the process by which the body draws nutrients from food and uses them to make or mend its cells.

National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)

one of the 17 institutes that make up the National Institutes of Health, an agency of the Public Health Service.



a person with training in nutrition; may or may not have specialized training and qualifications. See dietitian.

NPH insulin

an intermediate-acting insulin; NPH stands for neutral protamine Hagedorn. On average, NPH insulin starts to lower blood glucose within 1 to 2 hours after injection. It has its strongest effect 6 to 10 hours after injection but keeps working about 10 hours after injection. Also called N insulin.

non-proliferative retinopathy

see background retinopathy 

noninvasive blood glucose monitoring


measuring blood glucose without pricking the finger to obtain a blood sample.

noninsulin-dependent diabetes mellitus


former term for type 2 diabetes.



disease of the nervous system. The three major forms in people with diabetes are peripheral neuropathy, autonomic neuropathy, and mononeuropathy. The most common form is peripheral neuropathy, which affects mainly the legs and feet.



a doctor who specializes in problems of the nervous system, such as neuropathy.

nerve disease

see neuropathy.

nerve conduction studies

tests used to measure for nerve damage; one way to diagnose neuropathy.



disease of the kidneys. Hyperglycemia and hypertension can damage the kidneys` glomeruli. When the kidneys are damaged, protein leaks out of the kidneys into the urine. Damaged kidneys can no longer remove waste and extra fluids from the bloodstream.



an oral medicine used to treat type 2 diabetes. It lowers blood glucose levels by helping the pancreas make more insulin right after meals. Belongs to the class of medicines called D-phenylalanine derivatives. (Brand name: Starlix.)



a doctor who treats people who have kidney problems.



the growth of new, small blood vessels. In the retina, this may lead to loss of vision or blindness.

necrobiosis lipoidica diabeticorum

(NEK-roh-by-OH-sis lih-POY-dik-ah DY-uh-bet-ih-KOR-um):

a skin condition usually on the lower part of the legs. Lesions can be small or extend over a large area. They are usually
raised, yellow, and waxy in appearance and often have a purple border.