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Glossary C

C-peptide - A byproduct of insulin production, usually by the pancreas. The level of C-peptide is a gauge of how much insulin is being produced in the body, since pharmaceutical insulin does not contain C-peptide, a C-peptide level test will show how much insulin the body is making.

Callus -  Podiatry defines a callus as a skin lesion, if the skin becomes cracked or internally separates, infection can follow, often with no warning signs especially in diabetes,  as changes in skin or vasculature characteristic of feet and lower legs can pose a risk. Correct fitting footwear aid in reducing callus formation.

Calorie – is a measure of energy in a specific amount of material. A food Calorie occurs with combustion with oxygen from the atmosphere. 1 calorie = 4.18400 joules

Carbohydrate – A carbohydrate is an organic compound with the empirical formula Cm(H2O)n; that is, consists only of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen, with a hydrogen:oxygen atom ratio of 2:1. Carbohydrates are an ideal source of energy for the body. This is because they can be converted more readily into glucose, the form of sugar that's transported and used by the body, than can proteins or fats.

Carbohydrate counting – is a meal planning method commonly used by diabetics to plan their food and meal choices which include starchy meals like potatoes, rice, pasta and fruits. This helps achieve a balance between the amount of ‘carbs’ eaten and the available insulin.

Cataract - A cataract is a clouding that develops in the crystalline lens of the eye or in its envelope, varying in degree from slight to complete opacity and obstructing the passage of light. There is a slight yellowish cast in the clouded lens. Diabetics have an increased risk for cataract since high levels of glucose cause reactions with assorted proteins, including those in the lens.



Cerebrovascular disease - damage to the blood vessels in the brain, resulting in a stroke. People with diabetes are at higher risk of cerebrovascular disease.

Certified Diabetes Educator (C.D.E.) - a health care professional who is qualified by the American Association of Diabetes Educators to educate diabetics to manage their condition. In the US, the health care team for diabetes should ideally include a diabetes educator, preferably a C.D.E.

Charcot foot - a foot complication associated with diabetic neuropathy that result in destruction of joints and soft tissue. Also called "Charcot's joint", "neuropathic arthropathy", and "neuropathic joint disease".

Chlorpropamide - a pill taken to lower the level of glucose in the blood system in people with Type 2 diabetes. They increase the beta cell output of insulin which is normally missing in Type 1 diabetics so are inappropriate for Type 1 diabetics. See also: Oral hypoglycemic agents. This is one of the sulfonylureas (Diabinese).

Cholesterol - is a waxy steroid metabolite found in the cell membranes and transported in the blood plasma which serves as a substrate for many things including cell membrane construction. It is also involved in the transport of fat (ie, lipids) in the blood. The transport mechanism (Low Density Cholesterol or High Density Cholesterol particles) varies, and not only in density. HDL is associated with the scavenging of plaque on arterial walls, while LDL is associated with deposition of such plaque. High cholesterol levels are statistically correlated with vessel disease and with heart attack in most, but not all, human populations. Cholesterol is manufactured in the body and is absorbed from food in the diet. Furthermore, some diet elements seem to be connected with higher body production of cholesterol (eg, saturated fat).

Chronic - present over a long period of time. Diabetes and arthritis are examples of chronic diseases as there is yet no cure for either.




Circulation - the structures and control mechanisms which manage blood circulation. It includes the heart, lungs, arteries, veins, and capillaries. Many diabetics suffer with circulatory problems.

Claudication - the latin word for limping is a medical term that is used to describe an impairment in walking, you may feel pain and ache while walking which can be mild to extremely severe.  Claudication is most common in the calves of the legs but can also affect the feet, thighs, hips, buttocks and arms. It is said that the Roman emperor Claudius was so named because he limped, probablydue to a birth defect.

Coma - unconsciousness. For a diabetic, coma can be caused by hyperglycemia (high blood glucose), hypoglycemia (low blood sugars)or by diabetic ketoacidosis.

Combination therapy - the use of different medicines together (oral hypoglycemic agents or an oral hypoglycemic agent and insulin) to manage the blood glucose levels of people with type 2 diabetes.

Conventional insulin therapy - an insulin therapy in which the insulin regimen is decided first and the person with diabetes has to eat and engage in physical activity according to the time actions of the injected insulins.


Complications of diabetes - harmful effects that may happen when a person has diabetes. The most common are hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia, these can happen any time and usually can be resolved quickly. However, over the years other complications can occur, these include damage to the retina of the eye (retinopathy), blood vessels (angiopathy), the nervous system (neuropathy), or the kidneys (nephropathy). The best way to avoid the long term complications is to control your blood glucose levels, although Hypoglycaemia and Hyperglycaemia can happen by over-exertion or illness (sick days) see:Controlled disease

Continuous subcutaneous insulin infusion (CSII) - See: Insulin pump





Controlled disease - taking care of oneself so that a disease has a reduced adverse effect on the body. People with diabetes can "control" the disease by staying on their diets, by exercising, by taking medicine if is prescribed, by regular exercise, and by monitoring their blood glucose. This care will help keep the glucose (sugar) level in the blood from becoming either too high or too low, reducing or eliminating acute problems, and if sustained over a long time, reduce the chance of chronic problems as well.

Conventional therapy – this is a system of diabetes management practiced by most diabetics. This system consists of one or more insulin injections each day, daily self-monitoring of blood glucose, and a standard (or prescribed) program of nutrition and exercise. The main objective in this form of treatment is to avoid very high and very low blood glucose (sugar). Contrast w/ close control or intensive therapy. Also called: "Standard Therapy." See complications of diabetes.

Coxsackie B4 virus – is a virus which can trigger an auto-immune reaction in the body, which eventually results in a (mistaken) auto-immune attack on the beta cells. It is one of several such triggers, including other viruses. Some chemicals preferentially and directly attack the beta cells, and do not trigger the auto-immune attack. If they are destroyed, the person becomes a Type I diabetic, no longer producing insulin internally.

Creatinine - a chemical normally found in the body. Its clearance rate by the kidney is a measure of renal function.

Cyclamate - a man-made chemical sweetner used instead of sugar in low calorie foods and drinks. Banned in the US (due to concerns about cancer risk increase in heavy users), not banned in Canada, Japan and the EU, even so. There are disagreements about the meaning of the clinical studies which caused concern. Aspartame has also received bad press and is also linked with cancer risks.

Glossary C



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