Pre-Diabetes and Diabetes Glossary of Medical Terms

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Medical Tests


Gangrene: The death of body tissue, most often caused by a lack of blood flow and infection. It can lead to amputation.

Gastroparesis: A form of neuropathy (nerve damage) that affects the stomach. Digestion of food may be incomplete or delayed, resulting in nausea, vomiting, or bloating, making blood glucose control difficult.

Gestational Diabetes Mellitus (GDM): A type of diabetes mellitus that develops only during pregnancy and usually disappears upon delivery, but increases the risk that the mother will develop diabetes later. GDM is managed with meal planning, activity, and, in some cases, insulin .

Gestational diabetes

Gingivitis: A condition of the gums characterized by inflammation and bleeding.

Gland: A group of cells that secrete substances. Endocrine glands secrete hormones. Exocrine glands secrete salt, enzymes, and water.

Glargine Insulin: Very-long-acting insulin. On average, glargine insulin starts to lower blood glucose levels within one hour after injection and keeps working evenly for 24 hours after injection. This insulin is sometimes referred to as “the poor man’s insulin pump” because its long-acting behavior in the body mimicks basal insulin delivered by an insulin pump.

In 2009, “Lantus,” a glargine insulin, was linked to the possibility of an increased risk of developing certain types of cancer.

Glaucoma:  An increase in fluid pressure inside the eye that may lead to loss of vision.

Glomerular Filtration Rate:  Measure of the kidney’s ability to filter and remove waste products.

Glomerulus:  A tiny set of looping blood vessels in the kidney where the blood is filtered and waste products are removed.

Glucagon Kit
Glucagon Kit

Glucagon: A hormone produced by the alpha cells in the pancreas. It raises blood glucose. An injectable form of glucagon, available by prescription, may be used to treat severe low blood sugar (hypoglycemia.)

Glucose:   One of the simplest forms of sugar.

Glucose Tablets: Chewable tablets made of pure glucose used for treating hypoglycemia .

Glucose Tolerance Test: (also called Oral Glucose Tolerance Test and OGTT).  A test used to help diagnose pre-diabetes, gestational diabetes, and type 2 diabetes.

The oral glucose tolerance test is given by a health care professional after an overnight fast. A blood sample is taken, then the patient drinks a high-glucose beverage. Blood samples are taken at intervals for 2 to 3 hours. Test results are compared with a standard and show how the body uses glucose over time.

OGTTs are also usually given to women who are pregnant to detect gestational diabetes.

Glycemic Index: A ranking of carbohydrate-containing foods, based on the food’s effect on blood glucose compared with a standard reference food.  The higher the glycemic index, the faster the rise in blood glucose levels (i.e., pure sugar is fast). The lower the glycemic index, the slower the impact on blood glucose (sugar) levels.  How The Glycemic Index Of Foods Are Calculated

Glycogen: The form of glucose (sugar) found in the liver and muscles.

Glycosuria: The presence of glucose (sugar) in the urine.

Glycosylated Hemoglobin: See A1C.

Gram: A unit of weight in the metric system. An ounce equals 28 grams. In some meal plans for people with diabetes, the suggested amounts of food are given in grams.