Blood sugar supplements are popularly used by diabetics and other individuals to maintain healthy blood sugar levels. In this glossary, we are going to cover the key terms relevant to blood sugar control and supplementation.
Cells found in the pancreas that produce, store, and release insulin. Many blood sugar supplements work by protecting or enhancing the function of these cells.
Fasting Blood Glucose (FBG)
Also known as fasting blood sugar, this is the level of glucose in your blood when you have not eaten. Fasting blood sugar is one of the major ways to test for prediabetes and diabetes.
Fructosamines are compounds used to determine your blood sugar levels over a period of time, especially when the Hba1c test cannot be done.
A hormone that increases blood sugar levels – the opposite effect to insulin. Glucagon is produced by alpha cells in the pancreas, and works together with insulin to help keep your blood sugar within a healthy range.
Glucose is a simple sugar used as the body’s main source of energy. Glucose is also the main component of the carbohydrates that we eat. Glucose enters the bloodstream after a meal, and can then be transported into individual cells.
A term used to describe how effectively your body controls its blood glucose levels after consuming a glucose-containing meal. If you have impaired glucose tolerance, your blood sugar levels rise and stay above normal levels after eating a meal, but are not high enough to be considered diabetic.
The effect that food has on blood sugar levels.
Hemoglobin A1c (Hba1c), is a molecule of hemoglobin – the protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen – with glucose attached. Hba1c levels are used to measure the average amount of glucose in the blood over a period of 2-3 months.
A blood sugar level that is below normal. Hypoglycemic supplements and drugs reduce blood sugar levels.
A blood sugar level that is above normal. Hyperglycemia is the main hallmark of diabetes.
A hormone produced by cells in the pancreas that helps the body transport and store glucose (sugar). Insulin’s major role is to help move glucose from the blood into cells, maintaining healthy blood sugar levels in the process. Diabetes develops when the body does not make enough insulin, or does not respond to it properly.
A condition characterized by the body’s cells not responding to insulin as effectively as they should. Because of this, blood sugar levels can remain above healthy levels. Insulin resistance is most commonly seen in prediabetes and type 2 diabetes.
A way to describe how sensitive the body is to insulin. If you are insulin sensitive you require smaller amounts of insulin to lower blood sugar levels than someone with lower sensitivity. Individuals with insulin resistance have low insulin sensitivity.
A cluster of conditions that tend to occur together, including elevated blood sugar, pressure, and cholesterol/triglyceride levels, alongside excess body fat. Metabolic syndrome is linked to heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and obesity.
Oral Glucose Tolerance Test (OGTT)
A test where you fast overnight and then have your blood sugar levels tested. After this, you consume a sugary drink and your blood glucose is tested again over a period of a few hours. This test is used for diagnosing prediabetes and diabetes.
Postprandial Plasma Glucose (PPG)
This term refers to your blood glucose levels after a meal. Plasma is a major component of the blood, whereas “postprandial” means after a meal. PPG is used as a test of blood sugar control and diabetes.
Blood sugar levels that are higher than normal, but not high enough for a type 2 diabetes diagnosis. Also known as impaired glucose tolerance.
Type 1 Diabetes (T1D)
The second major form of diabetes, which is characterized by insufficient insulin production. Also known as insulin-dependant diabetes, T1D is usually caused by autoimmune damage to insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. T1D accounts for about 10% of all diabetes cases.
Type 2 Diabetes (T2D)
The most common form of diabetes, which is characterized by insulin resistance. This means that the body produces enough insulin, but is not responding to it as effectively as it should. T2D is also known as non-insulin-dependant diabetes (NIDDM).