Diabetes Dictionary: M


See: Angiopathy.

Abnormally large; in diabetes, refers to abnormally large babies that may be born to women with diabetes.

Macrovascular Disease
A disease of the large blood vessels that sometimes occurs when a person has had diabetes for a long time. Fat and blood clots build up in the large blood vessels and stick to the vessel walls. Three kinds of macrovascular disease are coronary disease, cerebrovascular disease, and peripheral vascular disease.

Macular Edema
A swelling (edema) in the macula, an area near the center of the retina of the eye that is responsible for fine or reading vision. Macular edema is a common complication associated with diabetic retinopathy.

See also: Diabetic retinopathy; retina.

Maturity-Onset Diabetes
Former term for Type 2 (noninsulin-dependent) diabetes.

See: Type 2 Diabetes.

Maturity-Onset Diabetes of the Young (MODY)
A form of diabetes characterised by early age of onset (usually less than 25 years of age), autosomal dominant inheritance (that is, it is inherited by 50% of a parent's children) with diabetes in at least 2 generations of the patient's family. MODY diabetes that can often be controlled with meal planning or diabetes pills, at least in the early stages of diabetes. It differs from type 2 diabetes in that patients have a defect in insulin secretion or glucose metabolism, and are not resistant to insulin. MODY accounts for about 2% of diabetes worldwide and 6 genes have so far been found that cause MODY, although not all MODY patients have one of these genes. Because MODY runs in families, it is useful for studying diabetes genes and has given researchers useful information about how insulin is produced and regulated by the pancreas.

Mauriac Syndrome
A condition that occurs as the result of chronic poor control of diabetes. It leads to an enlarged liver due to excessive glycogen deposition, short stature and delayed puberty. There is usually a history of repeated hospitalizations for ketoacidosis and hemoglobin A1c tests can be as high as twice the upper level of normal. Kidney function is usually not affected although it may be an additional complication of poor control. Eating disorders are sometimes an accompaniment.

Multiple daily injections (of insulin). One of several terms that are used to describe insulin programs that are designed to obtain tight control of blood sugar by giving several shots every day.

Meal Plan
A guide for controlling the amount of calories, carbohydrates, proteins, and fats a person eats. People with diabetes can use such plans as the Exchange Lists or the Point System to help them plan their meals so that they can keep their diabetes under control.

See also: Exchange lists; point system.

Metabolic Syndrome
A combination of health conditions that place a person at high risk for heart disease. These conditions are type 2 diabetes, hypertension (high blood pressure), hyperlipidemia (high levels of fat in the blood), and obesity. According to theory, all of these conditions are associated with high blood insulin levels, and it is claimed that the underlying problem in patients with the Metabolic Syndrome is faulty insulin release from the beta cells of the pancreas.

Previously called Syndrome X.

The term for the way cells chemically change food so that it can be used to keep the body alive. It is a two-part process. One part is called catabolism-when the body uses food for energy. The other is called anabolism-when the body uses food to build or mend cells. Insulin is necessary for the metabolism of food.

Meter/Monitor, Blood Glucose
See Blood Glucose Meter.

A drug used as a treatment for Type 2 diabetes; belongs to a class of drugs called biguanides.

See also: Oral hypoglycemic agents.

The unit of measurement of how much of a substance (such as sugar) is in a specific amount of fluid (such as blood or urine). Primarily used in the United States; most of the world uses mmol/L as the unit of measurement.

(Note: To convert blood sugar to mg/dl from mmol/L, multiply by 18.)

Small amounts of protein in the urine that cannot be detected by the usual "dipstick" test done for routine urinanalysis testing for other reasons. Specialized dipsticks, or urine collections over a period of 12-24 hours, are used to measure the amount of microalbumin. If there is persistent microalbumin over several repeated tests at different times, the risk of diabetic nephropathy and macrovascular disease are both higher.

A small swelling that forms on the side of tiny blood vessels. These small swellings may break and bleed into nearby tissue. People with diabetes sometimes get microaneurysms in the retina of the eye.

See: Angiopathy.

Microvascular Disease
Disease of the smallest blood vessels that sometimes occurs when a person has had diabetes for a long time. The walls of the vessels become abnormally thick but weak, and therefore they bleed, leak protein, and slow the flow of blood through the body. Then some cells, for example, the ones in the center of the eye, may not get enough blood and may be damaged.

Mixed Dose
Combining two kinds of insulin in one injection. A mixed dose commonly combines regular insulin, which is fast acting, with a longer acting insulin such as NPH. A mixed dose insulin schedule may be prescribed to provide both short-term and long-term coverage.

mmol/L (millimols per liter)
The unit of measurement of how much of a substance (such as sugar) is in a specific amount of fluid (such as blood or urine). Most of the world uses mmol/L; however, in the United States, mg/dl is used as the unit of measurement.

(Note: To convert blood sugar to mmol/L from mg/dl, divide by 18.)

MODY diabetes
See Maturity-Onset Diabetes of the Young.

A form of diabetic neuropathy affecting a single nerve. The eye is a common site for this form of nerve damage.

See also: Neuropathy.

Morbidity Rate
The sickness rate; the number of people who are sick or have a disease compared with the number who are well.

Mortality Rate
The death rate; the number of people who die of a certain disease compared with the total number of people. Mortality is most often stated as deaths per 1,000, per 10,000, or per 100,000 persons.

Myocardial Infarction
Also called a heart attack; results from permanent damage to an area of the heart muscle. This happens when the blood supply to the area is interrupted because of narrowed or blocked blood vessels.

A substance in the cell that is thought to play a role in helping the nerves to work. Low levels of myo-inositol may be involved in diabetic neuropathy.


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Last Updated: Sun Jun 22 17:39:47 2008
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