Diabetes Glossary

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

Browse Glossary: "i"

IDDM

insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus

former term for type 1 diabetes.

immune system

ih-MYOON

the body's system for protecting itself from viruses and bacteria or any "foreign" substances.

immunosuppressant

ih-MYOON-oh-suh-PRESS-unt

a drug that suppresses the natural immune responses. Immunosuppressants are given to transplant patients to prevent organ rejection or to patients with autoimmune diseases.

immunosuppressive drugs

drugs that block the body's ability to fight infection or foreign substances that enter the body. A person receiving a kidney or pancreas transplant is given these drugs to stop the body from rejecting the new organ or tissue. Cyclosporin is a commonly used immunosuppressive drug.

impaired fasting glucose

IFG

a condition in which a blood glucose test, taken after an 8- to 12-hour fast, shows a level of glucose higher than normal but not high enough for a diagnosis of diabetes. IFG, also called pre-diabetes , is a level of 100 mg/dL to 125 mg/dL. Most people with pre-diabetes are at increased risk for developing type 2 diabetes.

impaired glucose tolerance

IGT

a condition in which blood glucose levels are higher than normal but are not high enough for a diagnosis of diabetes. IGT, also called pre-diabetes , is a level of 140 mg/dL to 199 mg/dL 2 hours after the start of an oral glucose tolerance test. Most people with pre-diabetes are at increased risk for developing type 2 diabetes. Other names for IGT that are no longer used are "borderline," "subclinical" or "chemical" diabetes.

implantable insulin pump

im-PLAN-tuh-bull

a small pump placed inside the body to deliver insulin in response to remote-control commands from the user.

impotence

IM-po-tents

the inability to get or maintain an erection for sexual activity. Also called erectile (ee-REK-tile) dysfunction (dis-FUNK-shun).

incidence

IN-sih-dints

a measure of how often a disease occurs; the number of new cases of a disease among a certain group of people for a certain period of time.

incomplete proteins

one having a ratio of essential amino acids different from that of the average body protein.

incontinence

in-KON-tih-nents

loss of bladder or bowel control; the accidental loss of urine or feces.

inhaled insulin

an experimental treatment for taking insulin using a portable device that allows a person to breathe in insulin.

injection

in-JEK-shun

inserting liquid medication or nutrients into the body with a syringe. A person with diabetes may use short needles or pinch the skin and inject at an angle to avoid an intramuscular injection of insulin.

injection site rotation

changing the places on the body where insulin is injected. Rotation prevents the formation of lipodystrophies.

injection sites

places on the body where insulin is usually injected.

insulin

a hormone that helps the body use glucose for energy. The beta cells of the pancreas make insulin. When the body cannot make enough insulin, insulin is taken by injection or through use of an insulin pump.

insulin adjustment

a change in the amount of insulin a person with diabetes takes based on factors such as meal planning, activity, and blood glucose levels.

insulin allergy

when a person's body has an allergic or bad reaction to taking insulin made from pork or beef or from bacteria, or because the insulin is not exactly the same as human insulin or because it has impurities.The allergy can be of two forms. Sometimes an area of skin becomes red and itchy around the place where the insulin is injected. This is called a local allergy.In another form, a person's whole body can have a bad reaction. This is called a systemic allergy. The person can have hives or red patches all over the body or may feel changes in the heart rate and in the rate of breathing. A doctor may treat this allergy by prescribing purified insulins or by desensitization.

insulin antagonist

something that opposes or fights the action of insulin. Insulin lowers the level of glucose

insulin binding

wheninsulin attaches itself to something else. This can occur in two ways. First, when a cell needs energy, insulin can bind with the outer part of the cell. The cell then can bringglucose hat are supposed to protect the body from outside substances ( antibodies). If the insulin is an injected form of insulin and not made by the body, the body sees the insulin as an outside or "foreign" substance. When the injected insulin binds with the antibodies, it does not work as well as when it binds directly to the cell.

insulin pen

a device for injecting insulin that looks like a fountain pen and holds replaceable cartridges of insulin. Also available in disposable form.

insulin pump

an insulin-delivering device about the size of a deck of cards that can be worn on a belt or kept in a pocket. An insulin pump connects to narrow, flexible plastic tubing that ends with a needle inserted just under the skin. Users set the pump to give a steady trickle or basal amount of insulin continuously throughout the day. Pumps release bolus doses of insulin

insulin reaction

when the level of glucose in the blood is too low

insulin receptors

areas on the outer part of a cell that allow the cell to bind with insulin in the blood. When the cell and insulin bind, the cell can take glucose from the blood and use it for energy.

insulin resistance

the body's inability to respond to and use the insulin it produces. Insulin resistance may be linked to obesity , hypertension , and high levels of fat in the blood.

insulin shock

see hypoglycemia

insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus

IDDM

former term for type 1 diabetes.

insulin-induced atrophy

small dents that form on the skin when a person keeps injecting a needle in the same spot. They are harmless. See also: injection site rotation.

insulinoma

a tumor of the beta cells in the pancreas. An insulinoma may cause the body to make extra insulin , leading to hypoglycemia

intensive therapy

a treatment for diabetes in which blood glucose is kept as close to normal as possible through frequent injections or use of an insulin pump ; meal planning; adjustment of medicines; and exercise based on blood glucose test results and frequent contact with a person's health care team. Also called physiologic insulin therapy.

intermediate-acting insulin

a type of insulin that starts to lower blood glucose within 1 to 2 hours after injection and has its strongest effect 6 to 12 hours after injection, depending on the type used. See lente insulin and NPH insulin.

intermittent claudication

IN-ter-MIT-ent CLAW-dih-KAY-shun

pain that comes and goes in the muscles of the leg. This pain results from a lack of blood supply to the legs and usually happens when walking or exercising.

intramuscular injection

in-trah-MUS-kyoo-lar

inserting liquid medication into a muscle with a syringe. Glucagon may be given by subcutaneous or intramuscular injection for hypoglycemia.

intravenous injection

putting a fluid into a vein with a needle and syringe.

islet cell autoantibodies

EYE-let aw-toe-AN-ti-bod-eez

(ICA): proteins found in the blood of people newly diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. They are also found in people who may be developing type 1 diabetes. The presence of ICA indicates that the body's immune system has been damaging beta cells in the pancreas.

islet transplantation

moving the islets from a donor pancreas into a person whose pancreas has stopped producing insulin. Beta cells in the islets make the insulin that the body needs for using blood glucose.

islets

groups of cells located in the pancreas that make hormones that help the body break down and use food. For example, alpha cells make glucagon and beta cells make insulin. Also called islets of Langerhans

islets of Langerhans

see islets.

    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.