Jargon Busting


I come across new abbreviations and jargon every day. I then have to Google what each one means! Each time I come across something new, I will try to update this list...

Basal/ Bolus 

An insulin regime where you take 4 or more injections a day with slow-releasing insulin (basal) and fast-acting insulin (bolus). 

Basal Insulin 

Generally taken once or twice a day which helps to control glucose levels during times of fasting. This is also known as 'Background Insulin'.

Bolus Insulin

This is taken at mealtimes to cover the glucose produced by the carbohydrates in the food. 

Blood Glucose Meter (BGM) 

What is says on the tin, I just had to Google what the heck a BGM was...

Carb Counting

Managing your glucose levels by counting the number of carbs you're eating and matching your insulin in units. 

Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) 

A sensor that is worn just under the skin which can be scanned at any time of day to show what your glucose levels are like without having to prick your finger (yay!)

Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA)

A super-important acronym - DKA is when there is a build-up of a poisonous chemical called Ketones in your body. It causes your body to become acidic and can be VERY serious if left untreated. It is caused by continuously high glucose levels. 

Diabetes Specialist Nurse (DSN)

A nurse who has specialist knowledge of Diabetes. You will work very closely with your DSN, especially in the first few months after diagnosis. 



This is used for treating severe hypos (when you have passed out and can't eat sweets/ glucose!) It is a kit with a syringe of sterile water and powdered Glucagon that needs to be injected into an area like your butt.  


This is a blood test that monitors your blood glucose levels for an average of 3-months.

Honeymoon Period

The period of time after diagnoses (Type 1) where the Pancreas continues to make a small amount of Insulin meaning you will have better than expected blood glucose control. This can trick you into thinking you're in remission. Definitely not the kind of Honeymoon I had in mind...

Hyperglycaemia (hyper)

When your blood glucose is too high. 

Hypoglycaemia (hypo)

When your blood glucose is too low (anything below 4mmol/l.)

Insulin Sensitivity Factor (ISF)

The drop in blood glucose level caused by each unit of Insulin taken. For example - 1:4 would mean that 1 unit of Insulin would reduce your BG by 4mmol/l.


Poisonous chemicals that can be produced when your blood glucose is consistently high. These chemicals can cause your body to become acidic (Diabetic Ketoacidosis) which is a very serious condition that needs to be treated immediately. You can get Blood Glucose Monitors that also check for Ketones. 


The little needles in the finger prickers (AKA the little bastards!) used for Blood Glucose Machines. 

Latent Autoimmune Diabetes in Adulthood (LADA)

LADA is a form of Type 1 Diabetes that forms later in adulthood. It is initially defined as non-insulin needing Diabetes and is often misdiagnosed as Type 2. 

Millemoles per litre (mmol/l)

A measurement showing how much glucose is in your blood. 

©2019 by Diabetic Unicorn. 

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