March 29, 2014

Terms We Should Learn

These are terms often used by people with diabetes and their doctors. Often in the diets discussed that are popular with people with diabetes these terms are part of the discussion. The exception is the first term - polypharmacy

Polypharmacy =
  1. The use of two or more drugs together, usually to treat a single condition or disease. This is the simplest form of polypharmacy.
  1. The use of a number of different drugs, possibly prescribed by different doctors and filled in different pharmacies, by a patient who may have one or several health problems. This can become complex and often the people can develop drug conflicts.
  1. The administration of many drugs at the same time. This can be by one or more doctors and may be similar to number 2.
Ketoacidosis =
  1. Acidosis accompanied by the accumulation of ketone bodies in the body tissues and fluids.
  1. Acidosis accompanied by an accumulation of ketones in the body, resulting from extensive breakdown of fats because of faulty carbohydrate metabolism. It occurs primarily as a complication of diabetes mellitus and is characterized by a fruity odor of acetone on the breath, mental confusion, dyspnea, nausea, vomiting, dehydration, weight loss, and, if untreated, coma. Emergency treatment includes the administration of insulin and IV fluids and the evaluation and correction of electrolyte imbalance. Nasogastric intubation and bladder catheterization may be required if the patient is comatose. Before discharge of the patient from the hospital, the nurse carefully reviews the meal plan, activity, blood glucose and urine ketone monitoring, and insulin schedule prescribed, emphasizing to the patient that ketoacidosis may be life-threatening and is largely avoidable by strict adherence to the patient's diabetic regimen, monitoring, and appropriate action for illness or stress.
Ketones = Poisonous acidic chemicals produced by the body when fat instead of glucose is burned for energy. Breakdown of fat occurs when not enough insulin is present to channel glucose into body cells.

Ketogenic Diet =
  1. The production of ketone bodies in the body, as in diabetes mellitus or low-carbohydrate weight-loss diets.
  1. One containing large amounts of fat, with minimal amounts of protein and carbohydrate. The object of such a diet is to produce ketosis.
Ketosis =
  1. The accumulation of excessive ketones in the body, as in diabetic acidosis or occurring when fatty acids are incompletely metabolized.
  1. The abnormal accumulation of ketones in the body as a result of excessive breakdown of fats caused by a deficiency or inadequate use of carbohydrates. Fatty acids are metabolized instead, and the end products, ketones, begin to accumulate. This condition is seen in starvation, occasionally in pregnancy if the intake of protein and carbohydrates is inadequate, and most frequently in diabetes mellitus. It is characterized by ketonuria, loss of potassium in the urine, and a fruity odor of acetone on the breath. Untreated, ketosis may progress to ketoacidosis, coma, and death.
Ketonuria = (ke″to-nu´re-ah) An excess of ketone bodies in the urine.

I am working on more terms and these are often misunderstood by most patients. Another article by Laura Dolson may also help in clarifying use of some of the above terms.

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