Glossary of Diabetic Terms - O

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Obesity: A term uses to describe excess body fat. It is defined in terms of a person's weight and height, or the body mass index (BMI). A BMI over 30 is classified as being obese. Obesity makes your body less sensitive to insulin's action. Extra body fat is thought to be a risk factor for diabetes.

Ophthalmologist: A doctor who treats people with eye diseases.

Optometrist: A person professionally trained to test the eyes and to detect and treat eye problems, as well as some diseases, by prescribing and adapting corrective lenses.

Oral diabetes medications: Medications that people take to lower the level of sugar in the blood. Oral diabetes medications are prescribed for people whose pancreas still produces some insulin. These medications are not used in diabetes during pregnancy.

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.

In the next two articles we’re going to discuss the concept of "normal" blood sugar. I say concept and put normal in quotation marks because what passes for normal in mainstream medicine turns out to be anything but normal if optimal health and function are what you’re interested in.