Glossary of Diabetic Terms - P

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Pancreas: An organ behind the lower part of the stomach that is about the size of a hand. It makes insulin so the body can use sugar for energy.

Parkes Error Grid: A grid for charting the accuracy of a Blood Glucose Meter reading and to establish an acceptible error factor whereas an inacurate reading, when compared to a lab quality test, may or may not result in improper treatment decision making. The Parkes Error Grid is a more stringent correction grid than the more commonly used Clark Error Grid.

Peak action: The time when the effect of something is as strong as it can be, such as when insulin is having the most effect on blood sugar.

Periodontal disease: Damage to the gums and tissues around the teeth. People who have diabetes are more likely to have periodontal disease than people who do not have diabetes.

Peripheral neuropathy: A type of nerve damage most commonly affecting the feet and legs.

Peripheral vascular disease (PVD): An abnormal condition that affects the blood vessels outside the heart. Often occurs as a result of decreased blood flow and narrowing of the arteries from atherosclerosis, to the hands and feet. People who have had diabetes for a long time may develop PVD.

Podiatrist: A health professional who diagnoses and treats foot problems.

Polydipsia: Excessive thirst that lasts for long periods of time; may be a sign of diabetes.

Polyphagia: Excessive hunger and eating; may be a sign of diabetes. People with polyphagia often lose weight even though they are eating more than normal.

Polyunsaturated fat: A type of fat that can be substituted for saturated fats in the diet and can reduce 'bad' LDL cholesterol. It can have a small effect in lowering 'good' HDL cholesterol as well, but not to the degree that saturated fats do.

Polyuria: Increased need to urinate often; a common sign of diabetes.

Protein: One of three main classes of food. Proteins are made of amino acids, which are called the "building blocks of the cells." Cells need protein to grow and to mend themselves. Protein is found in many foods, like meat, fish, poultry, eggs, legumes, and dairy products.

If stress is giving you high blood pressure, blame the immune system. T cells, helpful for fighting infections, are also necessary for mice to show an increase in blood pressure after a period of psychological stress, scientists have found.
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