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endocrine system a collection of glands located in various parts of the body that produce hormones that regulate physiologic functions; includes pancreas and thyroid gland
hormone secreted substances that regulate metabolism, maintain fluid balance, control the life cycle, stimulate growth, and generate responses to stressful stimuli
negative feedback system a process that regulates hormone release in which receptors detecting the level of hormones in the bloodstream ignal the associated gland to slow further production
hypothalamus a part of the brain that, along with the thalamus, controls various functions, including hormone regulation and body temperature
pituitary gland a gland that plays an important role in controlling several other endocrine glands and bodily functions
hypothalamic-pituitary axis (HPA) a core feedback mechanism that controls endocrine function
thyroid gland a gland that releases tri-iodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4) in response to thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) released from the pituitary gland
tri-iodothyronine (T3) a hormone that is responsible for the majority of the physiologic action and regulates basal metabolic rate and affects metabolism of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins
thyroxine (T4) "a hormone that regulates basal metabolic rate and affects metabolism of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins"
thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) a hormone that is released from the pituitary gland that helps to regulate metabolism and body temperature
parathyroid gland a gland that releases parathyroid hormone (PTH)
parathyroid hormone a hormone that regulates calcium and phosphorus balance within the body
adrenal glands a pair of glands located on top of the kidneys
adrenal medulla the inner layer of the adrenal glands which produces adrenaline (epinephrine)
adrenaline a substance that elevates blood pressure, diverts blood away from body organs to muscles, and prompts release of stored glucose and fats into the blood in order to get the body ready to “fight or flight” in a stressful situation (see also epinephrine)
adrenal cortex the outer layer of the adrenal glands which releases corticosteroids, including mineralocorticoids and glucocorticoids
corticosteroids a hormone released by the adrenal cortex
mineralocorticoids corticosteroids that regulate fluid and electrolyte balance
glucocorticoids corticosteroids that affect day/night cycles and metabolism
adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) a hormone made in the pituitary gland that travels through the blood to the adrenal glands, where it stimulates release of cortisol
cortisol the primary glucocorticoid in a circadian rhythm, glucose metabolism, fat deposition, water retention, and anti-inflammatory action of the immune system
circadian rhythm cortisol levels that cycle every twenty-four hours, peaking in the morning and decreasing at night
pancreas a large gland located in the abdomen, just under the stomach that produces digestive enzymes and releases them into the intestine as well as produces insulin and glucagon
insulin a hormone that lowers blood glucose levels
glucagon a hormone that raises blood glucose levels
alpha islet cell cells that produce glucagon
beta islet cell cells that produce insulin
carbohydrate a compound that produces energy the body can use to sustain life; an essential part of nutrition
ketone a by-product of an alternative source of energy produced when fats and proteins are used for energy rather than glucose; it has toxic effects when it accumulates in the blood
diabetes mellitus a condition which refers to elevated blood glucose that results in damage to small blood vessels and nerve tissue that has significant and life-threatening effects; commonly known as diabetes
Type 1 diabetes an autoimmune condition that destroys the islet cells within the pancreas, impairing and eliminating ability to make insulin; sometimes called juvenile diabetes
ketoacidosis a life-threatening emergency in which ketones accumulate to toxic levels in the blood
Type 2 diabetes a multifactorial disorder causing high blood glucose
central obesity the accumulation of abdominal fat
insulin resistance a condition in which the pancreas makes insulin but the insulin does not work as well as it should and the insulin receptors around the body become less sensitive to its effects
relative insulin insufficiency a condition in response to insulin resistance where an overproduction of glucagon occurs and the ability to produce extra insulin diminishes
metabolic syndrome a condition that refers to a triad of problems: high blood pressure, high cholesterol and triglycerides, and high blood glucose
gestational diabetes a type of diabetes that results from insulin resistance caused by hormones produced in excess during pregnancy
polyuria increased urination
nocturia excessive urination at night
glycosuria glucose in the urine
polydipsia excessive thirst
polyphagia excessive hunger
microvascular complication damage to tiny blood vessels and capillaries in important organs which in turn can cause dialysis and kidney transplants, blindness, and lower leg amputations
hypoglycemia low blood glucose or low blood sugar reaction
blood glucose the concentration of glucose in the blood; commonly known as blood sugar
glucose meter an at-home device that monitors blood sugar levels
hemoglobin A1C a test used to assess overall blood glucose control
lifestyle modification changes in diet to reduce carbohydrate, fat, and calorie intake; regular exercise for thirty minutes most days of the week; smoking cessation; and weight loss
lactic acidosis a potentially fatal condition that occurs from a buildup of lactic acid in the blood; potetial side effect of metformin during dehydration
insulin secretagogues a drug class that stimulates insulin production from the pancreas to directly lower blood sugar in the treatment of diabetes
sulfonylurea an insulin secretagogue that works by stimulating insulin production from the pancreas and is used to treat Type 2 diabetes
glinides a class of insulin secretagogue drugs that work by stimulating insulin production from the pancreas and used to treat Type 2 diabetes
glitazones a drug class that works by directly increasing insulin sensitivity in cells of the body and is used to treat Type 2 diabetes (see also thiazolidinediones [TZD])
thiazolidinediones (TZD) a drug class that works by directly increasing insulin sensitivity in cells of the body and is used to treat Type 2 diabetes (see also glitazones)
incretin therapies a drug class that mimics endogenous incretin hormones or changes metabolism of them to increase their activity and lower postprandial blood glucose
glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) an endogenous incretin hormone that has multiple physiologic effects
glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP) an endogenous incretin hormone that has multiple physiologic effects
endogenous incretin hormone a hormone produced in response to glucose arriving from the gut which has multiple physiologic effects
phase I insulin a response that refers to the immediate burst of insulin that occurs just as, or even slightly before, the first bite of food
phase II insulin a response that refers to the continued but somewhat slower release of insulin in the hours after eating
satiety the sensation of feeling full and satisfied
dipeptidyl-peptidase (DPP-4) inhibitors "a drug class that slows inactivation of incretin hormones, allowing them to persist longer and produce beneficial effects on blood glucose"
basal insulin insulin that is slowly released throughout the day and night to allow energy for basic cellular function
bolus insulin insulin that is released at mealtimes to react with glucose entering the body from food intake
rapid-acting insulin insulin given just before meals that works in ten minutes and lasts as long as two hours
short-acting insulin insulin given 30 minutes before meals that lasts up to four hours
intermediate-acting insulin insulin that begins to work in thirty minutes and lasts six to eight hours
long-acting insulin insulin that works for approximately twenty-four hours and is injected once a day
insulin injection site the area on the body where insulin is injected, preferably the abdomen because rate of absorption into the blood is most consistent there
vial a small bottle used mainly for liquids
syringe a device used to inject a parenteral solution into the bloodstream, muscle, or under the skin
self-injector pen device an drug delivery system often used for insulin; composed of insulin cartridges, a dial to measure the dose, and disposable needles
insulin pump a device used to deliver insulin through a tiny tube inserted just under the skin; adjusted so it delivers exactly the amount needed by a specific patient throught out the day
alpha-glucosidase inhibitors a class of drugs that is used for the treatment of Type 2 diabetes and works by inhibiting digestion of carbohydrates within the gastrointestinal system, which reduces glucose absorption
thyroid disorders conditions involving the under- and overproduction of thyroid hormones
hypothyroidism a disorder in which too little thyroid hormone is produced
hyperthyroidism a disorder whereby too much thyroid hormone is produced
Graves’ disease the most common cause of hyperthyroidism
oral thyroid supplementation a drug class that is used to treat thyroid disorders and given to artificially provide adequate hormone levels
adrenal gland disorders a disorder categorized by the overproduction or underproduction of hormones from the adrenal glands
Addison’s disease an adrenal gland disorder causing a deficiency, or underproduction, of glucocorticoids and mineralocorticoids
Cushing’s disease an adrenal gland disorder which involves an overproduction of steroid hormones
chromium a trace element that is part of a complex of molecules called glucose tolerance factor (GTF), which helps regulate glucose tolerance and insulin levels
cinnamon an agent often taken for Type 2 diabetes, but research shows that it has minimal effects on blood glucose
Hashimoto’s disease autoimmune destruction of thyroid tissue
exophthalmos a condition in which fat collects behind the eyeball, causing protrusion and inability for eyelids to fully close
ablation the destruction of the thyroid gland via radioactive iodine
epinephrine a substance that elevates blood pressure, diverts blood away from body organs to muscles, and prompts release of stored glucose and fats into the blood in order to get the body ready to “fight or flight” in a stressful situation; commonly referred to as a


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