Diabetic Pathophysiology and Associated Diseases

Diabetic pathophysiology is the study of how the body changes when it is afflicted with diabetes. In other words what biochemical functions are affected, what physiological processes are altered, and what symptoms are exhibited? When scientists and researchers study diabetic pathophysiology, what they’re looking for is what has gone wrong with the body’s systems. This is of critical importance because researchers can’t provide effective solutions to the problem until they know what kinds of damages it has caused.

The pathophysiology that underlies most of the body changes associated with diabetes – such as hypertension, heart disease, hardening of the arteries, and so on – is the body’s inability to utilize and dispose of the excess sugar in the bloodstream. Even though type 2 diabetes can progress to type 1, the pathophysiology of diabetes type one is different from that of diabetes type two, hence the different methods of treating them.

The pathophysiology of type 2 diabetes is a combination of a number of things. It is the failure of the body’s tissues to increase glucose disposal in response to insulin or the failure of insulin to suppress lipolysis in adipose and muscle tissue. It is also the inability of insulin to suppress the hepatic glucose production. It is for this reason that some researchers focus on reducing the hepatic glucose production as their main means of treating diabetes.

Many people with type 2 diabetes develop ketoacidosis which is acidosis or a severe form of ketosis which is believed to be caused by the insulin and blood sugar levels being so out of balance that too much ketone accumulates in the body. In these cases, however, the pathophysiology of the ketoacidosis is not exactly clear although, normally, it seems to involve nausea and/or throwing up. In later stages, especially in the case of type 1 diabetes, the pathophysicolgy can lead to the body breaking down muscle tissue for its energy needs as well as dramatic weight loss.

The number of deaths associated with ketoacidosis is much higher than is should be (almost in the 5 percent range) mainly because of the delay in diagnosis and treatment. Just one more reason why it’s critical that those suffering from diabetes or pre-diabetes monitor their health diligently. At any rate, more testing needs to be done to determine the exact pathophysiology of ketoacidosis.

Diabetes is also associated with more minor diseases. For example, many men who have diabetes suffer from erectile dysfunction (or ED). When researchers look at the pathophysiology, it appears that this condition occurs because of the effect of hyperglycemia or high blood sugar on nerves and nerve endings. Ongoing excesses of high blood sugar affects all peripheral nerves including those such as fingers, toes, and those in the male sex organ.

And, lastly, the pathophysiology of other major diseases are being connected to diabetes. For example, early research seems to indicate that there is some link between type 2 diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease, a progressive form of presenile dementia which is affecting more people in the population every day. It may eventually turn out that the root triggers for many of today’s major diseases have a lot in common.

By lucille