A blood test that measures average blood glucose over a 2- to 3-month period and is the best way to measure overall glucose control; the goal is 7% for most people, but may need to be individualized; also called hemoglobin A1C or glycosolated hemoglobin test

Basal insulin
A type of basal insulin that begins to work to lower blood glucose within 1 to 2 hours after injection and works for 24 hours

Blood glucose
A type of sugar created when carbohydrates are broken down in the body

Bolus insulin
The insulin that is released when food is eaten or a burst of insulin delivered by injection of insulin pump to "cover" a meal or to correct for a high blood glucose level

Main food source of fuel for the body, including starches and sugars found in bread, pasta, fruits, vegetables, milk and sweets

Carbohydrate counting
A meal planning method commonly used by people with diabetes to plan food and meal choices and balance the amount of carbohydrates in food and available insulin

Continuous glucose monitoring
The use of a device that utilizes a small sensor under the skin to record blood glucose levels throughout the day and night

Dawn phenomenon
A rise in blood glucose levels that occurs in the early morning hours

Diabetes educator
A health-care professional who has the skills and knowledge to teach people with diabetes how to manage their disease

Diabetic ketoacidosis
A condition that results from a lack of sufficient insulin in the body, leading to high blood glucose levels and ketone formation; an extremely serious and life-threatening condition that may lead to coma or death

Diabetic macular edema
A condition that can occur with diabetic retinopathy in which fluid collects in the central part of the retina, resulting in blurred vision

Fasting blood glucose test

A blood test in which a sample of blood is drawn after fasting overnight to measure the amount of glucose in the blood

Gestational diabetes
Diabetes that develops during pregnancy; the condition usually lasts only through pregnancy, but increases risk for developing type 2 diabetes later on

A device that measures one's blood glucose levels

A simple form of sugar that is created when the body's digestive processes break down the food we eat

Glucose tolerance test
A blood test done every hour or at the 2-hour point after drinking a sugar-filled liquid to diagnose diabetes

High blood glucose levels, usually 160 mg/dl or above

Low blood glucose levels, usually 70 mg/dl with symptoms

Hypoglycemia unawareness
A condition in which one does not recognize the symptoms of low blood sugar

A hormone made in the pancreas that helps glucose pass into cells, where it is used to create energy for the body

Insulin reaction
Low blood glucose resulting from either too much insulin, too much physical activity, or too little food

Insulin pump
A small computerized device that delivers insulin continuously throughout the day.

Insulin resistance
A condition that makes it harder for cells to properly use insulin

Intermediate-acting insulin
A type of insulin that begins to work to lower blood glucose within 1 to 4 hours and works hardest 4 to 15 hours after injection; called NPH insulin

Acids produced due to lack of enough insulin to use the glucose in the bloodstream; excessive ketones in the blood is called ketosis

Metabolic syndrome
A cluster of conditions that increase the risk of developing vascular disease, including heart attack, stroke and peripheral vascular disease; most recognizable components are abdominal obesity, high blood pressure, high triglycerides, and glucose intolerance

Mixed dose
An injection that contains 2 or more types of insulin given in the same syringe at the same time

A serious kidney disease that can occur in people who have had diabetes for a long time, particularly if poorly controlled

Damage to the nerves that can be painful and debilitating

Nocturnal hypoglycemia
Low blood glucose that occurs in the middle of the night

Oral glucose-lowering medications
Pills used in combination with a meal plan and physical activity, and sometimes in combination with insulin, to control blood glucose levels

The small gland located below and behind the stomach that makes insulin 

Rapid-acting insulin
A type of insulin that begins to work to lower blood glucose within 10 to 30 minutes and works hardest 30 minutes to 3 hours after injection; called lispro, aspart and glulsine insulin

Blood glucose levels that are higher than normal, but not high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes; can be a precursor to type 2 diabetes

Rebound hypoglycemia
A condition in which blood sugar falls rapidly overnight, triggering the liver to release too much glucose in the bloodstream, raising blood glucose levels

Damage to the retina in the eye due to small blood vessels that are easily harmed by high blood glucose levels

Managing one's diabetes by checking blood glucose levels and being aware of food intake and physical activity and how these elements interact to control blood glucose

Short-acting insulin
A type of insulin that begins to work to lower blood glucose within 30 to 60 minutes and works hardest 1 to 5 hours after injection; called regular insulin

Sugar alcohols

Sweeteners that replace other sugars in foods, resulting in slightly lower rises in blood glucose

Type 1 diabetes
A chronic condition in which the pancreas completely stops producing insulin, a hormone that enables to body to use glucose (sugar) from food for energy; instead of the body converting glucose into energy, it backs up in to the bloodstream, causing symptoms such as fatigue, frequent urination, and intense thirst; treatment includes daily insulin injections

Type 2 diabetes
A chronic condition in which the body doesn't produce enough insulin and/or is unable to use insulin properly (insulin resistance); often treated with oral medications and lifestyle modifications, such as diet and exercise; may also be treated with insulin injections