Diabetes Glossary

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

Browse Glossary: "d"

dawn phenomenon

feh-NAH-meh-nun

the early-morning (4 a.m. to 8 a.m.) rise in blood glucose level.

debridement

the removal of infected, hurt, or dead tissue.

dehydration

dee-hy-DRAY-shun

the loss of too much body fluid through frequent urinating, sweating, diarrhea, or vomiting.

dermopathy

dur-MAH-puh-thee

disease of the skin.

desensitization

dee-sens-ih-tiz-A-shun

a way to reduce or stop a response such as an allergic reaction to something. For example, if someone has an allergic reaction to something, the doctor gives the person a very small amount of the substance at first to increase one's tolerance. Over a period of time, larger doses are given until the person is taking the full dose. This is one way to help the body get used to the full dose and to prevent the allergic reaction.

dextrose

DECKS-trohss,

also called glucose :simple sugar found in blood that serves as the body's main source of energy.

DiaBeta

see glyburide.

diabetes

see diabetes mellitus.

Diabetes Control and Complications Trial (DCCT):

a study by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, conducted from 1983 to 1993 in people with type 1 diabetes. The study showed that intensive therapy compared to conventional therapy significantly helped prevent or delay diabetes complications. Intensive therapy included multiple daily insulin injections or the use of an insulin pump with multiple blood glucose readings each day. Complications followed in the study included diabetic retinopathy , neuropathy , and nephropathy.

diabetes educator

a health care professional who teaches people who have diabetes how to manage their diabetes. Some diabetes educators are certified diabetes educators .

diabetes insipidus

in-SIP-ih-dus

a condition characterized by frequent and heavy urination, excessive thirst, and an overall feeling of weakness. This condition may be caused by a defect in the pituitary gland or in the kidney. In diabetes insipidus, blood glucose levels are normal.

diabetes mellitus

MELL-ih-tus

a condition characterized by hyperglycemia resulting from the body's inability to use blood glucose for energy. In type 1 diabetes, the pancreas no longer makes insulin and therefore blood glucose cannot enter the cells to be used for energy. In type 2 diabetes, either the pancreas does not make enough insulin or the body is unable to use insulin correctly.

Diabetes Prevention Program

DPP

a study by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases conducted from 1998 to 2001 in people at high risk for type 2 diabetes. All study participants had impaired glucose tolerance , also called pre-diabetes , and were overweight. The study showed that people who lost 5 to 7 percent of their body weight through a low-fat, low-calorie diet and moderate exercise (usually walking for 30 minutes 5 days a week) reduced their risk of getting type 2 diabetes by 58 percent. Participants who received treatment with the oral diabetes drug metformin reduced their risk of getting type 2 diabetes by 31 percent.

diabetic diarrhea

dy-uh-REE-uh

loose stools, fecal incontinence, or both that result from an overgrowth of bacteria in the small intestine and diabetic neuropathy in the intestines. This nerve damage can also result in constipation.

diabetic eye disease

see diabetic retinopathy.

diabetic ketoacidosis

KEY-toe-ass-ih-DOH-sis) y condition in which extremely high blood glucose levels , along with a severe lack of insulin , result in the breakdown of body fat for energy and an accumulation of ketones in the blood and urine. Signs of DKA are nausea and vomiting, stomach pain, fruity breath odor, and rapid breathing. Untreated DKA can lead to coma and death.

diabetic myelopathy

my-eh-LAH-puh-thee

damage to the spinal cord found in some people with diabetes.

diabetic nephropathy

see nephropathy

diabetic neuropathy

see neuropathy.

diabetic retinopathy

REH-tih-NOP-uh-thee

diabetic eye disease; damage to the small blood vessels in the retina. Loss of vision may result.

diabetogenic

DY-uh-beh-toh-JEN-ic

causing diabetes. For example, some drugs cause blood glucose levels to rise, resulting in diabetes.

diabetologist

DY-uh-beh-TAH-luh-jist

a doctor who specializes in treating people who have diabetes.

Diabinese

see chlorpropamide.

diagnosis

the determination of a disease from its signs and symptoms.

dialysis

dy-AL-ih-sis

the process of cleaning wastes from the blood artificially. This job is normally done by the kidneys. If the kidneys fail, the blood must be cleaned artificially with special equipment. The two major forms of dialysis are hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis.hemodialysis (HE-mo-dy-AL-ih-sis):the use of a machine to clean wastes from the blood after the kidneys have failed. The blood travels through tubes to a dialyzer (DY-uh-LY-zur), a machine that removes wastes and extra fluid. The cleaned blood then goes back into the body. peritoneal (PEH-rih-tuh-NEE-ul) dialysis: cleaning the blood by using the lining of the abdomen as a filter. A cleansing solution called dialysate (dy-AL-ih-sate) is infused from a bag into the abdomen. Fluids and wastes flow through the lining of the belly and remain "trapped" in the dialysate. The dialysate is then drained from the belly, removing the extra fluids and wastes from the body.

diastolic blood pressure

see blood pressure.

dietitian

DY-eh-TIH-shun

a health care professional who advises people about meal planning, weight control, and diabetes management. A registered dietitian (RD) has more training

dilated

DY-lay-ted

eye exam: a test done by an eye care specialist in which the pupil (the black center) of the eye is temporarily enlarged with eyedrops to allow the specialist to see the inside of the eye more easily.

D-phenylalanine derivative

dee-fen-nel-AL-ah-neen

a class of oral medicine for type 2 diabetes that lowers blood glucose levels by helping the pancreas make more insulin right after meals. (Generic name: nateglinide.)

Dupuytren`s contracture

doo-PWEE-trenz kon-TRACK-chur

a condition associated with diabetes in which the fingers and the palm of the hand thicken and shorten, causing the fingers to curve inward.

Dymelor

see acetohexamide

    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.