Type 2 Diabetes: Supplements Overview
Diabetic neuropathy: A nerve disorder caused by diabetes. This
disorder leads to pain or loss of feeling in the toes, feet, legs, hands, or
Endocrinologist: A specialist in diseases and conditions of the
glands (organs that make hormones).
Essential trace mineral: A mineral that is required in minute amounts
by the body and must be obtained from dietary sources.
Fasting blood glucose: Blood glucose level after a person has not
eaten for 8 to 12 hours (usually overnight).
Free radical: A highly reactive chemical that attacks molecules that
are key to cell functioning, by capturing electrons and thus changing chemical
Functional food: A food that has biologically active components (such
as fish oils or plant estrogens) that may provide health benefits beyond basic
HbA1c: Hemoglobin A1c, a blood test that measures a person's average
blood glucose level over a period of weeks or months.
Hormone: A chemical made by glands in the body. Hormones circulate in
the bloodstream and control the actions of certain cells or organs. Some
hormones can also be made in laboratories.
Ophthalmologist: A specialist in diseases and disorders of the
PCB: Short for polychlorinated biphenyl. PCBs have had various uses
in industry, but most uses were banned by the U.S. Environmental Protection
Agency in 1979 because of hazards to human health. When discharged into the
environment, PCBs stay in the environment for a long period of time and build
up in certain species of fish and wildlife.
Placebo: An inert or sham treatment, such as a sugar pill.
Podiatrist: A specialist in care of the foot and treatment of foot
Polyphenols: A group of substances that are found in many plants.
They give some flowers, fruits, and vegetables their color. Polyphenols have
antioxidant activity and are being studied as possible CAM treatments.
Polyunsaturated fatty acid: One of the three types of fatty acids.
Polyunsaturated fatty acids are liquid at room temperature. They contain a
chain of carbon atoms and hydrogen and oxygen molecules, with two or more
double bonds between the carbon atoms.
Randomized clinical trial: In a randomized clinical trial, each
participant is assigned by chance (through a computer or a table of random
numbers) to one of two groups. The investigational group receives the therapy,
also called the active treatment. The control group receives either the
standard treatment, if there is one for their disease or condition, or a
Triglyceride: The form in which fat is stored in the body. High
triglyceride levels in the blood may raise the risks for heart attack or
Whole medical system: A system that employs practices from among the
four CAM domains--mind-body medicine, biologically based practices,
manipulative and body-based practices, and energy medicine. Conventional
medicine is one example of a whole medical system. An example of a CAM whole
medical system is traditional Chinese medicine.