Diabetes Glossary

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

Browse Glossary: "p"

pancreas

PAN-kree-us

an organ that makes insulin and enzymes for digestion. The pancreas is located behind the lower part of the stomach and is about the size of a hand.

pancreas transplantation

a surgical procedure to take a healthy whole or partial pancreas from a donor and place it into a person with diabetes.

pancreatitis

inflammation of the pancreas; it can make the pancreas stop working. It is caused by drinking too much alcohol, by disease in the gallbladder, or by a virus.

peak action

the time period when the effect of something is as strong as it can be such as when insulin in having the most effect on lowering the glucose

pediatric endocrinologist

pee-dee-AT-rik en-doh-krih-NAH-luh-jist

a doctor who treats children who have endocrine gland problems such as diabetes

pedorthist

ped-OR-thist

a health care professional who specializes in fitting shoes for people with disabilities or deformities. A pedorthist can custom-make shoes or orthotics (special inserts for shoes).

periodontal disease

PER-ee-oh-DON-tul

disease of the gums.

periodontist

PER-ee-oh-DON-tist

a dentist who specializes in treating people who have gum diseases.

peripheral neuropathy

puh-RIF-uh-rul ne-ROP-uh-thee

nerve damage that affects the feet, legs, or hands. Peripheral neuropathy causes pain, numbness, or a tingling feeling.

peripheral vascular disease

puh-RIF-uh-rul VAS-kyoo-ler

(PVD): a disease of the large blood vessels of the arms, legs, and feet. PVD may occur when major blood vessels in these areas are blocked and do not receive enough blood. The signs of PVD are aching pains and slow-healing foot sores.

peritoneal dialysis

see dialysis.

pharmacist

FAR-mah-sist

a health care professional who prepares and distributes medicine to people. Pharmacists also give information on medicines.

photocoagulation

FOH-toh-koh-ag-yoo-LAY-shun

a treatment for diabetic retinopathy. A strong beam of light (laser) is used to seal off bleeding blood vessels in the eye and to burn away extra blood vessels that should not have grown there.

Pioglitazone

py-oh-GLIT-uh-zone

an oral medicine used to treat type 2 diabetes. It helps insulin take glucose from the blood into the cells for energy by making cells more sensitive to insulin. Belongs to the class of medicines called thiazolidinediones. (Brand name: Actos.)

podiatrist

puh-DY-uh-trist

a doctor who treats people who have foot problems. Podiatrists also help people keep their feet healthy by providing regular foot examinations and treatment.

podiatry

puh-DY-uh-tree

the care and treatment of feet.

point system

a meal planning system that uses points to rate the caloric content of foods.

polydipsia

pah-lee-DIP-see-uh

excessive thirst; may be a sign of diabetes.

polyphagia

pah-lee-FAY-jee-ah

excessive hunger; may be a sign of diabetes.

polyunsaturated fats

a type of fat that comes from vegetables.

polyuria

pah-lee-YOOR-ee-ah

excessive urination; may be a sign of diabetes.

postprandial blood glucose

post-PRAN-dee-ul

the blood glucose level taken 1 to 2 hours after eating.

Prandin

see repaglinide.

Precose

see acarbose

prediabetes

a condition in which blood glucose levels are higher than normal but are not high enough for a diagnosis of diabetes. People with pre-diabetes are at increased risk for developing type 2 diabetes and for heart disease and stroke. Other names for prediabetes are impaired glucose tolerance and impaired fasting glucose.

preeclampsia

a condition that some women with diabetes have during the late stages of pregnancy. Two signs of this condition are high blood pressure and swelling because the body cells are holding extra water.

premixed insulin

a commercially produced combination of two different types of insulin. See 50/50 insulin , 70/30 insulin and 75/25 insulin.

preprandial blood glucose

pree-PRAN-dee-ul

the blood glucose level taken before eating.

prognosis

telling a person now what is likely to happen in the future because of having a disease.

proinsulin

proh-IN-suh-lin

the substance made first in the pancreas and then broken into several pieces to become insulin.

proliferative retinopathy

pro-LIH-fur-ah-tivREH-tih-NOP-uh-thee

a condition in which fragile new blood vessels grow along the retina and in the vitreous humor of the eye.

prosthesis

prahs-THEE-sis

a man-made substitute for a missing body part such as an arm or a leg.

protein

PRO-teen

1. One of the three main nutrients in food. Foods that provide protein include meat, poultry, fish, cheese, milk, dairy products, eggs, and dried beans. 2. Proteins are also used in the body for cell structure, hormones such as insulin , and other functions.

proteinuria

PRO-tee-NOOR-ee-uh

the presence of protein in the urine , indicating that the kidneys are not working properly.

pump

see insulin pump.

    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.