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Thursday, January 15, 2009

What does it all mean, anyway?

You'll notice on this blog there are a lot of abbreviations, or fancy words that you might not recognize. So I thought I'd make a glossary of sorts that you can refer to. When I use one of my fancy words, I'll put a link to this post so it will open up in a new window and you'll be able to understand the words that are coming out of my mouth (sorry, that's a Rush Hour reference... that movie cracks me up). If I've left any out, just leave a comment and I'll add it.

#g of carbs - this is not a weight, but the amount of carbs that can be found in the food Elise eats. For example, 4 oz. of grapes has 20g of carbs.

A1C - A blood test that is used primarily to monitor the glucose control of diabetics over time.

BG - Blood Glucose. Refers to the amount of sugar in Elise's blood. Her optimal level is 100-200.

Celiac Disease (CD) - a digestive condition triggered by consumption of the protein gluten (found in bread, pasta, cookies, pizza crust and many other foods containing wheat, barley or rye). If you have CD and eat foods containing gluten, an immune reaction occurs in your small intestine, causing damage to the surface of your small intestine and an inability to absorb certain nutrients. The decreased absorption of nutrients that occurs with CD can cause vitamin deficiencies that deprive your brain, peripheral nervous system, bones, liver and other organs of vital nourishment. This can lead to other illnesses and stunted growth in children.
No treatment can cure celiac disease. However, you can effectively manage celiac disease through changing your diet. It is thought that approximately 10% of children with Type 1 Diabetes also have Celiac's Disease.

Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE) - multidisciplinary health professionals (usually an RN) who teach people with diabetes. When Elise was diagnosed, a CDE met with us each day in the hospital to teach us how to care for her.

D - Instead of typing out diabetes, I'll just use the letter D.

Diabulimia - an eating disorder in which people with Type 1 Diabetes deliberately give themselves less insulin than they need, for the purpose of weight loss. Failure to administer insulin places the body in a starvation state, resulting in breakdown of muscle and fat into ketones, while at the same time making the body unable to process sugars that have been consumed, so the sugars are excreted rather than being used by the body for energy or stored as fat.

Diluted - Because Elise needs such a small amount of insulin (for now, it will change as she grows), we need to dilute her full-strength, rapid-acting insulin. We do this at home with sterile diluent.

DKA - A life-threatening condition that develops when cells in the body are unable to get the sugar they need for energy. Symptoms include: flushed, hot, dry skin, blurred vision, feeling thirsty, drowsiness or difficulty waking up, rapid, deep breathing, strong, fruity breath odor, loss of appetite, abdominal pain, vomiting, and confusion. Severe DKA leads to difficulty breathing, swelling of the brain, and there is a risk of coma and even death.

Dx - Diagnosis

Endo - short for Endocrinologist, the specialist Elise sees for her diabetes.

Glucagon (kit) - Glucagon is used to treat insulin coma or insulin reaction resulting from severe hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). Glucagon is used in emergency situations when the patient is unconscious. Within the glucagon kit is a vial of powdered glucagon and a syringe filled with liquid (diluent). The dose is prepared immediately before injection.

High - A BG over 200

Humalog - One of the two insulins Elise is on. It is a rapid-acting insulin that she takes before breakfast and dinner. I refer to it as H or DH (Diluted Humalog).

Humulin (NPH) - The other insulin that Elise is on. It is an intermediate-acting insulin with a slower onset of action and a longer duration of activity. Sometimes I refer to it as N.

Ketones - They are produced when there is not enough insulin to help Elise's body use sugar for energy. Without enough insulin, glucose builds up in the blood. Since the body is unable to use glucose for energy, it breaks down fat instead. When this occurs, ketones form in the blood and spill into the urine. These ketones can make her very sick. Healthy people can also spill ketones when they are ill. Elise gets tested for ketones if her BG is over 250 or she's sick. We do this by squeezing urine from a cotton ball (we put these in her diaper every time we change her) onto a ketostix. There are also blood ketone monitors, but right now I prefer the urine test. Untreated high blood glucose with positive ketones can lead to a life-threatening condition called diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA).

Ketostix - Urine-testing strips, also called ketone sticks are small plastic strips that have a little absorptive pad on the end. This contains a special chemical that will change colour in the presence of ketones in the urine. The strips may change varying shades of pink to purple, or may not change colour at all, depending on the amount of ketones (dark purple = bad, beige = yay!). The container has a scale on the label, with blocks of colour to compare the strip after a certain time lapse, usually 15 seconds.

Low - A BG under 80

MDI - Multiple Daily Injections. This is how we give Elise her insulin.

Pedi - Pediatrician. I like to use abbreviations.

Type 1 Diabetes - Once known as juvenile diabetes or insulin-dependent diabetes, it is a chronic condition in which the pancreas produces little or no insulin, a hormone needed to convert sugar (glucose) into energy. Although type 1 diabetes can develop at any age, it typically appears during childhood or adolescence. Various factors may contribute to type 1 diabetes, including genetics and exposure to certain viruses. Despite active research, type 1 diabetes has no cure.

Type 2 Diabetes - Often called non-insulin dependent diabetes, it is the most common form of diabetes, affecting 90% - 95% of the 21 million people with diabetes. Unlike people with type 1, people with type 2 diabetes produce insulin; however, the insulin their pancreas secretes is either not enough or the body is unable to recognize the insulin and use it properly. Those at highest risk for the disease are those who are obese or overweight, women who have had gestational diabetes, and people with family members who have type 2 diabetes.

1 comment:

  1. Great information. I was actually going to ask (when you mentioned testing ketones before) you how you did the tests for such a little gal.

    M

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