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Labile Diabetes
A term used to indicate when a person's blood glucose (sugar) level often swings quickly from high to low and from low to high. Also called brittle diabetes.

Lactic Acidosis
The buildup of lactic acid in the body. The cells make lactic acid when they use glucose (sugar) for energy. If too much lactic acid stays in the body, the balance tips and the person begins to feel ill. The signs of lactic acidosis are deep and rapid breathing, vomiting, and abdominal pain. Lactic acidosis may be caused by diabetic ketoacidosis or liver or kidney disease. Lactic acidosis is also a rare side effect of a diabetes medication called metformin.

Lactose
A type of sugar found in milk and milk products (cheese, butter, etc.). It is considered a nutritive sweetener because it has calories.

Latent Autoimmune Diabetes in Adults (LADA)
Autoimmune diabetes (Type 1A diabetes) occurring in individuals who are older than the usual age of onset of type 1 diabetes (that is, over 30 years of age at diagnosis). Sometimes, patients with LADA are mistakenly thought to have Type 2 diabetes, based on their age at the time of diagnosis. However, positive antibody tests would help make the diagnosis of LADA.

Lancet
A fine, sharp-pointed blade or needle for pricking the skin.

See Lancets and Lancing Devices for a discussion and review of several lancets currently available.

Laser Treatment
Using a special strong beam of light of one color (laser) to heal a damaged area. A person with diabetes might be treated with a laser beam to heal blood vessels in the eye.

See also: Photocoagulation.

Latent Diabetes
Former term for impaired glucose tolerance.

See also: Impaired glucose tolerance.

Lente Insulin
A type of insulin that is intermediate-acting.

Limited Joint Mobility
A form of arthritis involving the hand; it causes the fingers to curve inward and the skin on the palm to tighten and thicken. This condition mainly affects people with IDDM.

Lipid
A term for fat. The body stores fat as energy for future use just like a car that has a reserve fuel tank. When the body needs energy, it can break down the lipids into fatty acids and burn them like glucose (sugar).

The two most commonly measured kinds of lipids are triglycerides and cholesterol.

Lipoatrophy
Small depressions in the subcutaneous tissues just under the skin that form when a person keeps injecting insulin into the same spot. Injecting around the depressed area can very slowly fill in the depression (over a period of many months).

See also: Lipodystrophy.

Lipodystrophy
Lumps (lipohypertrophy) or depressions (lipoatrophy) below the surface of the skin that form when a person keeps injecting insulin into the same spot. Both forms of lipodystrophies are harmless. People can decrease this problem by changing (rotating) the places where they inject their insulin. Using purified insulins may also help.

See also: Injection site rotation.

Lipohypertrophy
Bulging of an area of the skin (due to fat accumulation) that forms when a person keeps injecting insulin into the same spot. Continued injection into these lumpy areas delays the absorption of insulin, and is not recommended even though injecting into the lumpy area is painless (as there are no nerve endings in the lump).

See also: Lipodystrophy.

Lispro Insulin
Lispro insulin is an insulin analog in which the position of two amino acids are switched. The resulting lispro insulin does not form hexamers (clumps of six molecules linked together) and is thus faster acting than regular insulin. It can be injected immediately before a meal, compared with regular which should be injected 30 minutes or more before a meal.

See: Humalog® (Lispro Insulin) and Diabetes Team Questions about Lispro Insulin

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Last Updated: Wednesday April 18, 2012 11:23:54
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