Basal Insulin: this is insulin that is injected once or twice a day and provides your body with BACKGROUND insulin over 24 hours. Basal insulin controls your blood sugar levels between meals as well as overnight.  Basal insulin helps to control your FASTING BLOOD GLUCOSE levels (your blood sugar first thing in the morning before you have eaten). Examples of basal insulin are: Biosulin® N, Humulin® N, Protaphane®, Lantus®, Levemir®.

Bolus Insulin: this is the insulin that is release by the pancreas in response to a meal / food intake. If you are injecting insulin, bolus insulin is injected immediately before the meal (Apidra®; Humalog® and NovoRapid®) or 30 minutes before the meal (Biosulin® R).

Beta-Cells: These are the cells that produce (manufacture) insulin in your body.  These cells are found in the pancreas, which is an organ that lies just behind the stomach.  The amount of insulin release from the beta-cells is dependent on your blood sugar levels. In diabetes, these cells have either been destroyed (Type 1 Diabetes) or overtime slowly lose their ability to manufacture insulin (Type 2 Diabetes).

Blood Glucose: When we eat food that contains carbohydrates (fruit, vegetables, milk and milk products, pasta, bread, sweets, cakes, biscuits) the carbohydrates in the food are converted into glucose (a very simple form of sugar). The glucose from the food that we have eaten is passed out of the intestines into the blood so that it can be delivered to the body to be used as energy. The amount of glucose circulating in your blood at any one time is known as a BLOOD GLUCOSE level, and is tested by doing a simple finger prick, placing the blood onto a blood glucose strip which is then inserted into a blood glucose meter.

Blood glucose monitor: a tiny hand-held machine that helps you to measure your blood sugar levels. After pricking your finger with a special finger pricker, you place a small drop of blood onto a glucose strip and place it in the meter. Within 5 seconds the meter will read the amount of sugar (glucose) in your blood and will display this on the screen of the meter. E.g. 7.6 mmol/l

Body Mass Index (BMI): This is the unit of measurement that determines if you are of normal weight, overweight or obese.  The measurement takes into account both your HEIGHT and your WEIGHT and is calculated as your weight divided by your height squared (kg/m2).

E.g. If you weigh 80kg and your height is 1.72m BMI= 80 divided by (1.72 x 1.72). Your BMI will be 27.04 i.e. you are OVERWEIGHT.