Diabetes Glossary

Browse or search for definitions from our comprehensive list of diabetes terms.

Browse Glossary: "c"

calcium channel blocker

a drug used to lower blood pressure.

callus

a small area of skin, usually on the foot, that has become thick and hard from rubbing or pressure.

calorie

a unit representing the energy provided by food. Carbohydrate , protein , fat , and alcohol provide calories in the diet. Carbohydrate and protein have 4 calories per gram, fat has 9 calories per gram, and alcohol has 7 calories per gram.

capillary

KAP-ih-lair-ee

the smallest of the body's blood vessels. Oxygen and glucose pass through capillary walls and enter the cells. Waste products such as carbon dioxide pass back from the cells into the blood through capillaries

capsaicin

kap-SAY-ih-sin

an ingredient in hot peppers that can be found in ointment form for use on the skin to relieve pain from diabetic neuropathy.

carbohydrate

kar-boh-HY-drate

one of the three main nutrients in food. Foods that provide carbohydrate are starches , vegetables, fruits, dairy products, and sugars.

carbohydrate counting

a method of meal planning for people with diabetes based on counting the number of grams of carbohydrate in food.

cardiologist

kar-dee-AH-luh-jist

a doctor who treats people who have heart problems.

cardiovascular disease

KAR-dee-oh-VASK-yoo-ler

disease of the heart and blood vessels (arteries , veins , and capillaries ).

carpal tunnel syndrome

a severe disorder affecting the hand that may occur in people with diabetes ; caused by a pinched nerve.

cataract

KA-ter-act

clouding of the lens of the eye.

cerebrovascular disease

seh-REE-broh-VASK-yoo-ler

damage to blood vessels in the brain. Vessels can burst and bleed or become clogged with fatty deposits. When blood flow is interrupted, brain cells die or are damaged, resulting in a stroke.

certified diabetes educator (CDE)

a health care professional with expertise in diabetes education who has met eligibility requirements and successfully completed a certification exam.See diabetes educator.Find a certified diabetes educator here.

Charcot's foot

shar-KOHZ

a condition in which the joints and soft tissue in the foot are destroyed; it results from damage to the nerves.

cheiroarthropathy

KY-roh-ar-THRAHP-uh-thee

see limited joint mobility.

cheiropathy

ky-RAH-puh-thee

see limited joint mobility.

chlorpropamide

klor-PROH-pah-mide

an oral medicine used to treat type 2 diabetes. It lowers blood glucose levels by helping the pancreas make more insulin and by helping the body better use the insulin it makes. Belongs to the class of medicines called sulfonylureas. (Brand name: Diabinese.)

cholesterol

koh-LES-ter-all

a type of fat produced by the liver and found in the blood; it is also found in some foods. Cholesterol is used by the body to make hormones and build cell walls.

chronic

describes something that is long-lasting. Opposite of acute.

circulation

the flow of blood through the body's blood vessels and heart.

clinical trial

a scientifically controlled study carried out in people, usually to test the effectiveness of a new treatment.

coma

a sleep-like state in which a person is not conscious. May be caused by hyperglycemia

comatose

in a coma ; not conscious.

combination oral medicines

a pill that includes two or more different medicines. See Glucovance.

combination therapy

the use of different medicines together cose levels of people with type 2 diabetes.

complete proteins

a source of protein that contains an adequate proportion of all of the essential amino acids for the dietary needs of humans or other animals.

complications

harmful effects of diabetes such as damage to the eyes, heart, blood vessels , nervous system, teeth and gums, feet and skin, or kidneys. Studies show that keeping blood glucose , blood pressure , and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels close to normal can help prevent or delay these problems.

congenital defects

kun-JEN-ih-tul

problems or conditions that are present at birth.

congestive heart failure

loss of the heart's pumping power, which causes fluids to collect in the body, especially in the feet and lungs.

conventional therapy

a term used in clinical trials where one group receives treatment for diabetes in which A1C and blood glucose levels are kept at levels based on current practice guidelines. Methods differ from intensive therapy. Conventional therapy includes use of medication, meal planning, and exercise, along with regular visits to health care providers.

coronary artery disease

see coronary heart disease.

coronary heart disease

KOR-uh-ner-ee

heart disease caused by narrowing of the arteries that supply blood to the heart. If the blood supply is cut off the result is a heart attack.

C-peptide

see-peptide

"Connecting peptide," a substance the pancreas releases into the bloodstream in equal amounts to insulin. A test of C-peptide levels shows how much insulin the body is making.

creatinine

kree-AT-ih-nin

a waste product from protein in the diet and from the muscles of the body. Creatinine is removed from the body by the kidneys ; as kidney disease progresses, the level of creatinine in the blood increases.

    Disclaimer

    Our glossary includes and builds on the definitions found in The Diabetes Dictionary (NIH Publication No. 07-3016, October 2006) published by the National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse, which is available on their website and is not copyrighted. The Clearinghouse encourages users of this publication to duplicate and distribute as many copies as desired.

    The U.S. Government does not endorse or favor any specific commercial product or company. Trade, proprietary, or company names appearing in this document are used only because they are considered essential in the context of the information provided.

    The National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse (NDIC) is a service of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK). For more information, visit their website at www.diabetes.niddk.nih.gov.