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Diabetes Glossary

Terms used to explain Diabetes can sometimes be confusing. To help you fully understand the articles and features related to this very important health topic, we have compiled a glossary of terms that can help.

Body Mass Index

body mass index
Function: noun
: a measure of body fat that is the ratio of the weight of the body in kilograms to the square of its height in meters <a body mass index in adults of 25 to 29.9 is considered an indication of overweight, and 30 or more an indication of obesity> abbr. BMI—called also Quetelet index


Pronunciation: \ˈkat-ə-ˌrakt\

Function: noun
: a clouding of the lens of the eye or its surrounding transparent membrane that obstructs the passage of light


Pronunciation: \glau-ˈkō-mə, glo-\

Function: noun
: a disease of the eye marked by increased pressure within the eyeball that can result in damage to the optic disk and gradual loss of vision


Function: noun
: an excess of sugar in the blood

Impaired Glucose Tolerance

impaired glucose tolerance
Function: noun
: a condition in which an individual has higher than normal levels of glucose in the blood upon fasting or following a carbohydrate-rich meal or ingestion of a glucose test solution but not high enough to be diagnostic of diabetes mellitus

Peripheral Neuropathy

peripheral neuropathy
Function: noun
: a disease or degenerative state (as polyneuropathy) of the peripheral nerves in which motor, sensory, or vasomotor nerve fibers may be affected and which is marked by muscle weakness and atrophy, pain, and numbness

Peripheral Vascular Disease

peripheral vascular disease
Function: noun
: vascular disease (as Raynaud's disease and Buerger's disease) affecting blood vessels outside of the heart and esp. those vessels supplying the extremities; esp: see: peripheral arterial disease


Pronunciation: \ˌret-ən-ˈäp-ə-thē\

Function: noun
pl -thies
: any of various noninflammatory disorders of the retina including some that cause blindness <diabetic retinopathy>


Pronunciation: \ˈstrōk\

Function: noun
1: sudden diminution or loss of consciousness, sensation, and voluntary motion caused by rupture or obstruction (as by a clot) of a blood vessel of the brain —called also apoplexy, brain attack, cerebral accident, cerebrovascular accident

Type 1 Diabetes

type 1 diabetes
Pronunciation: \ˌtīp-ˈwən-\

Function: noun
: diabetes of a form that usu. develops during childhood or adolescence and is characterized by a severe deficiency of insulin secretion resulting from atrophy of the islets of Langerhans and causing hyperglycemia and a marked tendency toward ketoacidosis —called also insulin-dependent diabetes, insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus, juvenile diabetes, juvenile-onset diabetes, type 1 diabetes mellitus

Type 2 Diabetes

type 2 diabetes
Pronunciation: \-ˈtü-\

Function: noun
: diabetes mellitus of a common form that develops esp. in adults and most often in obese individuals and that is characterized by hyperglycemia resulting from impaired insulin utilization coupled with the body's inability to compensate with increased insulin production —called also adult-onset diabetes, late-onset diabetes, maturity-onset diabetes, non-insulin-dependent diabetes, non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus, type 2 diabetes mellitus

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© 2011 Merriam-Webster, Incorporated. Published under license with Merriam-Webster, Inc.