Brushing Up on Diabetes Lingo
If words like "acidosis" or "retinopathy" have you running the other way, then it's about time we clarify some of these terms that are important to understanding diabetic self-care. Here are some and their meanings-it's about time you learned a lesson or two!
A1c: A test that can help a diabetic check health progress every three to four months.
Food exchanges: You'll notice this helpful tool on most packaged foods. It helps diabetics know what foods can be swapped for another food all while maintaining their diets.
Glucagon: A key hormone for raising blood-glucose levels.
Glycemic Index: A ranking of carbs based on their effect on blood glucose levels.
Hyperglycemia: Occurs when glucose levels are too high, often signaling that diabetes is spiraling out of control. It is caused by the body not having enough insulin, and is characterized by symptoms of dry mouth and a constant need to urinate.
Hypoglycemia: Occurs when blood glucose drops too low as a result of a diabetic's neglect to eat enough, or if he or she has injected too much insulin. It is characterized by several symptoms, including anxiety, weakness, hunger and headaches.
Ketoacidosis (acidosis): A serious condition that occurs when ketones (acids) build up in the blood and can poison the body. This usually signifies that diabetes has spun out of control.
Retinopathy: This is an eye disease that occurs in the small blood vessels in the retina.