Pre-Diabetes Glossary

When you’re first diagnosed with pre-diabetes or diabetes, there’s a lot of medical terminology to sift through.  We’ve created a glossary to help you. These definitions are based on the knowledge of our scientific team, as well as, definitions and descriptions from the NIH, American Diabetes Association,  Mayo Clinic, and  a variety of other sources.  If you have suggestions on other terms that should be added to this list, click here

  • ATP (Adenosine triphosphate) – the body’s energy currency or fuel. All of the body’s activities require ATP; the majority of ATP is made in the mitochondria of the cells

  • Carbohydrate (Carbs) – one of the body’s primary sources of fuel for ATP production. There are two types of carbs:

    Simple Carbs – like breads, cereals and candy – spike your blood sugar and can cause mood swings. These also can cause your body to experience an “energy rush”-and then a follow-up feeling of exhaustion when the initial energy burst from the simple sugar wears off

    Complex Carbs – like vegetables, fruits and beans – contain fiber and take longer to break down and absorb, meaning you don’t experience the same sugar crash and resulting hunger like you do with simple carbs

  • DNA – contains the “blueprints” for the production and function of majority of proteins in the body and is contained primarily in the nucleus of the cells.

  • Glucose – the main fuel for producing ATP; glucose in this context is often referred to as blood sugar. Levels of glucose in the blood stream, should be monitored, along with glucose tolerance testing to determine whether or not a person may have pre-diabetes or diabetes

  • Glucose Tolerance Testing-lab tests (prescribed by a physician) to determine how your well your body reacts to glucose levels in the blood

  • Glucose transporter proteins –transport glucose from outside the cell-into the cell. The glucose is metabolized, or broken down for use inside the cell-first inside the cytoplasm, then, inside the mitochondria. People with pre-diabetes or metabolic syndrome may have diminished ability to properly digest meals or snacks, absorb nutrition form the gut to the blood, and from blood to the cells.

  • Glucose transporter proteins- transport sugar from the blood to the gut, to the blood into the cells. There are many kinds of glucose transporter proteins. Regulating the level of glucose transporter proteins is important in preventing pre-diabetes and metabolic syndrome

  • Hormone – chemical messengers that travel in the blood and affect cell functions including: growth and development, metabolism, sexual function, mood and reproduction. They can be produced in part of the body to affect a completely different part of the body. An example would be the pituitary gland in the brain produces hormone vasopressin, which controls kidneys’ ability to utilize water

  • Insulin Receptor – responds to the body’s production of insulin by increasing movement of glucose from the blood into the cells and further regulates how the glucose is used by the cell

  • Insulin Resistance – Even when a cell has the correct number insulin receptors and the body properly produces insulin in response to the presence of sugar in the blood, the body is still unable to control blood sugar levels. This leads to an excess of sugar in the blood, which can in turn contribute to the risk of pre-diabetes or diabetes.

  • Metabolic Syndrome –refers to processes that increase the chance of increasing heart or other diseases. Risk factors include…

  • Mitochondria – the site where ATP is produces in the cell; it absorbs nutrients (including sugar) from blood and turns it into energy (ATP.)

  • Mitochondrial damage – genetic or other damage to the mitochondria caused by exposure to toxic agents that disrupts the ability of the mitochondria to function normally (for example produce ATP).

  • Nucleus – the organelle containing DNA, that is responsible for directing the making and function of protien

  • Prediabetes – (According to the Mayo clinic website)your blood sugar level is higher than normal, but it's not yet high enough to be classified as type 2 diabetes. Still, without intervention, prediabetes is likely to become type 2 diabetes in 10 years or less. And, if you have prediabetes, the long-term damage of diabetes — especially to your heart and circulatory system — may already be starting

  • Type-1 Diabetes– (aka Insulin-Dependent Diabetes) typically diagnosed in young children, this form of diabetes occurs when the body does not produce insulin.

  • Type-2 Diabetes – (aka hyperglycemia), is a diagnosis that results from an inability to successfully treat insulin or glucose intolerance. It’s characterized by a risk of cardiovascular disease, blindness, pain, high blood pressure and other symptoms.

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