If you lurk around on diabetes chat rooms or social networks like I do, or if you spend any time hanging out with one or more diabetics, you’re bound to hear some things you might not understand at first. Persons with diabetes tend to develop a unique set of words and acronyms all their own, much like any other group that regularly interacts with each other.
I’ve come to realize that not every diabetic uses the same word for the same diabetic phenomenon. However, over the last few years, especially with the advent of social networking, a new set of words, phrases, and acronyms have emerged that are gaining fairly common usage.
Learning the language of diabetes is a lot like starting a new job and trying to figure out the new office “culture” and the accompanying unique language usage that often comes with it. So to help you out, I’ve compiled a list for you! Most of these terms are fairly common among all diabetics (I’ve highlighted the ones I personally use).
High-Meaning high blood glucose levels
Low-Meaning low blood glucose levels
Inject/Jab/Shoot up- To take or give oneself a shot of insulin
A1C or HA1C or HbA1c-Hemoglobin A1C, a test that measures the average blood glucose level over the last three months
Meter/Tester/Glucometer-Blood glucose meter, used for almost instant blood glucose measurement
Test Kit- The combination of blood glucose meter, lancing device and test strip bottle. I know of a few other diabetics who use this phrase, but I’m not sure if it’s common, or not.
Endo-Short for endocrinologist, the type of physician specialist that specializes in diabetes (and often other endocrine disorders)
BS/BG-Short for blood sugar, or blood glucose.
Pump-An insulin pump.
PWD- Person with diabetes. Some people prefer this to saying “diabetic” because they feel “diabetic” labels the person as first and foremost having diabetes. I don’t mind “diabetic” that much, but I prefer to say “I have diabetes” not “I am a diabetic”, although sometimes it’s just easier to say that.
MDI- Multiple Daily Injections. This describes a particular kind of treatment someone is using. For example, I use MDI, as in, I take several injections a day rather than just 1 injection a day, or rather than using a pump, or rather than just taking pills or controlling diabetes with diet and exercise.
CDE/Diabetes Educator- Certified Diabetes Educator. These people are often part of a treatment team for a PWD, which also includes an endo and a dietitian. CDEs can seriously be a god-send, and often know WAY more about the ins and outs of daily living with diabetes than any doctor ever will. If you find a good CDE, you’re set.
Well, that’s just a brief list of a vast, emerging set of words and acronyms that you’ll find in the diabetes world! If you are interested in this I have found a VERY extensive list here.
Don't forget, World Diabetes Day is coming up! What will you do on November 14th to help create awareness for this cause?
Next Up: Awareness, Fund-raising, and Advocacy Groups