weak from loss of body fluids and weight. The person may or may not have a previous history of diabetes. Ketones (acids) are not present in the urine.
Hypoglycaemia -  Also known as low blood sugar. It occurs when blood glucose levels drop to below 4 mmol/l. This can happen if a person with diabetes has taken too much insulin or has exercised more than usual. Symptoms of hypoglycaemia include dizziness, shakiness, rapid heartbeat, sudden hunger, cold or clammy skin, fuzzy vision, confusion, mood changes, and tingling or numbness in the hands, arms, tongue, or lips. Hypoglycaemia can occur even while using an insulin pump and, if left untreated, can lead to unconsciousness and diabetic coma. Pre-Diabetes – blood glucose (sugar) levels higher than normal but not high enough to be called diabetes. People with pre-diabetes may or may not develop diabetes. Other names for pre-diabetes are impaired glucose tolerance, impaired fasting glucose, borderline, subclinical, chemical, or latent diabetes.
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