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Glossary -A

Acanthosis nigricans - is a condition characterized by darkened patches of the skin. This is common in people whose body is not responding correctly to the insulin that they make in their pancreas and is often called insulin resistance. This condition is also seen in people who have pre-diabetes or type 2 diabetes.


Acarbose – is an oral based medicine used to treat type 2 diabetes. It blocks enzymes that digest starches or carbohydrates in food. The result is a slower and lower rise in blood glucose throughout the day, especially right after meals. These belong to the class of medicines called alpha-glucosidase inhibitors. (Brand name: Precose.)


ACE inhibitor – is an oral medicine that lowers blood pressure; ACE stands for Angiotensin Converting Enzyme. These are for people with diabetes, who have protein or albumin in their urine, it also helps slow down damage of the kidneys.



Acesulfame potassium – this is a dietary sweetener with no calories and no nutrient value. These also known as Acesulfame-K. (Brand name: Sunett.)


Acetohexamide – is an oral medicine used to treat type 2 diabetics. It lowers glucose levels by helping the pancreas produce more insulin and by helping the body make  better use the insulin it actually makes. This belongs to the class of medicines called sulfonylureas. (Brand name: Dymelor.).



Adhesive capsulitis – This is the condition where the shoulder loses of the ability to move in all directions without sever pain and is associated with diabetes.



Adult-onset diabetes - This was the original name for diabetes type 2. AGEs  AGEs  stands for Advanced Glycosylation Endproducts. AGEs are produced in the body when glucose links with protein. These play a role in damaging our blood vessels, which can lead to diabetic complications.


Alpha cell – This is a type of cell located in the pancreas. These Alpha cells make and release the hormone ‘glucagon’. The body sends a signal to these Alpha cells to produce glucagon when our blood glucose falls too low. Then glucagon reaches the liver and it instructs it to release a shot of glucose into the blood system for energy.


Alpha-Glucosidase  Inhibitor – This is an oral medicine for type 2 diabetics. It blocks enzymes that digest starches or carbohydrates in our food. This results is a slower and lower rise in blood glucose throughout the day, especially right after meals. (Generic names: acarbose and miglitol.)


Amylin – is a type of hormone formed by the beta cells in the pancreas. Amylin regulates the timing of glucose release into our blood stream after eating, by slowing the emptying of the stomach.


Amyotrophy – is a type of neuropathy which results in pain, weakness, and possibly the wasting of the muscle.



A1C – or HbA1c is a test that measures a person's average blood glucose level over the past 2 to 3 months. Hemoglobin is the part of a red blood cell that carries oxygen to the cells and sometimes joins with the glucose in the bloodstream. Also called hemoglobin A1C or glycosylated hemoglobin, the test shows the amount of glucose that sticks to the red blood cell, which is proportional to the amount of glucose in the blood.




Artificial sweeteners - such as Saccharin, Aspartame and Sucralose are sugar free and calorie free and will not affect blood glucose levels. They are available in tablet, liquid and granulated form. They are often used in the food and drinks industry. Many have attracted widespread controversy and scare-stories, though these scare-stories themselves have been widely discredited but this continues.



Aspart  insulin – is a rapid-acting insulin. Aspart insulin starts to lower blood glucose within 10 to 20 minutes after injection. It has its strongest effect 1 to 3 hours after injection but keeps working for 3 to 5 hours after injection.



Aspartame - a dietary sweetener with almost no calories and no nutritional value. Brand names: Equal, NutraSweet.see artificial sweetners



Autonomic neuropathy – this is a type of neuropathy which affects the lungs, heart, stomach, intestines, bladder, or genitals.


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