Glossary of Diabetic Terms - L

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Lancet: A fine, sharp pointed needle for pricking the skin. Used in blood sugar monitoring.

Laser treatment: The use of a strong beam of light (laser) to heal a damaged area. A person with diabetes might receive laser treatments to heal blood vessels in the eye.

Late-onset diabetes: Former term used for type 2 diabetes.

Lipid: Another term for a fat or fat-like substance in the blood. The body stores fat as energy for future use just like a car that has a reserve fuel tank. When the body needs energy, it can break down lipids into fatty acids and burn them like glucose. Excess amounts of fats in the diet can cause fat build up in the walls of the arteries -- called "atherosclerosis." Excess amounts of calories from fats or other nutrients can lead to an increase in weight gain.

Low blood sugar, low blood glucose: See hypoglycemia.

Although accurate and convenient for detecting type 2 diabetes and prediabetes in adults, current HbA1c cutoffs may not be enough to diagnose diabetes in children.

A 2010 clinical practice guideline from the American Diabetes Association recommends that physicians exclusively use the HbA1c assay to detect diabetes. The guidelines recommend a cutoff of 6.5% or greater for diagnosis.

However, researchers for two recent studies highlight significant vulnerabilities in the recommended test’s ability to diagnose diabetes and prediabetes in children.
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I got my first shot when I was five.

I mean, it wasn’t my first, but it was the first one that I was old enough to remember and resent. The office was bright, my doctor was telling bad jokes, and then she said she’d give me a lollipop before I left. Even at the time I thought that was suspicious (especially because my Dad had just read “Hansel and Gretel” to me a few days earlier). Then she told me to look at my mom, who kept making faces in hopes that I’d stare in her direction, and not see the doctor rummaging through her drawer of childhood torture devices.

It didn’t work.
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