UTMB Interdisciplinary Diabetes Care

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Medical condition in which the pancreas either doesn’t make enough insulin to handle the amount of glucose in the bloodstream (Type I) or the cells are resistant to the action of insulin (Type II) allowing glucose to build up in the blood stream to levels at which specific symptoms detrimental to the body occur. High levels of glucose over time harm organ systems such as kidneys, vessels, and eyes.


A handheld chemistry instrument used to monitor glucose levels usually by a diabetic patient outside of the healthcare setting.


A simple sugar that is the primary energy source from which the body produces energy to maintain life.

Hemoglobin A1C

A test indicating the average concentration of glucose over a 3 month period; useful indicator of long-term glycemic control. Normal values are 4-6%.

Hyperosmolar coma

Diabetic hyperglycemic hyperosmolar coma is a complication of type II diabetes that involves extremely high blood sugar (glucose) levels without the presence of ketones. Ketones are a by-product of fat breakdown.


An abnormally low level of glucose in the blood. Symptoms include fatigue, dizziness, restlessness, hunger, or unusual irritation. Severely low levels (<40 mg/dL) can cause comas and death.


Acidosis due to excess ketone bodies found in the bloodstream as a result of uncontrolled diabetes. Excess ketones are excreted in the urine and produce a characteristic fruity breath odor.


Tiny amounts of albumin that the body begins to release into the urine several years before significant kidney damage becomes apparent. Albumin is present in blood in large amounts but is not filtered through the kidney unless there is kidney damage. An increase in urine microalbumin is indicative of the beginnings of damage.


Everything people do to occupy themselves, including taking care of themselves, social/cultural activities, education, work, and leisure.

PEO Model

Model of perspectives to consider when an occupational therapist considers a client's problem; incorporates Person, Environment, and Occupation when considering solutions.


An increase of the presence of protein in urine beyond normal levels. Normal is no protein present. Increases may indicate kidney damage.