• A condition in which deposits develop in the lens of an eye. Surgical replacement of the lens may be required if the deposits are marked.

Charcot foot

  • Deformation of joints within the foot. This condition can occur in diabetes and is thought to result from a combination of nerve damage and abnormal pressure on joints.

Diabetes mellitus

  • A group of medical conditions characterised by higher than normal levels of blood glucose.


  • An artificial process that replaces the function of the kidneys.


  • A process by which blood is withdrawn from the body, cleaned of harmful products by exposure to semi-permeable members and then returned to the body.


  • Glycosylated haemoglobin (HbA1c) results from a reaction between glucose and haemoglobin. HbA1c is used by healthcare workers to estimate diabetes control over the past 2-3 months.


  • High-density lipoprotein. The “good cholesterol.”


  • An elevated blood glucose. Patients target glucose should be 4-7mmol/l before meals. Targets for glucose control are stricter in pregnancy and frequently relaxed in the elderly.


  • A low blood glucose. Although this is defined by some as a glucose <2.2mmol/l, patients may begin to experience symptoms of hypoglycaemia at a higher or lower level.


  • Low density lipoprotein. “Harmful cholesterol.”


  • A state in which small amounts of protein are lost through the kidneys into the urine. This can occur as a result of diabetes related damage.

Monofilament (10gm)

  • A tool used to assess pressure sensation on the soles of the feet. An abnormal test may indicate nerve damage due to diabetes and be associated with an increased risk of foot ulcer formation

Monogenic diabetes

  • A small group of disorders in which single genetic defects result in forms of diabetes mellitus, e.g. maturity onset diabetes of the young (MODY).


  • Kidney damage that results from diabetes mellitus. This terms covers a spectrum of disease from microalbuminuria to renal failure requiring dialysis.

Peritoneal dialysis

  • A process of introducing sterile fluid into the peritoneum (space around the bowels and abdominal organs). Harmful chemicals and products enter this fluid which is then removed from the body.

Total cholesterol

  • The sum of various cholesterol types in the blood (LDL, IDL, VDL, HDL, etc.)

Type 1 diabetes

  • Insulin dependent diabetes. This occurs in young patients and requires insulin treatment in all cases. Omitting insulin will result in diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA).

Type 2 diabetes The commonest type of diabetes. This occurs in older patients and can be treated with life-style changes and oral medication. Insulin is also frequently used in this condition when glucose control is not ideal using other measures.

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