Dawn phenomenon: A rise in blood sugar levels in the early morning hours.
Dehydration: Large loss of body water. If a person with diabetes has a very high blood sugar level, it causes increased water loss through increased urination and the person becomes very thirsty.
Diabetes: See type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes.
Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA): A severe, life-threatening condition that results from hyperglycemia (high blood sugar), dehydration, and acid build up that needs emergency treatment. DKA happens when there is not enough insulin and cells become starved for sugars. An alternative source of energy called ketones becomes activated. The system creates a build up of acids. Ketoacidosis can lead to coma and even death.
Dietitian: An expert in nutrition who helps people plan the type and amount of foods to eat for special health needs. A registered dietitian (RD) has special qualifications.
Yesterday, I heard a patient advocate say he was thankful for diabetes. He said, “If I had to choose a disease, type 1 diabetes isn’t a bad choice. Sometimes I feel thankful for having it.” The 40-something who said this was speaking on the radio as I was driving. I nearly swerved off the road.
In type 2 diabetes, the body stops responding efficiently to insulin, a hormone that controls blood sugar. To compensate for the insensitivity to insulin, many diabetes drugs work by boosting insulin levels; for example, by injecting more insulin or by increasing the amount of insulin secreted from the pancreas. The new study, published in the June 9 issue of PLoS ONE, showed that a different approach could also be effective for treating diabetes — namely, blocking the breakdown of insulin, after it is secreted from the pancreas.