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Glossary - B
 
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Bacteremia
Bacteremia- a condition in which bacteria are present in the bloodstream; may occur after minor surgery or infection and may be dangerous for people with a weakened immune system or abnormal heart valves
Bacteriuria
Bacteriuria- bacteria in the urine; large amounts can indicate bladder, urethra, or kidney infection
Balloon angioplasty
Balloon angioplasty- a technique that uses a balloon catheter to open arteries clogged with fatty deposits
Balloon catheter
Balloon catheter- a hollow tube with a small, inflatable balloon at the tip; used to open a narrowed artery or organ that has become blocked
Barium enema
Barium enema- a technique in which barium is placed into the large intestine and rectum and then X-rays are taken to check for possible disorders of these organs.
Barrier method of contraception
Barrier method of contraception- a birth-control technique using a condom, diaphragm, or another similar device to block the path of sperm to an egg.
Bartholin's glands
Bartholin's glands- two pea-sized glands that, when sexually aroused, release a fluid that lubricates the vagina.
Basal metabolic rate
Basal metabolic rate- the lowest rate at which a person can possibly use energy and remain alive; at this rate, only absolutely necessary functions such as breathing are maintained.
Bell's palsy
Bell's palsy- another name for facial palsy, the usually one-sided, temporary numbing of the facial muscles, caused by an inflamed nerve.
Benign tumor
Benign tumor- a tumor that is not cancerous, which means it does not spread through the body, but may grow and become dangerous.
Beta blocker
Beta blocker- a type of drug used to treat high blood pressure and heart disorders by reducing the strength and rate of the pumping by the heart.
Beta carotene
Beta carotene- a pigment found in orange vegetables and fruits, which the body converts to vitamin A; possibly protects against cancer.
Beta Cell
Beta Cell- A type of cell in the pancreas in areas called the islets of Langerhans. Beta cells make and release insulin, a hormone that controls the level of glucose (sugar) in the blood.
Beta cell stimulants
Type 2 diabetes medicines that make beta cells secrete more insulin
Beta cells
Cells that release insulin; found in the pancreas
Biguanide agents (bi-GWAN-id)
Type 2 diabetes medicines that lower the liver’s production of blood sugar and lower insulin resistance
Bilateral
Bilateral- a term describing a condition that affects both sides of the body or two paired organs, such as bilateral deafness (deafness in both ears).
Bile
Bile- a yellow-green liquid produced in the liver whose function is to remove waste from the liver and break down fats as food is digested.
Bile duct
Bile duct- a tube that carries bile from the liver to the gallbladder and then to the small intestine.
Biliary atresia
Biliary atresia- a birth defect in which the bile ducts are not completely developed; often a liver transplant is necessary.
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