Beta cells: Cells of the pancreas which are responsible for making insulin.
Blood glucose profile (curve): A graph of blood glucose levels over time. At the time of insulin injection, and at regular intervals throughout the day, the level of glucose in the blood is determined through laboratory testing.
Glucosuria: Glucose in the urine. (Also called glycosuria.)
Glycogen: A storage form of glucose in the body.
Hyperglycemia: Higher than normal blood glucose level.
Hypoglycemia: Lower than normal blood glucose level.
Insulin: A hormone produced by the pancreas which is necessary for glucose to be able to enter the cells of the body and be used for energy.
Insulin dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM): A form of diabetes in which so little insulin is produced that supplemental insulin must be given for the animal to live. Also called Type I diabetes mellitus.
Insulin resistance: A condition in which the blood glucose level remains higher than it should at an insulin dosage of 2 units/pound of body weight per day in dogs and cats.
Ketoacidosis: A life-threatening condition in which ketones, which result from the breakdown of fat for energy, accumulate in the bloodstream and the pH of the blood decreases.
Nephropathy: Abnormal functioning of the kidney.
Neuropathy: Abnormal functioning of nerves.
Non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM): A type of diabetes mellitus in which although the blood glucose levels are higher than normal, they are not immediately life-threatening, and the animal can survive without supplemental insulin. Also called Type II diabetes.
Oral hypoglycemic agent: A medication, given by mouth, which lowers the level of glucose in the blood. Example: glipizide.
Plantigrade stance: Standing and walking with the hocks on or almost touching the floor. Some cats with diabetes display this abnormality.
Polydipsia: Excessive thirst resulting in excessive drinking.
Polyphagia: Excessive ingestion of food.
Polyuria: Excessive urination.
Regulation: Using insulin to maintain the blood glucose level of an animal within the acceptable range.
Somogyi effect: A condition in which the blood glucose level increases if too much insulin is given. It occurs when insulin causes the blood glucose level to go so low it stimulates the production of other hormones in the body such as epinephrine which promote the breakdown of glycogen (the chemical compound which the body uses to store glucose) and increases the blood glucose level above normal. It is also called rebound hyperglycemia or insulin-induced hyperglycemia.
Stress-induced hyperglycemia: A condition in cats in which the blood glucose level becomes abnormally high when the animal is stressed, e.g., in the veterinarian's office.
Type I diabetes: A form of diabetes in which so little insulin is produced that supplemental insulin must be given for the animal to live. Also called insulin dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM).
Type II diabetes: A type of diabetes mellitus in which although the blood glucose levels are higher than normal, they are not immediately life-threatening, and the animal can survive without supplemental insulin. Also called non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM).