9 Key Terms That Could Make or Break Your Understanding of Diabetes

6. Endocrine System

The endocrine system is system of glands that produces hormones and regulates things such as sleep, metabolism, and tissue function. Since insulin is a key hormone and the pancreas is an important element of the endocrine system, diabetes is considered an endocrine disorder.

Photo: Flickr/Hamza Butt

5. Endocrinologist

An endocrinologist is a doctor who specializes in diseases, such as diabetes, that affect the endocrine system. The endocrinologist is an important part of a diabetes care team. This type of doctor uses their specialized expertise to help patients get symptoms under control, direct self-care, and assist in managing complications. People with Type 1 diabetes often see an endocrinologist; Type 2 patients may not immediately require to see a physician other than their primary care doctor.

Photo: Flickr/Agência Brasil Fotografias

4. Glucagon

Glucagon is a hormone made by the pancreas. It causes the liver to release glucose, which increases blood glucose. For a person with diabetes, glucagon may be injected to reverse very low blood sugar levels. This is usually an emergency measure used when the person is confused, unconscious, or otherwise unable to ingest food.

Photo: Flickr/Intel Free Press

Click ‘next’ to read on and learn more important terms associated with diabetes.

Article continues below

Our Featured Programs

See how we’re making a difference for People, Pets, and the Planet and how you can get involved!

Support Research

Fund Diabetes research and care at The Diabetes Site for free!