FDMB Glossary

Discussion in 'Health Links / FAQs about Feline Diabetes' started by Jill & Alex (GA), Apr 21, 2018.

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  1. Jill & Alex (GA)

    Jill & Alex (GA) Senior Member Moderator

    Dec 28, 2009
    Feline Diabetes Message Board Glossary

    ACROCAT / ACRO: A cat with acromegaly.

    ACROMEGALY: Disease caused by a growth-hormone-secreting pituitary tumor of the anterior pituitary (hypersomatotropism). Uncontrolled diabetes is a common sign as well as physical changes such as enlargement of head or extremities (some cats). This tumor increases the level of insulin-like growth factor (IGF), which inhibits the absorption of insulin, thus elevating the levels of glucose (BG) in the blood. The amount of IGF being secreted may wax and wane causing resulting BG levels to fluctuate.

    ADIPOSE TISSUE: Fatty tissue.

    ADW: (American Diabetes Wholesale) Where many FDMBers buy their diabetic supplies. http://www.adwdiabetes.com/

    AMBG: AM Blood Glucose. This term is used when a shot is skipped or missed. It is also used if a cat is in remission (OTJ) or on a remission trial (OTJ Trial) since there is no shot given.

    AMPS: AM Preshot

    ANOREXIA: Loss of appetite often with associated weight loss

    BEANS: Our sugarcats’ unique word to describe us (“beings” as in human beings).

    BG: Blood Glucose (normal for a cat is between 50-120 if using a meter calibrated for humans).

    BOUNCE: When a cat’s BG numbers drop into a low range, drop fast, or drop into a range the cat is no longer used to, the liver and pancreas may respond by releasing a stored form of glucose along with counterregulatory hormones. This causes numbers to spike back upward. It can take up to 3 days/6 cycles for a bounce to clear.

    BUN/Creatinine values: These are important blood values that reflect renal (kidney) function.

    CC: Cubic centimeter. Same as milliliter or ml. This is a term you will hear associated with some medications and subcutaneous fluid dosages.

    CIVILIAN (or civvie): Non-diabetic cat.

    CKD: Chronic Kidney Disease. CKD is one of the most common causes of death in geriatric cats and diabetes increases the risk of the development of CKD.

    CRF: Chronic Renal Failure, more commonly referred to as CKD now.

    CURVE: When a blood glucose curve is done to determine the cat’s reaction to the insulin/dosage, a blood glucose (BG) test is generally taken every 2 hours for a 12-hour period. The curve can also be a full 24-hour curve, an 18-hour curve with tests every 3 hours or a mini curve.

    CYCLE: There are two, 12-hour cycles per day that start with an insulin injection. There is an AM and PM cycle.

    DAWN PHENOMENON: There is a naturally occurring cycle of hormones – typically catecholamines and growth hormone – that rise in the early hours of morning. In response to this cycle there is a rise in BG levels that is referred to as dawn phenomenon or dawn effect.

    DH: Dear Husband

    DKA: Diabetic Ketoacidosis (See KETOACIDOSIS)

    DX: Diagnosis


    • s.i.d.: Once daily
    • b.i.d.: Twice daily
    • t.i.d.: Three times daily
    • q.i.d.: Four times daily
    DROOLER: Our sugarcats’ word for dogs!

    ECID: “Every Cat is Different”

    EFA: Essential Fatty Acids. Omega-3 and Omega-6 are important EFAs in a cat’s diet.

    ENDOGENOUS: Used or made in the body. Insulin produced by the pancreas is an endogenous hormone.

    EPI: Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency

    EUGLYCEMIA: Normal BG range.

    EXOGENOUS: Produced outside the body. Injected insulin is an exogenous product.

    FALLS: As in “Going to the Falls.” See “Honeymoon.”

    FD: Feline Diabetes

    FDMB: Feline Diabetes Message Board (where you're at right now)

    fPLI: Feline Pancreatic Lipase Immunoassay. The fPLI is a widely used blood test for diagnosing pancreatitis.

    FRUCTOSAMINE: This is a simple blood test that measures the average glycemic (glucose) control over a period of several weeks.

    GA: Guardian Angel or Gone Ahead (our kitties who have passed on to Rainbow Bridge)

    GLUCAGON: Pancreatic hormone made in the alpha cell that signals the liver to release glycogen as glucose to raise the BG.

    GLUCONEOGENESIS: Process of creating glucose from protein and glycerol.

    GLUCOSE: Sugar from digested food which is the body’s main source of energy.

    GLUCOSE TOXICITY: If a cat’s BG numbers have been remaining in a higher than desirable range, the cat’s system may adapt to the higher range making it harder for numbers to respond to insulin. The higher range becomes the cat’s new “normal.”

    GLUCOSURIA/GLYCOSURIA: Glucose in the urine.

    GLYCEMIC: (adj.) Glucose; Glycemic Index: An index that measures the ability of a given food to elevate blood sugar.

    GLYCEROL: Part of fat.

    GLYCOGEN: Storage form of glucose. Main reservoir is located in the liver.

    GLYCOLYSIS: Ten step metabolic process which converts glucose to ATP (adenosine triphosphate) used by the body for energy.

    GLYCOSYLATED HEMOGLOBIN: This measures the average glycemic control over approximately four months.

    “GOING TO THE FALLS”: This is a euphemism for a remission of the diabetes or “honeymoon.”

    HEMATURIA: Blood in the urine

    HEPATIC LIPIDOSIS: Fatty liver disease. This can occur in cats who become anorexic/refuse to eat due to many causes (e.g., ketoacidosis) and is especially risky in overweight kitties. Because this potentially fatal disease can occur quickly, pay very close attention if your cat is goes without eating for more than one day or is eating less than 50 - 75% of normal calorie intake for several days. If you are not aware that your cat hasn’t been eating well and if you notice jaundice (yellow color in the whites of a cat’s eyes or their gums appearing yellowish), get your cat to a vet immediately.

    HOCKS: The part of the cat’s back legs about halfway up (where the joint is) that comes into contact with the floor when kitty goes all the way down and thumps along. A cat with diabetic neuropathy will often walk on their “hocks.”

    HOME TESTING: This refers to home blood glucose (BG) testing as opposed to urine testing. Home testing is done with a blood glucose meter and "ear pricks" (or in some cases, paw pricks). To get the most detailed instructions, go to Hometesting Links and Tips.

    HONEYMOON: Many cats experience a period of time where they no longer need insulin. This treatment free period is referred to as the "honeymoon" or OTJ. Also referred to as “Going to the Falls.”

    HYPERGLYCEMIA: High blood glucose

    HYPO: Hypoglycemia (low blood glucose). There is a distinction between low BG numbers and symptomatic hypoglycemia. Numbers in the 50 – 70 range are in the low BG range. Below 50, there is a risk for symptomatic hypoglycemia. It is important to pay close attention to low numbers and steer the numbers back up with food to prevent a symptomatic hypoglycemic episode.

    • Symptomatic hypoglycemia: If a cat is demonstrating symptoms of hypoglycemia, this is a hypoglycemic episode. If symptoms are present, it is important to intervene with high carb food or get the cat to a vet or emergency clinic especially if the cat is not responding to high carb food.
    IBD: Inflammatory Bowel disease.

    INSOLUBLE FIBER: Plant substance used to facilitate the passage of waste products through the digestive tract.

    INSULINOMA: Pancreatic tumor that produces insulin.

    INSULIN CONCENTRATION: Insulin comes in two concentrations – U100 and U40. Prozinc and Vetsulin/Caninsulin are U40 and all of the other insulins used for treating FD are U100.
    • U100 insulin has 100 units of insulin per milliliter of fluid. U100 vials contain 10ml of fluids.
    • U40 insulin has 40 units of insulin per milliliter of fluid. U50 insulin has 50 units of insulin per ml of fluid.
    • Syringes used must match the insulin given (i.e., U100 syringes are used for U100 insulin). U40 & U50 insulins can be given in the smaller U100 syringes, but a conversion must first be made.
    INSULINS: These are the very basic types: Lantus, Levemir, Prozinc, PZI (has been discontinued but is available only as a compounded insulin in the US), Caninsulin/Vetsulin and NPH.
    • Short acting: Humulin Regular (also called Humulin R); Hypurin Neutral (UK 100% beef version of our Regular)
    • Medium acting: NPH, Caninsulin/Vetsulin
    • Long acting: Lantus (and biosimilars – Basaglar, Semglee), Levemir, PZI, Prozinc
    • Oral insulin: This type of insulin (e.g., metformin) is not recommended for cats. Oral medications place a burden on the pancreas and decrease the possibility of remission.
    KETOACIDOSIS: A dangerous and potentially fatal disease caused by an excess of ketones causing the blood to become acidic and effecting electrolyte balances. When there is an insufficient amount of insulin to process the glucose, the body breaks down fat for energy. The by-product of this breakdown is the production of ketones which can quickly build up and become highly toxic. Ketones are eliminated in the urine and can be detected using special urine strips or with a blood ketone meter. Also referred to as diabetic ketoacidosis or DKA.

    KETOGENESIS: Process of creating ketones in the liver from fatty acids.

    KETONES: by-products produced when a cat burns fat for fuel instead of
    using glucose. If detected in the urine, the cat needs immediate treatment.

    KETONURIA: Ketones in the urine.

    KETOSTIX or KETODIASTIX: Test strips used to check your cat's urine for ketones.

    KIBBLE: Dry food that in general, is high in carbohydrates and not an appropriate diet for cats. (See Obligate Carnivore)

    METHYLCOBALAMIN: A form of Vitamin B12, usually in powered form, used to treat diabetic neuropathy (rear leg weakness). Methylcobalamin is often referred to as methyl-B12. Methylcobalamin is not the same as vitamin B12 which is often cyanocobalamin which will break down into the methyl form.

    NADIR: The lowest point in the cycle or on a BG curve; often considered the same as the peak insulin reading.

    NEEDLE GAUGE: Needle thinness is measured in gauge size. The higher the gauge, the thinner the needle (or lancet).

    NEUROPATHY (Diabetic Neuropathy, Peripheral Neuropathy, Hind Leg Weakness): Diabetic neuropathy can result when there is a failure to deliver glucose to the nerves resulting in free radicals which damage the nerve fibers. Many of our cats with neuropathy have found relief with methylcobalamin (methyl-B12).

    OBLIGATE CARNIVORE: An animal whose diet depends entirely on meat due to the necessity for nutrients that are found only in animal proteins. These animals cannot process carbohydrates. Cats fall into this category.

    OT: Off Topic

    OTJ/OTJ Trial: Off the Juice. A cat that is in remission is referred to as OTJ. Prior to going OTJ, there is a 2-week trial (OTJ trial) to assess whether the cat is ready to stop insulin.

    PANCREATITIS: Inflammation of the pancreas, acute or chronic.

    P/D: Polydipsia – excessive thirst (drinking a lot).

    PEAK: The time period when the insulin is strongest causing the BG level to be lowest. Will vary depending on the cat and duration of insulin used.

    PM: Private message

    PMBG: PM Blood Glucose. This term is used when a shot is skipped or missed. It is also used if a cat is in remission (OTJ) or on a remission trial (OTJ Trial) since there is no shot given.

    PMPS: PM Preshot

    POLYPHAGIA: Increased consumption of food.

    POST-PRANDIAL: Post meal

    PS: Pre-shot (the blood glucose number right before injection)

    P/U: Polyuria - excessive urination (peeing a lot).

    PU/PD: Polyuria/Polydipsia – abbreviation identifying symptoms common in diabetes

    PZI: Protamine Zinc Insulin. PZI is a long-acting insulin that was widely accepted as an excellent choice for diabetic cats. It was discontinued in the US and is available only through a compounding pharmacy. It may be available in the UK.

    RAINBOW BRIDGE: This is the place where our pets go when they pass on. They are restored to health and spend their days in the sun playing - waiting for the day when we will all be together again. To read about Rainbow Bridge, go to: http://www.petloss.com/

    REGULATORY DURATION: The exact time spent in the regulatory 100-300 zone.

    RENAL THRESHOLD: The capacity of the kidney to retain substances such as glucose. Once reached the substances spill out into the urine stream. Glucose in diabetes will normally spill over at a BG around 230-280 (lab value) although it can vary.

    SHOOT: To inject.

    SLGS: Start Low, Go Slow method for dosing that was developed by members of FDMB

    SOLUBLE FIBER: Plant substance used to slow the digestive process. Dissolves in water.

    SOMOGYI: Also referred to as chronic Somogyi rebound, Somogyi is a term that was coined in 1938 by Michael Somogyi, MD to describe the process in which the body reacts to low blood sugar or a rapid drop in blood sugar followed by a rapid rise. The original research was conducted with a very small sample of humans and was never replicated in humans nor in cats. Shorter acting insulin was used thus there is no relevance if using the longer acting insulins that are currently recommended for treating FD today. A study by Roomp & Rand refuted the existence of Somogyi in cats that were prescribed Lantus.

    SS: Spreadsheet

    STRESS HYPERGLYCEMIA: Stress causes the release of naturally occurring corticosteroids. These hormones cause BG numbers to rise. Trips to the vet’s office along with illness (infection or inflammation) are common stressful causes for a rise in numbers.

    SUBCUTANEOUS: Below the skin.

    SUBCUTANEOUS FLUIDS (Sub-Q, SQ): These are balanced fluids in an I.V. bag (Lactated Ringers Solution, etc.) and administered by inserting a needle under the cat’s skin in varying dosages. This treatment is commonly given at the vet’s office or at home for dehydrated cats or cats with renal failure and in some cases for treating the presence of ketones.

    SUGARCATS: What all our diabetic kitties are!

    TR: Tight Regulation. TR initially referred to the Tight Regulation Protocol for Lantus and Levemir that was developed and later published by Roomp & Rand.

    Types of Diabetes (see Gottlieb & Rand (2018), Veterinary Medicine: Research and Reports)
    • Type I – Diabetes: Where the body produces no insulin, also called Insulin Dependent Diabetes Melitus (IDDM), or juvenile onset diabetes. Insulin is required with a Type I cat. Type I cats are more susceptible to ketoacidosis. Oral medications will not work with Type I cats. Reviews of the literature suggest that Type I diabetes in cats is rare.
    • Type II – Diabetes: Where the body still produces some insulin, but the insulin is unable to act properly to transfer blood glucose to the cells, also called NIDDM (Non IDDM). Risk factors include, obesity, age, male gender, inactivity, use of steroids, and high carb diet. Some estimates indicate that up to 90% of diabetic cats are Type II.
    • Other Specific Types of Diabetes: This category includes all other causes of diabetes in cats. Feline diabetes may also be caused by loss of pancreatic islets cells by pancreatitis or neoplasia. Diabetes can also be secondary to endocrine conditions that cause insulin resistance including hypersomatotropism (acromegaly) or hyperadrenocorticism (Cushings).

    UNIT: This is the term used to measure our insulin dosage:

    UNIT MEASUREMENT: Syringes are marked in unit increments. For example, when using a U100 syringe, each regular marking or line represents one unit. If your syringe has ½ unit markings as well (the shorter in-between lines), each of these represent ½ unit.

    U.S./Canadian, UK, Australian and rest of world BG conversion:

    • To convert mmol/L to mg/dl (of glucose), multiply by 18.
    • To convert mg/dl to mmol/L (of glucose), divide by 18 or multiply by 0.055.
    There’s an excellent conversion chart here:Blood Glucose Converter Calculator (1 mmol/L = 18 mg/dL)

    UTI: Urinary tract infection

    The FelineDiabetes.com community owes a great debt to long-time FDMB user Melissa&Popcorn(GA) for her hard work in creating and maintaining the first FDMB glossary.

    Updated September 2021 by Sienne and Gabby (GA), Marje and Gracie, and Wendy&Neko
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 12, 2021
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